Preferred type of DVD media to use for backups?

  Batch 16:57 16 Jan 2006

I'm about to use writeable DVDs for the 1st time.

The DVD writer supports the following:







My main use will be for back-ups (some long term and some to be rotated and therfore overwritten).

It seems to boil down to -R or +R for long term (or possibly +R DL). And -RW or +RW for rotation.

What are the "preferred" type of media to use for these purposes? Really comes down to is - or + better? I assume DVD-RAM is best reserved for use as a big floppy and so may not be the most appropriate.

  Mr Mistoffelees 17:10 16 Jan 2006

I currently use a DVD+RW for my usual back-up which gets refreshed when I remember. When I get a new drive, should be this week, I will use DVD+R DL to create a full system back-up for reinstallation when it all goes down the pan.

  DuffMiver 09:42 17 Jan 2006

Yeah, it would be good to know more about what's best to use for what purposes.

  keith-236785 10:10 17 Jan 2006

i have had some trouble with + format, i bought some cheap "datasafe" brand discs from a computer fair, backed up my system and about two months later when i try to access them i get a "data cyclical error" message and some files are not retrievable. got most of the data back but lost a few files. lesson to me to stick to what i know works rather than saving 50p on a spindle of 25.

all other + & - discs i have used have worked without fault so im going to put it down to bad luck or a bad batch etc.

i am currently using - format for backups just because i wont use the + discs i have got left.

Basically then i dont think there is any difference between the two.

  €dstowe 10:38 17 Jan 2006

I wouldn't even put my Tesco shopping list on a RW disk - whether DVD or CD.

For something as potentially important as a backup will be one day, it is essential to have it stored on something reliable - which RW media are not.

  Maturin 10:46 17 Jan 2006

IMHO, DVD RAM are the best for backups: more robust than other DVD formats as they can tolerate 100 000 rewrites apparently compared to the < 10 000 of other DVD formats.

  Batch 12:00 17 Jan 2006

You say that RW are not reliable - is there some report / definitive source that I can go to that gives some test results to back this up?

  €dstowe 13:23 17 Jan 2006

I'm writing from my own experience of these cursed things.

I think you'll find a number of members here have the same opinion.

So, to answer your question: no, I don't have any definitive report but, I would never take the risk with something as important as a backup.

  pj123 15:50 17 Jan 2006

Snap, I agree with €dstowe. I would never put any important data on to any type of RW disc.

My personal files/data/photo's backups are all put on to DVD-R (the cost is minimal against losing the data).

My system disk C: drive is cloned to another hard disk drive every 6 months which is then taken out of the computer and stored.

  freaky 16:32 17 Jan 2006

My own personal media would be DVD-RAM - provided of course that your DVD writer supports them, which according to your post it does.

I recently started using these with my DVD Recorder, and find them excellent. I am using the Panasonic make. Empire and Amazon were offering these very cheaply if you purchase on-line.

There main advantage is the ability to be written to 1,000's of times with 100% reliability as per Maturin's post above

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