[rescue] Backups

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Sat Jun 18 17:25:33 CDT 2005

Wed, 15 Jun 2005 @ 10:11 -0500, Mike Hebel said:

> Someone generated the quantum flux that came across as... Jeffrey Nonken
> > Speaking of backups. Do any of you know if backups to DVD+R/RW are
> > feasable, and reliable? I've made one failed attempt, but it was on a
> > cheap DVD writer using some fairly old software.
> I've tried it once and I've had friends try it at other times.  Neither
> one of us could get it to work more than once or twice.  The biggest issue
> was obviously buffer underruns.  Tried it with Nero and Roxio both.  I
> don't think the technology is there yet.

It's there, it's just that a lot of companies are cutting corners
because the market doesn't (yet) care much about quality versus speed
and price.  Very few consumers think much about media being read again
in five years, or even next year for that matter.  Most don't even do

As far as drives go:

There are only about three or four DVD writers that write with
consistent quality.  I can't remember the URL right now, but there are a
group of guys that are just nuts enough to put drives through the full
Plextor write/read test suite, reporting the results.

Many CD and DVD burners do very poorly.  Basically the tests write data
patterns, and then measure the signal strength upon reading.

Given that some drives perform very good, it's obvious that the market
does not yet take quality seriously.  The CD/DVD media is often pretty
bad too, so a little reading about media issues helps a bunch.  The
better drives can handle "bad" media, the lesser drives either can't or
write data that cannot be read back reliably.

And yes, manufacturers play firmware games to try and win benchmarks.

In any case, based upon signal analysis from Plextor's software, I
picked out an NEC 3520A.  It's a solid performer all around.  There were
only about 4 different drives that had consistently high signal quality.

Of course, my basic opinion on CD/DVD/whatever "burning" is that it is a
hokey hacked up mess.  I think the whole burn process is inconvienient
and, for many applications, impractical.

We need media that works more like disk and tape.

The most obvious problem being the fact you must have an image the size
of the media.  If you don't, then you cannot use a burner for backup at

The other problem is how terrible most software is at multi-volume
CD/DVD backups, in the rare cases where it is supported.

> Just my $.02 worth - your data should hold the same importance or more
> than corporate data to you.  


I bristle any time someone refers to corporate data as highly important
while dismissing my own.

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than
the sage amongst his books For to you kingdoms and their armies are mighty
and enduring,  but to him they are but toys of the moment to be overturned
by the flicking of a finger." - anonymous     ]

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