Storage forum

General discussion

Do you still use recordable CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs to store data?

Do you still use recordable CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs to store data?

-- All the time.
-- Occasionally. (When do you use it?)
-- Very rarely. (When do you use it?)
-- No. (What do you use?)

Weigh in on this poll here:
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Do you still use recordable CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs to store data?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Do you still use recordable CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs to store data?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Flash Drive

is easier and don't have to worry about scratches.

Collapse -
Moving in the other direction

I did move photos to CDs and DVDs in the past. These days I'm reversing the trend. I buy large hard drives, copy back from the old CDs and DVDs, and have at least one full backup drive.

I encountered some data loss with the recordable media. Also it is easier to search a hard drive than locate things on dozens of disks. Hard drives are cheap.

Collapse -
Moving backwards ... (?)

In reply to: Moving in the other direction

When I started with my first PC (and I did get a PC because I needed a machine with a hard drive) a backup took about 70 diskettes. Years later I found that a full backup of my hard drive took about 70 CDs - I wasn't making headway.

Then, since there weren't any USB drives yet, I kept my old PC and added a second drive to it, which I used over a parallel port network to back up what was important on my main PC. Then I added a second drive to the main PC and had two levels of backup.

Nowadays, if I wanted to back up a multi-terabyte disk to optical disks I wonder how many blu ray disks it would take and what they would cost. I don't really care since I am not going to insert them all in the drive one after the other, anyway.

Now, thanks to USB 3.0, I can back up nicely onto hard drives at a reasonable cost, both financially and time-wise.

The other use for optical disks was to share data - replacing the diskettes that more and more often became irritating because they were rarely readable on another machine's drive. Nowadays we rarely ever see computers with diskette drives. To quickly burn some stuff to a CD - or one or more DVDs if it was something biggish - became second nature. But even that is the exception today, thanks to USB flash drives or real hard drives, or even a large-ish email attachment or dropbox entry.

As an "itinerant IT instructor" I keep a bunch of old 60-100 GB USB drives around to quickly share the required data at the start of the course. I can't imagine what I would be doing without those ...

No, a CD or DVD is only required if I want to leave the recipient with a permanent copy of whatever I am sharing.

Collapse -
I used to use them for all of my backups

Now I just use them a few times a year for backups. They are a good additional layer of protection. They are also portable, so I can store a backup somewhere else just in case I lose everything at home.

I always burn two copies of any backup I burn to CD or DVD. I store them in separate locations.

I make multiple backups of an initial OS installation and any clean installs. I also do occasional "deep cleans" of a system and then do multiple backups of that. I backup my private data both online and on disk once a year.

I find that optical media are reliable and inexpensive. I will not use RW media. Fortunately, though, now that I have sufficient hard drive space and online backup I don't have to go through massive amounts of optical media anymore.

I replace my disks completely once every 10 years by transferring the data to my computer, destroying the old disks, and reburning the data to optical disks after removing any obsolete data.

Collapse -

I do a couple of backups a year on DVD's , I don't keep a lot stored on my computer anyway so 4 maybe 5 of the 8.5 GB DVD's work well for me.

Collapse -

...I just started using Apple's Airport Time Capsule, and it seems to be working great.

Collapse -

I use old hard drives that are nearing the end of their life, but are still reliable enough to use as backups. I'm an amateur photographer, and also collect antique/vintage photos, and saving everything would require about 30 Blu-ray disks.

The backups are stored off-site, and I have two sets, which I alternate.

Collapse -
Optical media for storage

I used to store my most important files on RAM disc, because the rest have such a terrible failure rate. I put everything on hard drives that I have hooked up as externals. I will share files, movies or slide shows on DVD, but nothing that couldn't be lost or ruined.

Collapse -
Very rarely

This week I bought a set of DVD and CD RW for the first time in 2 years.

Since harddrives have gotten even more affordable, I have stopped using CDs. Cloud services also mean that I don't need to worry about my data being portable.
A few years ago I would have used CDs or DVDs to transfer data. Memory sticks were not cost effective, and I couldn't really give the data to someone.
But now I just upload the things to Google Drive and send a link per email.

The only reason I use the round discs are to either fix problems with an operating system, or to install one. Altough I try doing so with a USB key before hand, but it isn't always as fast and easy.
The other reason is when I want to transfer data with people/machines/security systems which are too outdated. Examples being company computer rooms, with the usb slots in the deep dark corner behind the desk, which is only reachable by contorting in to shapes that are worthy of the guiness book of records.

However I am still weary of the security of cloud services. If I had a large sensitive document that I wanted to share, I may use a CD for that.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Enter to win* a free holiday tech gift!

CNET's giving five lucky winners the gift of their choice valued up to $250!