Disc-based media backup question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Carabimero, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. 1 Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
    Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    I use a combination of external drives and discs to back up my data of stuff I can't just go out and buy again if my sources go bad. Every five years I make new disc backups from the external drives. The last time was 2012, so I figure it's time to make new discs, since the material can only be properly enjoyed on disc (special features, commentaries, etc.).

    I'm not sure why I do it. Discs I burned 10 and even 15 years ago still work fine. But I am of the opinion that the more backups I have, the less chance I will lose anything. External drives can go bad in a blink. A disc that plays fine one day may not work the next time I try it. With VHS, the tape was always there, physically. Barring a freak magnetic field, there was a stability I did not question. I don't feel the same way about external drives and discs.

    So my question is: am I over killing my disc backups? I use high quality Phillips media, but I'm not sure it matters as the new ones could have been sitting on the shelf longer when I bought them than the old ones. Even in cool dry conditions the new ones could go bad before the ones I burned ten years ago.

    So what's your take on backing up on disc--and periodically making new backups--of data that is irreplaceable?
     
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  2. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    It would probably be easier to just create a redundant hard drive. Burning disks is time consuming and is more prone to errors. I use a Drobo and then keep a backup on a set of bare SATA drives that I access through a dock. It's inexpensive and very safe. The Drobo acts as network accessible storage and has dual disk protection as well. If one or two of the five drives in the Drobo fail, it can recreate the data from the other drives, so it would take an act of God to destroy my data.
     
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  3. 3 Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Back in the day when I use to bother backing up my data, I used several different formats such as external hard drives, burning cdr/dvdr discs, flash drives, memory cards, etc ... largely as redundancy.

    After many years of doing this, I came to the realization most of my data was largely useless stuff. So I separated the wheat from the chaff, and ended up with a very small data pile which I realized would be easier to just print out on paper. (Mostly important documents). But nevertheless, I still kept several backups of this small data pile on several different hard drives, flash drives, etc ... (I don't bother burning cdr/dvdr/bdr discs anymore for data backup).

    The only dvdrs I still bother burning nowadays, is for operating system backups. Mostly on my older computers which I still use semi-regularly. (My newer computers typically use flash drives for the operating system backups).
     
  4. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Nevertheless, if I were to backup tons of data nowadays, I would use several external hard drives and high capacity flash drives replicating my data in triplicate (or more) on different drives.
     
  5. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Also unfortunately the last remaining manufacturer of decent dvdr discs (Taiyo Yuden), ended up selling their operation to one of the worst dvdr disc manufacturers (CMC), around a year ago.

    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-home-theater-gear/630535-horrible-news-cmc-bought-ty-jvc.html


    With such lousy quality nowadays, it's not even worthwhile anymore to use dvdr discs for data backup (ie. crap made by CMC such as Verbatim).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMC_Magnetics


    So unless you still have a huge stash of Taiyo Yuden dvdr discs, and several older Plextor dvdr drives with the older Sanyo chipset (ie. they haven't been manufactured since 2006), then burning tons of dvdr discs is largely a losing game for longevity.
     
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  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Also current "newly manufactured" computer dvdr drives are largely crap nowadays for extensive burning. (Even Plextor, which for the past decade has been largely rebadged LiteOn manufactured drives with a "Plextor" name pasted on the front).

    Currently, there is only really three companies left which are still "sort of" manufacturing new dvdr drives: LiteOn, LG, and Samsung. Though technically Samsung TSST ceased operations earlier in 2016, and is going through the Korean equivalent of bankruptcy proceedings. (I don't know if Matshita is still manufacturing their lousy dvdr drives).

    Most other companies still in the dvdr drive business seem to be just "rebadging" stuff manufactured by LG or LiteOn, such as ASUS, Plextor, etc ...

    Extreme slim pickings nowadays.
     
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  7. 7 Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a huge tangent, on the ever shrinking optical drive market).

