Digital Video Disc (DVD) use is now universal for movies, music, and data storage because of their high capacity (more than 4GB). DVD writers are standard in most computers and laptops, or are cheap enough to be installed, and DVD players are standard in home entertainment systems.
Because of their storage capacity DVDs are excellent in backing up data. However like hard disks, DVDs also deteriorate in quality over time and with repeated use. Most DVD manufacturers claim that their discs will last decades, if stored properly. But actual data suggests a much shorter lifespan of between 5-10 years; some discs burned on a home computer begin to deteriorate after only two years of use.
DVDs and CDs sold in the market are mass-produced using expensive publishing machines:
These discs last longer than DVDs that are "burned" using a DVD drive.
There are many ways to repair DVDs, or recover data from DVDs that are damaged or corrupt. The free Unstoppable Copier allows you to copy data from discs that show errors, have bad sectors, or scratches. Another software program, available in free and low-cost versions, is ISOBuster which can recover data from a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc. CDRoller is a more expensive but easy to use program for recovering data from damaged optical media.
Apart from these software programs, there are disc repair machines available for home users that can remove scratches and smudges. There are also more expensive professional DVD disc repair machines available at your local computer hardware store.