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02/05/2006 Archived Entry: "The short life of CD-Rs"
Wendy sent me this item about the data retention of recordable CDs. According to an IBM expert, cheap CD-Rs will hold data for about two years...good quality CD-Rs, five years. So while these might be ok for backup media, they'd be a poor choice for archival storage. This agrees with an article I read two years ago. I suggest you follow the do's and don'ts in this article, and develop a plan for preserving anything you write to CD-R or DVD-R. Periodically copying them to new media is one option...until one of them develops a glitch; then you've lost that file.
As for myself, I intend to use a hard drive for archival storage, backed up every year or two to CD-R or DVD-R. When the hard drive fails, I'll restore from the backups to a new hard drive. —brad