    Also what is very grating nowadays, is that LG is the only manufacturer which produces bluray computer drives which can read the 4Kbluray discs. (LiteOn and Samsung don't have any current models which read 4Kbluray discs. For that matter, LiteOn and Samsung were already half-assed when it came to bluray computer drives, which they don't really manufacture anymore).

    What's really lousy about LG's dvd/bluray computers drives, is that they when they encounter bad sectors on a movie dvd or bluray disc, they just play through the bad sectors and return back either all-zeros or useless junk data. (LG calls this "jam free play", which has existed in LG dvd/bluray drives for almost a decade). So unless your disc reading program is designed to recognize useless junk data in video sectors on dvd/bluray discs, then you have no idea whether an LG drive is reading and returning legitimate real data or just spewing out all-zeros + garbage data.

    So when checking dvd discs for manufacturing defects, I only use LiteOn and Samsung drives since they return back a read error when they encounter an unreadable bad sector. Though I'll use an LG drive for reading/watching a disc which I have previously checked and didn't find any bad sectors.
     
  8. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (More tangential rambling).

    Another reason why I'm somewhat reluctant to buy 4Kbluray, is that I don't entirely trust LG drives for checking 4Kbluray discs for bad sectors. Especially when the "jam free play" is triggered when the LG drive encounters bad unreadable sectors, and just returns back all-zeros or garbage data.

    It would be a different story if LiteOn or Samsung manufactured their own 4Kbluray drives.
     
  9. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (Some tangential background).

    I should provide some background, as to why I insist on immediately checking every newly purchased dvd and bluray discs for bad sectors due to manufacturing defects.


    Back in the late-1990s, my very first dvd purchase of Terminator 2 turned out to be defective. Around 15 to 20 minutes into the movie, it pixelated and abruptly froze in its tracks. This defective disc went back to the store immediately. This was when I knew dvds were not perfectly manufactured in regard to readability of all data sectors.

    Slightly earlier before this unfortunate event, I was thinking of jumping onto the dvd collecting "treadmill". But this defective T2 dvd very much abruptly changed my mind immediately. So I never jumped onto the dvd treadmill, until more than a decade later in 2011.

    For many years thereafter over almost the entire 2000s decade, I didn't know of any easy ways of checking dvd discs for bad sectors due to manufacturing defects. (ie. I was somewhat "out of the loop" and going through an early mid-life crisis which was occupying my mind. So I wasn't thinking of dvds at the time). The only methods I knew of, were very tedious and time consuming on a linux machine.


    Fast forward to 2011, by then I figured out much easier ways of checking for bad sectors on dvds and blurays. Also by 2011, tons of good dvds and blurays were already $5 (or less) dump bin fodder.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I've moved this thread from the "Beginner's" forum to the "Computer" forum.

    I think it's the appropriate place for it and might allow it to command the appropriate attention.

    ============

    Alan: I can relate (and support) to Stephen's post about the positive nature of redundancy HDD backups. We had a drive go bad in one of our Drobo units at work recently and everything worked out great.

    The specific parameter of your question that intrigues me is that you say your data can only be "properly enjoyed on disc." Why is that? Can you not get data from a HDD to your display?

    Your description of your process does seem to reek of overkill. :D
     
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  11. 11 Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    Carabimero

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    Many of the special features do not exist in their final state except on disc. In other words, narrated slide shows, as one example, with multiple audio tracks, are all discrete elements until married on a DVD or BD with a menu that allows the user to combine certain audio tracks with certain images. To try and achieve that using the discrete data on a computer screen from an external drive would not be impossible, but would require so much tedious effort as to be unfruitful. There's the rub. All of the 18 DVDs I am taking extraordinary measures to protect combine numerous discrete elements as in the above example (multiple audio commentaries on features is another example).

    The data exist in 1) folders with all their discrete elements; 2) as fixed disc image files that can easily be burned as DVDs onto blank media; and 3) as media both in disc image files backed up on disc and in burned DVDs.

    I know I am overkilling and probably need an intervention (this thread was surely a cry for help!) but when it comes to these 18 DVDs, with irreplaceable material I have created since I was nine years old, I am not a rational person :)
     
  12. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    I don't know, I just checked my Verbatim DVD-R's from 2004 and so far they played beautifully.
     
