Backup to DVD+/-R/RW
Wether one uses a DVD+/-R/RW for backups, everyone has to decide for themselves. But both DVD+ or DVD- formats are equally unsuitable for backups, let alone archiving! If you want your backups on DVDs, you should refrain from using DVD+ or DVD- and use the DVD-RAM instead.
DVD+ and DVD- were developed as multimedia discs. Their biggest drawback is their susceptibility to scratches and corrosion. Fast drives can also damage cheap and poorly balanced discs. With movies or music tracks, one bit-error would be hardly noticeable, but in a data backup, it can mean a total failure.
Backup to DVD-RAM
Among recent DVD combo drives there are some that additionally support DVD-RAMs. The only thing which DVD-RAMs have in common with DVD+/-R/RWs is the capacity and the phase-change recording method. The DVD-RAM technique is the only DVD recording method which has been developed for data archiving right from the beginning. The medium of choice for backup and archiving!
With a suitable driver, a DVD-RAM can be used just like a removable hard drive and can be re-written up to 100,000 times. Z-DBackup can write to a DVD-RAM without any other burning software such as our Z-DataDVD module. To automatically write backups to DVD+/-R/RW, you need to have Z-DataDVD installed.
Windows versions from XP upwards can read an write a DVD-RAM which is formatted with UDF or FAT32. Windows XP can only write to a DVD-RAM with FAT32, but Windows Vista and 7 can also write to UDF-formatted DVD-RAMs. A FAT32-formatted DVD-RAM should not be used with Z-DBackup, however. The reason is the maximum backup file size of 4 GB in the FAT32 format.
If a backup archive larger than 4 GB is created on a FAT32-formatted DVD-RAM, Z-DBackup doesn't prompt the user to exchange the medium and the backup will be aborted! To avoid this, a DVD-RAM must be formatted with the UDF 1.5 or even better UDF 2.0 file system. A UDF driver is necessary to format a DVD-RAM. Such a driver is usually included with most DVD-RAM drives.
Burn Backup to DVD+/-RW
If your DVD drive does not support DVD-RAMs, you can also burn your backups to DVD+/-RW mediums. However, it has been proven that this practice is not completely free of issues. In any case, use Z-DataDVD's feature to automatically verify the integrity and completeness of the backup archive after burning!
With Z-DataDVD it is possible to automatically burn archives created with Z-DBackup to a CD or DVD after backup, i.e. the backup is always created on a local hard drive first and then burned to a removable medium. Optionally, the backup archive can be automatically verified before or after burning.
The program Z-DataDVD supports:
DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, CD-R and CD-RW
Through the combination of Z-DBackup and Z-DataDVD, a great number of backup strategies can be realised. This makes them an ideal backup tool for personal as well as professional use!
Burn Backup to CD, DVD, Blu-Ray
Recordable CD-ROMs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs become unusable when the data layer is exposed to sunlight. But data loss can occur even in shadowy environments. In an elaborate laboratory test, recordable and rewritable mediums of 17 manufacturers were exposed to UV rays equivalent to 200 hours of sunlight. After that, one quarter of the tested discs exhibited data corruption. Some couldn't be read with normal drives, and the surface was severely faded. Depending on the field of application, data on such destroyed mediums can still partly be useful. In multimedia files, there might be parts which are recoverable; in a compressed backup file however, usually the whole backup is destroyed.
Therefore: Always store DVDs in their regular cases!