How to protect your precious Digital files
Remember when do -it-yourself CDs and DVDs first came out? The manufacturers were claiming that these bits of plastic were fantastic for archival storage .
“Fantastic Plastic. Last for Ever.”
That was the catch-cry on the boxes. “The best solution ever.”
But what did we quickly find out about the reality of the situation?
First of all CDs.
Who would have thought that the tiniest scratch on the wrong part of the disk would make the whole thing unreadable?
Who would have thought that by a miniscule moment of careless handling a never to be repeated memory would be gone forever?
What about DVDs ?
Look at that, we could put about 8-9 times as much information on a DVD as we could on a CD.
Think of all the space we could save.
What a wonderful invention. A real solution to the hundreds and hundreds of CDs we have hanging around the place.
The reality of the situation was that within a very short space of time complaints were starting to be heard about un-readable media. Oxidation was taking its’ toll. A lot of DVds about a year old were just unreadable. Not damaged, not scratched, not cracked but just useless.
This is a reality of life:
- EVERY CD will not work a few years from now.
- EVERY DVD will not work in even a shorter time.
- EVERY computer will break down.
- EVERY hard drive will not work.
So what do we do now to protect your digital files?
Our suggestion is something very simple but relies on a very small effort regularly. What we advise every couple does when they receive a DVD or CD of files from us is to put a very simple routine in place and stick to it.
The steps are as follows
1. When you receive the disk from us, load it in on to at least one computer immediately.
2. Burn another copy, date it and put it away safe.
3. On the anniversary of the occasion, burn one copy and date it. Put it away safe.
It works like this. Just in case your computer breaks down and is unusable or your hard drive goes to hard drive heaven, (usually landfill), you will have the newest copy burnt on to removable media that is less than a year old. As soon as the computer/ hard drive is replaced , copy the LATEST CD/DVD burn on to the hard drive. So you will at that stage be back at step one as listed above.