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Viable option/use for M-DISC ?

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Francois Blawat
Viable option/use for M-DISC ?
on Sep 15, 2017 at 5:12:14 pm

My question is does anyone know well those M-DISC's work for archiving files? I am now trying to backup all my old files that I burned on CD/DVD that are now over 10 years old. I do not want to lose more files due to disc rot or pigmentation loss. In the interim I am saving them to a new external 2TB HDD, but would like something that does not rely on magnetic media to keep my data safe.

I guess I wanted to know if these M-DISC's will actually still work 20 - 30 years from now reliably? They are rated for 1,000 years, but I'm pretty sure I will not be around but still would like to know if anyone has had experience with using this product?

The M-DISC DVD & Blu-ray versions are the ones I was looking at. Blu-ray can hold up to 50GB of data which is a lot better than 4.4gb but I was reading somewhere where users were saying something about data on the edge did not always work well?

I like having physical media and I'm looking for something where I will not have to go and re-save a bunch of discs again in 15 years or so.

Thanks.

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FixitMad


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Aaron Star
Re: Viable option/use for M-DISC ?
on Sep 16, 2017 at 7:52:36 pm

The technology sounds good.

The problem I have had is the LG drives that work it fail to last more than 100 burned discs. I used to burn 100 discs at a time across different DVD drive manufacturers, and the LGs would always fail. So good luck with that drive being operational in 20 years. If the media plays in any device, then you only have to have to worry about the truth in the claim, and there being a drive around that will read it in 20 years.

Optical has been around as long as HDD, but there are optical formats that can no longer be read by a modern system. But a 10 MB IBM AT HDD could still be read today with the right connecting cables (if it still worked.)

I think a mirrored external HDD would be better and cheaper. Even if the USB standard goes away, you can alway disassemble the enclosure and get an adapter to directly interface the HDD. There are newer file systems like REFS that continually check for bad blocks and help with bit rot. But you do need to leave REFS online in order for it work. So a pair of 10GB RED drives in REFS mirror for near term archive storage, and mirrored 10TB shelf copy or NAS separate from the main system would be best. Then migrate every 5 years to the latest tech via network.


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Dave Haynie
Re: Viable option/use for M-DISC ?
on Sep 18, 2017 at 1:51:09 pm

I absolutely recommend M-Disc. I use BDXL M-Disc for critical archival. Obviously, it has not been around 30 years, but you are better off with a non-organic disc than organic.

M-Disc uses a proprietary HTL (high to low) technology, where the disc surface is naturally reflective, the written pits make it non-reflective. This is the opposite of the organic dye discs. They're LTH, the laser zaps an area of dye, clearing it to reveal the reflective layer below. Problem is, over time the dye can fade where its expected to not fade.

Even standard HTL Blu-ray is more reliable than organic dye based discs. The HTL Blu-ray is a layer of silicon and a layer of copper, which starts out reflective. The laser melts the two together, making it non-reflective. But watch out! This was the original BD-R formulation, but the folks with organic dye- based technology added an LTH version of BD-R, cheaper but subject to the same fading issues.

-Dave


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Francois Blawat
Re: Viable option/use for M-DISC ?
on Sep 18, 2017 at 5:45:14 pm

Thank you both for replying and sharing your views.

My next step will be to look for an Optical drive that does not use a drive belt that is made out of rubber. Hopefully there are drives based on gears only and no rubber parts. I had an older JVC VCR & Technics Turntable where both of them had disintegrated drive belts.

Thanks again!

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FixitMad


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