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Media life expectancy

  1. Feb 3, 2004 #1
    ::Doesn't know if this should go in hardware or software::

    Hi all!

    What is the life expectancy of current media (CD-RW, DVD, etc.)?
    How was an estimate reached?

    Any info on discs with life expectancy of 1,000-100,000 thousand years would be greatly appreciated.

    Any links appreciated by defaut.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2004 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Existing media have a life expectancy of up to about 50 years, but it varies. I believe they test it by exposing the media to increased radiation, since its radiation that makes them deteriorate (so if you keep them out of the sun they'll last longer).

    As far as keeping something for thousands of years, you'd need it to be engraved on a metal disk. Something like the record that went on Voyager.
  4. Feb 4, 2004 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Ya, cd's don't last to long. I generally use memorex cdrs, and some of the first cd's I burnt are now starting to wear out. Of course the stay in my car pretty much year round, inside of a black cd holder. So the heat gets pretty intense. The disk itself stays intact pretty well, but the outside coating starts to flake off and its pretty much useless.
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