The estimates range from 20 on the low end to 200 years for media such as CD/DVDs on the high-end under the ideal conditions. Given issues surrounding improper storage and varying qualities of manufacturing quality, you may find some of your backup becoming “worthless” in just a few years. Few, if any, life expectancy reports for these discs have been published by independent laboratories. An accelerated aging study at The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimated the life expectancy of one type of DVD-R for authoring disc to be 30 years if stored at 25°C (77°F) and 50% relative humidity.
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