Improving The Longevity Of CD-Rs
Thanks to feedback from our readers, we have compiled a list of tips on improving the longevity of your CD-Rs. Check them out! Remember, if you have more tips, just let us know!
Good Burners, Slower Burns
It is important to get a high-quality CD/DVD writer that has a strong laser and good optics. An improperly burned CD-R may pass muster right after being burned but it may not be readable after some time.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that writing at a lower speed improves the quality of the burn, allowing the disc to be read in poorer CD/DVD drives, and possibly a higher chance of the CD-R staying readable for a longer time.
According to Kodak, the optimal conditions for long-term storage for both CDs and DVDs are a low temperature range of 4-20 °C with a relative humidity level of 20-50%.
Unfortunately, over here in Malaysia, the daily temperature is more like 30-32 °C with a humidity of 70-90%. Hardly ideal for long-term storage. To improve things, I keep my discs in an air-conditioned room, away from direct sunlight. The air-conditioning keeps the humidity level low and the ambient temperature around 25-28 °C.
Gold Vs. Silver
Kodak also recommends a gold metal reflective layer, because gold is an inert metal and will not oxidize. On the other hand, gold is less reflective than silver, so you may experience reading problems with certain drives.
Like vampires, CD-Rs also hate sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight will rapidly destroy even the most stable phthalocyanine dye, rendering the CD-R unreadable. In other words, sunlight = death for CD-Rs.
CD labels are a big no-no for long-term storage, as the adhesives used may degrade the recording surface. Over time, they can also shrink and cause the discs to warp. If you are using standard permanent marker pens (that are usually xylene- or toluene-based), they are also not good for your CD-Rs as they may degrade the recording surface. It's best to use alcohol-based permanent marker pens.
Support Tech ARP!