How many years will a DVD last?

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
I am wondering how many years a DVD stored at room temprature will last? And, what is the most archival medium today?

Tim Kolb

New member
I think that current "conventional" knowledge says around ten years...

In my experience, it also depends on the heat the disc was exposed to while writing and if there are certain types of labels on them.

My Windows laptop gets hot...very hot. It's a 3.2 desktop processor and it has 2 Gigs of RAM and a 60 Gig x2 RAID. I've had DVDs that colleagues have burned and stuck a label on delaminate in my drive. Also, I suspect the discs I burn won't last as a disc burned in a Centrino or an Apple laptop as neither one of those get nearly as hot.

Part of the question on archiving is whether or not the equipment will be around to recover the content when the time comes...

I used a device called a "Floptical disk" in the early 90s. It was a 3.5" floppy disc that tracked optically on one side of the disc and wrote/read content on the other could get 21 MBs on a specialized 3.5" floppy disk! In the early 90's, that was a lot of space and enough to archive many graphics projects. Now, in 2005, who's ever heard of a "Floptical" disk?

...the archived disks are in wonderful shape however.