Flash Drive v CD's

  Enoch 07:04 15 Jan 2006

I have always backed up all my personal data onto CD-RW's, rotating use over three CD's, meaning that I have 3 back-ups in date order. Can I use a USB2 Flash drive in the same way. Advice please.

  SG Atlantis® 09:53 15 Jan 2006

I suppose you could. I back up a few files I regularly use to a pen drive.

I chose the external hdd method for backing up the whole system.

  Diemmess 10:12 15 Jan 2006

Its a personal thing, no one answer suits everyone.
I'm suspicious of any CD RW method because it seems this is the least reliable of storage media, though you are using 3 disks in rotation and would presumably have a warning if a disk became unreadable.

For me it is extra HDs, both internal and external.- Over the top for some.

A pen drive is so useful anyway, but strikes me as vulnerable (to loss) and fairly expensive for backup purposes.
But I said - its personal

  Enoch 11:00 15 Jan 2006


Thanks. I back-up only my personal info and as you noted; 3 disc's in rotation. Am I correct in saying that with an external hard-drive I would have to have more than one, just to get the protection I have now "over three discs" (if one is corrupted I still have two others).

Please correct me if I am wrong as I have never investigated an external hard drive.

  Diemmess 11:18 15 Jan 2006

No to needing more than one extra HD. Immediately this is the weakness of using a HD for this purpose. No method is infallible (Sod's Law). Just that HDs by and large have an immense m.t.b.f.
Your CD solution particularly with 3 disks rotated has the advantage of cheapness, some of which is lost if you use the plain R version which tends to be a more stable medium.

You might find a freebie backup program useful. Thanks to this forum, I'm using it daily but cannot find the link until I've posted this. (Will add it as a PS)

  Diemmess 11:25 15 Jan 2006

Here it is
click here
It allows me to choose what data I wish to backup, and where to save it.
Since it can be configured to ignore unchanged files, once the program has been run, any subsequent run is very quick indeed

  Enoch 11:52 15 Jan 2006


I note that you seem to be suggesting that I use CD-R not CD-RW. Am I correct? You suggest that it is more stable than CD-RW. Is "RW" not as good because of the rewriting as opposed to the R, which once it is finalized it is secure. Please be so kind as to confirm. I have never thought the RW as being a possible problem simply because it is re-writable

  Enoch 11:53 15 Jan 2006

By the way, I use "Easy CD Creator" and have done for sometime without any problems

  Diemmess 12:36 15 Jan 2006

Like I said these are my personal views.
Overall if something works for you then don't rush in to anything else without a lot of thought first.
Topics in this forum tend to be cyclical.
When a topic becomes popular there is always a flare of posts split between those who swear by a particular thing and those that swear at it.

About a year ago there was an interesting discussion on the quality of CD blanks. There was a website from some (Canadian?)research which graded CD by manufacturer and the big names that seemed to use that source.
Tested by artificial ageing in warmth and 'sunlight' the results varied from excellent to a few that wouldn't even 'replay' when freshly burned.

Obviously the majority had a useful life, but were not certain to be readable after a few years.

CDRW has enormous attraction because of being able to drag, drop, delete etc, but perhaps because of the different and delicate construction, a lot of members of this forum seem to avoid using them.

Which of course raises the question what is a reliable medium, and in "X" years what equipment will be able to read stuff made many years before!

Back to vellum and indian ink?

  ade.h 16:01 15 Jan 2006

RAID array, CD-RWs and USB memory sticks in my case.

I must be unusual because I have never in four years of use had a CD-RW fail. Apart from an abortive attempt to use Imation CD-RWs, I have always used TDK. The Imations should have been as good as the CD-Rs, which are made by Tayo-Uden, but they just would not write at the correct speed. My TDKs have been faultless, but have fallen out of favour against memory sticks and DVD-RAM.

  ade.h 16:03 15 Jan 2006

Should add that the Imations were fine if it wasn't for the speed issue - I only returned them because they maxxed out at 4x in a 16x drive. The TDKs have always burned at maximum speed.

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