Philips DVD-R Yellows, Goes Bad

Attention: This content is 15 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading as its contents may now be outdated or inaccurate.

Today at work I needed some data off a DVD-R from about 3 years ago.  I shuffled through my stack of discs and located the one I needed.  Upon first glance I could tell it was aging because while other discs were still nice and silver, this once-silver disc was very very yellowed and gold-looking.  I didn’t think much of it until we tried to read the disc.

Nothing, nadda, zip, zero, zilch.  We tried 3 different machines and none of them would read the aged disc.

I’m a bit disappointed in Philips’ quality here.  This disc was only around 3 years old, and in my opinion was way too new to have gone bad already!  What a let-down from the Philips brand name.  I can’t say I have bought any of their discs since then, and I’m glad.  I’ll be sure to avoid their media products from now on.  I have other memorex discs from approximately the same era, and they were still perfectly fine.

Below is a picture showing the bad Philips DVD on the right next to a nice good silver disc on the left.


Luckily the data on the disc was unimportant and archived else where, but never the less there is an important lesson to be learned here.

Never use recordable disc media for archival purposes.  This disc was not mistreated, and was not left out in the sunlight.  It was stored in a stack of ~15 other discs.  Recordable media is a great way to transport or play your files, but it should never be used for archiving or backups.  Besides, with how filthy dirt cheap hard drives are, there is no good reason not to use hard drives as your backup medium.