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Old 08-29-2008, 07:12 PM
bnh's Avatar
bnh bnh is offline
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DVD backups

I'm a fairly new Sage devotee and still getting used to configuring and customizing it, but feel pretty good about it so far. Anyway, this post isn't really about SageTV, but about my DVD backups that i've been making over time, thinking it was good insurance in case the originals got scratched.

As i am building my Sage DVD library, i am copying my backups into my video import folder and discovering that around 1 in 5 are not readable! Yet, my standalones mostly don't seem to have a problem playing them back (apart from the ones where the kids did indeed scratch them). I can always re-rip, but am curious why this is happening on my computer's DVD drives. Is it the media that i used or are my drives just too finicky? Bitrot? I consistently used Verbatim DVD+R blanks. I have three DVD burners and one DVD reader in two different computers and all cannot read the same disks when a file error is encountered, but three different standalone dvd players usually don't seem to mind.

it was just a little unexpected since we typically use the backups to watch, and now that i'm moving to SageTV, i discover too many... in my opinion... don't actually work on the computer! So now i'm really concerned about the home movies i captured off of the old analog video cameras onto the same kind of DVD media. I will attempt some of those tonight.

Any tried and true tricks like drive cleaning, or those scratch remover gizmos?
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:11 PM
bnh's Avatar
bnh bnh is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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looks like most of my home videos are CD-based, SVCD, CVD, WMV, etc... So i'm not seeing the same kind of errors as on the DVD's, although there has been one so far with a read error. Even with just one failed, the WAF is pretty low.
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:22 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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I have experienced the same problem with some older DVDs. I heard that burned DVDs my only last 2 - 5 years. The most reliable method is to use a USB hard drive to backup files. The store the USB hard drive disconnected from the computer. I store boot drive images and really important videos I don't want to loose.

You can also use RAID technology to protect your files. RAID technology does help, but you have to use multiple drives. RAID does fail from time to time if more than 1 drive drops (depending on the RAID level). Or, the RAID controller can fail. I've seen both types of failures at work where we have hundreds of servers and more than a thousand drives. Someday, I will add RAID to my home system to help the data protection, hopefully before one of my current video storage drives crashes.

At work, we backup to tape and copy files to SAN file servers to get the copies stored in an off-site location. For home use, tape is too expensive compared to USB hard drives.

If you have to use DVDs, you can improve the odds protecting the files by chopping the large files into smaller segment sizes. If there are hundreds of smaller file segments on multiple DVD copies, then the chance of the same part of separate DVDs going bad is reduced. Athough, if you really want more dependable file protection, I think using USB hard drives is the best answer. If you really need even more dependable file storage, then make at least two copies on at least two separate USB hard drives. Keep at least one set of USB hard drives at another location. You could also transfer the data over the Internet to another location, but the internet provider may not allow you to transfer that much data, and your pipe has to be pretty large to move many gigs of data.

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