MO drives

Eric J Korpela korpela at
Thu Aug 4 17:44:55 CDT 2005

On 8/1/05, Teo Zenios <teoz at> wrote:
> A while back there was talk about the life of CDR's for archives, how do
> Magnetic Optical Disks (MO) work for archives?
> I recently got my hands on a 1.3GB 5.25" Olypus MO Unit with about 100
> Cartridges (40+ never used, all Rewritable) and was thinking of backing up
> my older files (Amiga , 68K Mac etc) to this media. The hard case seems like
> it would take care of one major media killer (scratches).

I would caution against using anything unusual. The big problem is
that if (more like when) your MO unit fails, you'll need to obtain
another one to retrieve your files.

I'm helping out someone who used Seagate BackupExec under Windows 95
to back up to CD-R and has found out that newer versions of (now
Veritas) BackupExec don't recognize CD-R as a potential restore
source, and, of course, BackupExec for Windows NT of the save vintage
can't uncompress the Windows 95 media, and BackupExec for Window 95
won't run under XP).

Your best bet is to pick a media and a format that won't die for the
forseeable future and for which readers/writers will be available. 
Current pick for media for backing up static files is IDE hard drives.
 They are cheap (<$0.50/GB), reliable enough (if you are willing to go
double redundant or better), high capacity, and compatible with the
vast majority of currently available machines without requiring
additional hardware.

Sure you'll need to transfer to other media (SATA or what follows
SATA) in a few years, but you really need to do that with all common
media currently available. Although I was wondering about encoding
data using DVD+-RW drives that will burn labels into the top of the
disk.  Sure, the density would be low, but it's probably more durable
than the DVD itself :).


More information about the cctalk mailing list