Can the New CD-R Last 300 Years?

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

I just read about a new CD-R (recordable) from Kodak that is supposed to safely store data for 300 years. I’m aware that a conventional CD-R’s surface oxidizes, making it unreliable after about 10 years. So what’s your take on this 300-year claim?

Your guess is as good as mine. Kodak is a reliable company. It says a 24-karat gold surface protects the surface against oxidation and that it tested the product by accelerating the aging process. I guess the only irrefutable way to test the claim is to wait 300 years.

Short of that, I play it safe by skipping CD-Rs for long-term data storage. In addition to the oxidation risk, they are susceptible to surface scratches (even with a gold surface). I prefer to store my data on removable (remote) hard disks—and even then I opt to replace them every few years as technology advances.

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