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CD and DVD Media Care - How to Protect your CDs and DVDs

CD and DVD media is long-lived and reliable if you treat it right. To protect your digital creations and computer data, you not only should select high-quality media for long-term storage, but you must treat your media right. Here are some guidelines to help you make your media last:

Handling & Cleaning

  • Handle the disc only by the outer edge to keep fingerprints and smears from the surface.

  • Never touch the unlabeled shiny side of a disc that's the recording surface.

  • Do not set a disc down on hard surfaces you can easily scratch the recording surface.

  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth for cleaning the disc to remove spots, dust, or fingerprints. Always wipe from the center to the outer edges and never wipe in a circular motion.

  • Do not use abrasive or solvent cleaners, audio CD disc cleaners, or conventional vinyl record cleaning solutions on the disc. Chemical-based cleaners and cleaners that are safe for audio CDs might not be safe for CD-Rs, CD-RWs, or DVDs!


  • Store discs in protective storage cases to avoid scratches.

  • Store discs in a cool, dry place, away from direct light. Ideal storage temperature is between 23 degrees F - 86 degrees F.

  • Do not leave the disc in direct sunlight or in a hot, humid environment like your car on a summer day. These conditions can warp and damage the disc.

  • Do not allow moisture to condense on the disc.


  • You can write on the inner diameter or designated label area of the CD or DVD. Use only soft-tipped, permanent ink pens, and write only on the designated areas! Water-soluble pens work best their ink dries quickly and minimizes smearing. Ballpoint pens or other hard-point writing utensils may damage the disc.

  • Be careful when using adhesive labels. Use only labels with high-quality adhesive designed not to corrode the reflective layer of the disc. Be sure to apply it properly. Labels applied off-center or with ripples can harm your CD or DVD player.


1. To keep your system running smoothly during a CD or DVD burn, shut down all programs but the ones you need to complete your task. This frees system resources and avoids 'distracting' your computer from the burn in a way that could lead to lost data.

2. When using files backed up to removable media, you may find that you can't edit the files even after copying them to the hard drive. This is because Windows 'defaults' to a read-only status for any files copied to CDs, DVDs, or diskettes. To make these files editable, give each file's icon a 'right-click' with your mouse, choose 'Properties,' and remove the check from the 'read-only' box.

3.Convert VHS tapes to DVD now. studies and experience shows that VHS tapes can have a life span of as little as 10 years, depending on storage conditions and use. Conversion sooner rather than later will help preserve picture and sound quality.

Source: Imation


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