Using DVDs as USB Storage over Portable/External Hard Drives?

My portable drive went out yesterday....I took off as many files as I could but still lost like 60 GB worth....I put all the files I could get off on DVDs, i didn't burn them, I used the "USB" like storage option so at any time I can take them off the disk and put them on my desktop or whatever.

My question is...DVDs...last keep them in a baggy together and don't leave them laying around...your good to go right? DVDs last years....The portable drive lasted me 3 fkng months...and I lost so much sh1t. Why use Portable/External Drives...something that can go out any time and fk you over, instead of DVDS...drag....drop...put away in a safe kept for years. What do you all think?


How is it that thumb drives and external drives last longer than DVDs? I have DVDs laying around my house that have been lasting for over 10 years....I just left a site where people had put 800GB worth of files on their external drives just for it to fk them over in 10 months and now they have nothing...and about apple, i'm using Windows so I guess I don't have to worry about that.

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
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    I'm not sure what the USB thing is. I would burn regular DVDs. But if you are burning the stuff to DVDs and can get it back, then I guess the format doesn't matter.

    DVDs last a long time if you put them in envelopes and keep them out of the sun. I have stuff from years ago that I still have on CDs and DVDs. You can keep them in jewel cases or other plastic cases, but the paper envelopes with the round windows in them are cheaper and take up less room.

    EDIT: The other guy suggested thumb drives. Thumb drives are more expensive, and also they're harder to organize and store. Thumb drives are for stuff you need to carry around in your pocket, or to move stuff from one computer to another.

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  • 7 years ago

    Portable DRIVES... I don't trust. Portable SSD drives... those you can trust much more as they don't have "heads" and platinum plated plates that can collide with one another if you bump the drive.

    I prefer MicroSD cards, actually. They're VERY small (fingernail) and store (currently) up to 32 gigs per chip, they're rather inexpensive and don't require lugging a power supply around.

    DVDs can hold up to 4GB per disc (9GB for the more expensive dual-layer) and take a good deal of time to burn 9 gigs. Copying 9 gigs over to SD cards takes a fraction of the time and you don't worry about sunlight, scratches, etc. nearly as much.

    Secondly, CRYSTAL (burnable) DVDs do NOT have a "Years" shelf life. Some cheaper brands tend to flake their crystal layer after merely a year or two while others burn very shallow where only the computer which burned it (the drive, actually) tends to be able to read it again.

    DVD-RW media has the same inherent flaws as DVD +/- R however they're erasable. Like the SD or other "memory pen" method, you can erase "up to so many times" before the media fails. (a 4GB DVD/RW can be erased a few hundred times - memory chips more into the 10,000 range for good brands.)

    If you choose the DVD route, NO... DO NOT use baggies to store them!!! The plastic itself from the baggie CAN and generally WILL actually scratch the DVD surface like a buffing pad and cause a haze which the DVD reader will have a challenge with. There are paper and fabric "envelopes" if you're looking for an inexpensive method, though yes, it's more expensive than a box of zip-locks.

    If you choose the SD Memory route, a "folder" about the size of a small remote control is recommended to store and organize your chips. (They come in little plastic boxes - slap a label on the container for what's on the chip.) Due to their size, they are VERY easy to misplace if you're not careful.

    SD memory (Class 6) tends to run an average of $0.70 per gig and (Class 10 - faster) around a buck a gig. A blank DVD (4GB) runs what... $0.50? (Less if purchased in bulk.) Consider the time (to burn) and risks imposed with any CD/DVD media and the lack of being able to use the blank more than once... then consider a 4GB SD card ($3 or so for Class 6, $4 or so for Class 10) which is FASTER than DVD and much fewer risk AND can be reused.

    40GB on DVD = 100 Blanks = around $25 for decent brand media

    40GB on SD = 3x 16GB chips = around $30 for Class 6 which is still faster than DVD and erasable

    The price versus time versus risk factors say Digital Media (CD/DVD) is good, but Solid State is always better.

    Hope this helps!

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  • 7 years ago

    One good reason to use flash media and external hard drives is that it's much quicker than having to burn a new CD every time. There's rewritable DVDs but flash and external HDs are also a lot more portable as well. When they do crap out though.... Yes, they certainly do screw up your life. An obvious advantage of DVDs is price.

    Source(s): Been computing since floppy days and the sneaker net. :)
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  • 7 years ago

    It all depends on how much data you have to store & how large are the biggest files.

    Most DVDs can only hold up to 4.7GB of data (8.5GB with dual layer DVDs). Although this may seem a 'cheaper' and 'more secure' option, you may have a limited number of successful rewrites of data (on rewritable dics or not on standard discs), and the discs are prone to scratching (loss of data).

    USB Flash media & external HDDs are good as well. Just be careful with these though. Most external HDDs are still mechanical & can be broken rather easily (with a small fall). You can get ones these days that use SSDs (flash media similar to flash/thumb drives & don't have any moving parts), but these are very expensive (for a good quality drive). The major advantages of using external HDDs & flash media (thumb drives) is that of their capacity & fast read/write speeds.

    I use a mixture of the two. I use HDDs (internal & external) to store data, and do a lot of my backups with DVDs (important files though). I also use flash media (flash drives & SD cards) for separating special & highly required documents from each other, allowing me to resume these things if my computer was to fail. But with all of these measures, when something does go wrong you will lose data regardless. For your case you only lost 60GB out of 800GB. In my case, I lost 6TB out of 10TB of data. Was only able to recover 1TB of data though.

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  • 7 years ago

    Well DVDs are big and slower. Big problem is that apple officially announced that their laptops will not have a disk drive in the future. Also thumb drives/externals usually last longer. Just invest in a good one.

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  • 7 years ago

    The Library of Congress ran a study and found that, if properly stored, DVDs can last 30 years or more:

    That said, it's always good to have extra copies laying around. You should also check into the warranty on your portable drive, because they should last much longer than that if treated properly.

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