Are you burning important data to CD or DVD?
According to a recent article in Popular Mechanics, experts at IBM Germany claim that once your data has been burned to a disc, the disc may fail after two to five years. Even though CD manufactures claim longer lifespans, studies have shown that the process of writing to these discs (burning) causes the heat-sensitive dyes to start deteriorating.
I’ve been saving data to these media for years and have never had a problem, but I’ve always taken extra precautions by backing up to other, non-optical media – just in case.
If CDs and DVDs are your only source of backup, you should probably rethink your data protection strategy. Large external hard drives, by makers such as Maxtor and Seagate, are inexpensive, simple to install (no technical skills required), and will let you sleep without fear of loosing those important documents and irreplaceable family photos.