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  13. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    Yes, the earliest burned disc I have is from 1998, and it still plays fine as well. But it's a crap shoot, as one discs I burned 5 years ago, on better media and equipment, recently failed.
     
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  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    So, then, do you just make duplicate copies of those 18 discs every so often as a sort of failsafe against loss?

    For those 18, making duplicate discs seems to be the way to go--based on your description. That's not an "overkill" scenario (since it's just 18 discs). Plus, you're saying that the old disc copies also still play fine.

    Couldn't you produce new final projects (export them) onto an HDD instead of onto a disc? I see you say it wouldn't be impossible, but I also don't understand why it would be any harder to combine the elements onto an HDD rather than a disc.
     
  15. 15 Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    Carabimero

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    Say you have 100 slides, ordered in six different configurations with six different audio commentaries (one per configuration). On a disc, the only space needed is for 100 images and 6 audio files. The space taken up is negligible for what is about an hour of apparent video because the DVD menus make ordering those easy for the user--and make them seem like six different videos. But how do you configure and view those from an HDD without rendering them as six discrete videos? Forgetting they would take up a lot of space that way, the time to configure each of those for 18 discs would be staggering.

    And that's just one example of how disc-based media can configure apparent video, as I am also dealing with multiple audio tracks for many different features. Those commentary tracks are not married to their video, so how do you pull them up and configure them (not to mention sync them) when using only an HDD?

    The configurations don't exist outside of the discs.

    P.S. To add to my dilemma, I must retain all the discrete files because only two days ago, I found some storyboards for my very first movie back in 1974, and it was no problem to scan them and add them to the storyboard section of that DVD. The menu was already there for it. I simply made a new image of the disc and burned an updated copy. But unless I keep all the discrete files, and their configurations, that kind of update would be impossible. And yet it is critical to me as the years pass because now all the material is organized together in a high quality state, so I don't have to keep track of disparate, physical elements.
     
  16. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    If you simply rip to a disk image and then archive the disk image on a hard drive, you can mount the disk right off the hard drive and it will play just like a burned disk on a computer or media server. You can even burn bit perfect copies to DVD media off the disk image.
     
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  17. 17 Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    Carabimero

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    Edit: Yes, I originally misread your post, but agree. But I still have to retain the discrete elements to make additions as they come up.
     
  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    If the entire disc is copied to a hard drive, there are many kinds of software, as well as hardware devices, that can play back that rip without it needing to be reburned to a disc. So you access it in exactly the same way you would when it's on the disc. You simply have your device read the file directory as if it were the disc. You don't re-render anything or re-do anything. It simply gets viewed as if it it's a disc.

    Looks like Stephen just posted the same thing.

    You need to extract the entire disc and keep the directory structure - we don't mean to rip a specific video and re-encode to a different format but to keep the entire disc. All DVD discs are authored with a folder called VIDEO_TS, and everything is in there. You want to create a copy of that folder, and that's actually "the disc" which can be loaded in software or hardware. When you load it up, it is the exact same as placing the disc into a player's drive.

    As for everything else - I think you're actually creating more backups than a lot of rights holders even do for their archival content. If you've got a primary version of the drive and then a backup, I think it's sufficient to check the hard drive every few years. Out of an abundance of caution, duplicating the hard drive every few years can't hurt, but I also don't think it's necessary to retain 10 different copies of it on ten different drives. Same with the DVD-R copies. If you've got a primary copy that works, and a backup copy that works, I don't think it's necessary to burn new backups each year. I think it's sufficient to check that the existing backups still work, and if so, you're fine.
     
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  19. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    Yes, I initially misread his post.

    Thanks for the comments, both of you.
     
  20. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Are they at least "made in japan" ?

    A decade ago it was a completely different game.

    The first time I saw Verbatim dvdr discs showing up at local dollar stores, that's when I knew it was the beginning of the end for Verbatim and other "rebadged" CMC manufactured discs.
     

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