Saturday, January 15, 2011

Preservation Tip of the Month--Care and Management of CD-ROMs/DVDs

From the Genealogy Gems newsletter (No. 82, December 31, 2010) published by the Fort Wayne Library:

During the holidays, you’ve likely took a number of digital pictures, and perhaps even exchanged information electronically with a family member. As your thoughts turn to backing up that data and you plan to use CD-ROMs or DVDs, we have a couple of common-sense tips for you.

*Use a soft marker to label the disks.

*If you're going to use a label, use one that covers the surface evenly. Don't use something like a return address label, as it will make the disc off-balance in today's high-speed drives, causing damage to the disc and/or the drive.

*Burn more than one copy, and store a copy in a different location than the computer. If your house burns down, the back-up disk doesn't do you any good if it was laying next to the computer.

*Check your media periodically, perhaps once every six months. If something is wrong, immediately burn another copy from one of the other backup disks.

*Use only high-quality media. In most cases, you do get what you're paying for.

*Don't use re-writable CDs or DVDs. The chemical process that allows the recording media to be written onto repeatedly is not as stable over the long term.