PC Hardware forum

General discussion

how long do dvds last?

by kin3200 / August 17, 2007 5:47 PM PDT

with a burn like this, will the dvd+r still be readable 3 years from now? currently it's readable on the burner and another plain dvd drive though it's also lite-on branded.

if not, then how long will it be before the data disappear?

my disc contains pure data, no videos, burnt with maxell 8x dvd+r (bcn award 2005)

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: how long do dvds last?
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: how long do dvds last?
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 -
if maintained properly...
by ramarc / August 18, 2007 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: how long do dvds last?

manufacturers claim dvd+r and dvd-r all have media life spans in excess of 100 years; dvd+rw and dvd-rw are rated at 50 years but the life span decreases with the number of burns.

Collapse -
by kin3200 / August 18, 2007 1:05 PM PDT

i take extreme care when handling my disc, not a scrach nor exposed to sunlight nor too hot or too cold, as for my burn quality, was it terrible? if so, will it decrease the number of years my dvd+r will last?

many thanks

Collapse -
disc lifespan
by ramarc / August 19, 2007 5:46 AM PDT
In reply to: well

your quality graphs look ok but the burn quality doesn't affect the media lifespan. over time, the media substrate (reflective surface which the laser 'burns' into) can degrade. but if you stick with good media and keep the discs out of sunlight and avoid excess scratches, your discs will still be readable long after you've forgotten what's on them.

i have cd-rs from the mid 90s (10 years ago) and most are still fine. but the foil substrate on some of the cheapies has started to peel and flake.

Collapse -
by kin3200 / August 20, 2007 11:26 PM PDT
In reply to: disc lifespan

most ppl perfer vibertims and they're the most realiable media out there, is that correct?

Collapse -
Good question
by santuccie / August 24, 2007 12:18 PM PDT
In reply to: thanks

I don't claim to know who makes the best optical discs, but it's pretty widely accepted that Verbatim makes the best floppies. Memorex's CDs and DVDs (definitely not their cassettes, though) have never failed me, but neither have HP's, and I've been using them since Big Lots! has been selling spindles cheaper than I've gotten them anywhere else (with the exception of last-in-stock sales). I have experienced occasional problems with Sony, Teon, and almost all the off-brands.

I imagine there might be someone here whose experience might stand almost contradictory to my own, but this has been my own experience. Don't know if this helps, but I hope it does. Salute!

Collapse -
Additional Information
by gluttner / August 25, 2007 9:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Good question

The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and other
organizations have done several studies on this question.
If you search the CNET forums, there are several threads about this issue.
Bottom line is use the best media you can afford and keep it dry, temperate
and dust free. Some concerns are whether software will be able to read
these "ancient" files in 50 to 100 years. That was discussed when 5 1/4
inch diskettes were the norm (Won't mention the old 8 inch ones). Below
is one site, I have not researched the NIST papers for awhile.


Collapse -
by gluttner / August 25, 2007 9:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Additional Information

Here is the NIST 500-252 Guide for Handling CDs and DVDs for librarians if you are interested to that extent.


Collapse -
Thank you!
by santuccie / August 25, 2007 2:17 PM PDT
In reply to: NIST

Cool information. As far as caring for my discs goes, I pretty much have that down. It's usually been during the initial burning process that the duds have revealed themselves (which is a fortunate thing). I was rather surprised the first time I had a Sony fail me, and even more so when the film in another one disintegrated near the center!

Never, before taking Computer Science 11, had I known of such a floppy. Among the nostalgia our instructor had to show us were a reel, a rather cumbersome-looking 40 MB hard drive (I can't remember whether it had four platters or eight), and a 9" floppy that held 128 bytes! Not kilobytes, bytes!!! :S

Collapse -
care and watchful of the case for the DVDs / CDs
by Chief.ADFP / August 27, 2007 8:24 PM PDT
In reply to: NIST

should keep this in mind as will

paper sleave cover case for DVD/CD will work, but don't drop them.

DVD/CD plastic case of all types, they should fit into it nicely and not like a rock were the center hold them maybe too tight and may crack the CD/DVD center out.

there been a lot of DVD/CD case badly made were they push outwards center hole of the DVD/CD too much and crack the DVD/CD. if you have to fight to remove a CD/DVD from the case best replace the case with another one.

beside sides doing the normal thing in handling & care of the DVDs or CDs.

Collapse -
by rmf / September 7, 2007 10:21 PM PDT
In reply to: thanks

Many years ago I had some important stuff on 8" Verbatim floppies. They became unreadable quickly. I have never used anything Verbatim again and I have not lost anything again. FYI

Collapse -
How Long do DVD s last?
by abduljabbarpm / September 2, 2007 5:43 PM PDT
In reply to: how long do dvds last?

I am using CDs from 1995. I have sticked good CD Label and it prevents the CDs from scractches. Still now the CDs are working.
But DVD I have labelled it. I have no idea about the life time.
Hope it will work like the CDs.

Collapse -
DVD burning How long would it last?
by raymondo31 / September 7, 2007 1:25 PM PDT
In reply to: how long do dvds last?

Depending on how you burn them! Throwing the disc into a very hot fire, I would estimate about 5 seconds !

Collapse -
DVD's last as long as you want
by johncon / September 8, 2007 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: how long do dvds last?

It depends on the disc, program and content. I've had movies start to deteriorate after 5 times viewing. Pictures, some data files seem to last longer. As well the burning software makes a difference. Some video burning software seems better at retaining data integrity. Not sure why, but after numerous burns some files seem to hold together.
Even the reader plays a difference. Some DVD players interact better with some burnt DVD's than others.

Rule #1 - you USUALLY get what you paid for. I've picked up no-name blank spindles for a good deal but they haven't lasted long. Some swear by Verbatim (at usually at a higher price).

You can check here: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdmedia for a reader survey of what dvd media works best.

In any event - this 50+ years is true - if you keep it locked up and away from heat/humidity/dust. But if you want to use the DVD's from time to time, I'd say make a back-up the more frequently you use it and make sure you verify to ensure full successful copy.

Collapse -
what about the readers?
by shadzofsilver / September 9, 2007 12:10 AM PDT
In reply to: how long do dvds last?

A fact that most people miss is that an invincible dvd is useless if there's nothing to play it. The question is, if you can get your dvds to last 50-100 years, will there be a dvd player and compatible display around to play them in? Take for instance the early cylindrical phonographs (if there's a real name for them, I don't know it). My grandfather has some, they've lasted a very very long time, but the problem is that the player didn't hold up so well. Remember, this is with an analog signal, so you don't have to deal with different formats. Playing back an analog signal from a record is a whole lot easier than resurrecting an "ancient" digital one. Do you have an 8 inch floppy drive?

While dvd players could be manufactured again in the future, just as cylindrical phonograph players sometimes are, I think it's worth mentioning that you'll need to have a reader as well as the media.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

This is all the iPhone 8 reports and rumors in one place. From a 5.8-inch OLED display, reports of wireless charging and even a 3D scanner for facial recognition, it's all here.