How long do media last?

Preservation of media is the technique that we use to create, store and protect media in the course of time. HP the data cart 400gb contains everything from audio to written words and photos, as well as computer instructions, documents, software and much more. Different kinds of media are saved on anything starting from book to drive, all the way up into video games cartridges. We’ve talked about the development of these Data cartridges, and various methods of storage for data in the past of backup and data storage. What we didn’t discuss was the longevity of these various ways of storing data.

The unfortunate truth regarding data storage is that there’s no media for storage of data will last for the duration of time. The majority of them will be replaced with a new storage technology before too long. However, when will your preferred way of storing your data last? What is the time until you have to copy the data to an entirely new form?

Before we move on to that make sure to remember the fact that every device has its own unique set of rules. general guidelines. The fact that a manufacturer says the device will last for an amount of time doesn’t mean that it will. It’s just a sign that it could. No matter if it’s under warranty, or not all bets are off as any one of the storage options could fail due to a variety of reasons. Life span is dependent on everything from the environment to the rate of use to the component quality and the manufacturing. Therefore, the numbers provide general guidelines. The best method to safeguard information is to keep multiple copies of everything and the best method to achieve this is through investing in a reliable backup solution.

Magnetic tape

The magnetic tape could lose data due to losing the magnetic charge (any magnetically charged storage media eventually loses its magnetic charge and , consequently, the data) as well as when layers on the tape begin to split. According to some sources, tape will last for thirty years. This makes it a suitable archive medium. The issue with this number lies in the fact that these tapes only last this long in absolute conditions of optimal environmental conditions. This means that you must keep them in an area where temperature and humidity are in a stable range. The most realistic life expectancy for magnetic tape is 10 to 20 years. It is worth taking note that they’re vulnerable to tear and wear when they are used regularly.

Cassette tape

As cassette tapes as well as data tapes have a alike, the life span for cassette tapes are comparable to the life span for magnetic tapes. Some tapes are known to degrade rapidly due to frequent usage. Some last for up to thirty years (I’m certain one of my sisters’ Michael Jackson tapes from the 1980s are still in use). Lifespan is based on a many factors that we’ve discussed. The most reliable estimate is that a tape will last between the ages of ten to twenty years.

Nintendo Entertainment System video game cartridge

The earlier NES games did not have memory to store your game’s progress. Instead, you earned passescodes that allowed you to skip through various levels as you progressed through. At some point, though the video game cartridges were equipped with tiny batteries that powered the memory, which saved your progress through the game. Anyone who has an NES system with cartridges that could be able to store memory will likely encounter issues conserving games as the cartridges get old. Because the memory is dependent on batteries, a significant amount of the game’s progress could be lost due to the failure of batteries. Batteries last for about 10 years. Similar is the case with Super Nintendo and Gameboy cartridges. Batteries last about ten years, however you can replace them to enjoy many more years of enjoyment.

Floppy disk

This one can be a bit tricky. Based on my study, floppy disks weren’t not always reliable. In fact, some did not even function properly when they were new. I’ve seen figures that say the longevity of floppy disks ranges from between three and five years. But I’ve also heard numbers that say they last between ten and twenty years, or possibly indefinitely.

Of course, because the floppy disks are magnetic (not like tape) so it’s safe claim that the magnetic properties will begin to wear away at the same rate as tape’s magnetic material would (ten up to 20 years). If the plastic case on the disk is able to last for that long. It appears that some disks with floppy drives have been around for quite a long time, but the storage technique was generally substituted by hard disks, compact discs long before the decline that the magnetic field became a major issue.

CD and DVD

Based on The US National Archives, CDs and DVDs share very similar life spans. The majority of unrecorded (blank) DVDs and CDs have an average shelf-life of between five and 10 years. The average life expectancy of DVDs and CDs that have been recorded ranges from two to five years however, based on claims from the manufacturer between ten and twenty-five years, or perhaps longer isn’t unheard of. However using extremely cautious numbers can reduce the possibility of losing your data.

The numbers are also influenced by the environmental conditions and how frequently you play with the disc. All optical media are susceptible to damage due to the fact that there isn’t much protection on the surface of the disc. Just think of how many CDs have been damaged by regular usage, it happens to us all.



Verbatim writeable Blu-ray discs are covered by a lifetime warranty but I could not find any information that was reliable about how long they’re said to store information (or the length other Blu-ray disc brands last). When the environment is ideal they’re said to last more than DVDs or CDs since the way in which data is recorded will result in better durability in storage. However, although they’re likely to last a little longer but it’s still an optical medium so they’re still susceptible to scratches, extreme temperatures and sun, just like other Blu-ray discs.


It is an optical storage disc that is supposed to be a “permanent storage solution”. It is claimed that it could last for as long as 1,000 years, even in environment’s ravages caused by scratching and extreme temperatures. While the M-Disc format is the first format to be developed that can be utilized with any DVD drive that can read data, but because the data is embedded in advanced metals, a specific M-Disc device is needed to record it. Furthermore, since the technology is still in its infancy and new, the 1000-year lifespan is only an idea, and it is impossible to know for certain the length of time these discs actually last, but they do have some pretty impressive research that supports their claims.

Hard disk drives

The majority of HDD drives (HDD) last between three to five years, before the component breaks down. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the drive is completely damaged. Three to 5 years are the average time they’ll last no matter if it’s an internal drive that is used for desktops or servers or external hard disk drives. With all the moving components inside the drive, eventually something will end up failing. As with all media that stores important information it’s essential to utilize top-quality equipment.

Flash storage

Flash storage is available in three types of common storage mediums: Flash drives, SD cards as well as SSDs. (SSDs). eHow states that flash drives can last for up to 10 years, however, as stated on flash memory isn’t typically degraded due to age, but due to the quantity of write cycles. That means the more data you delete and add new data and delete data, the faster the memory on the device will begin to decrease. Because all of them have a similarity in the fact that they all utilize flash memory. They’ll be degrading in the same manner. But there’s one thing that’s certain the higher quality technology will yield. Due to the wide variety of brands and models, the lifespan could vary considerably from one model to the next and flash memory devices that are rated for greater write cycles are likely to last longer. With regard to flash drives as well as SD card, they’ll most likely get them lost or damaged in the washing machine prior to any other thing happens.

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