Be careful with your CDs, they’re starting to become unreadable

A compact disc "pathology" has been discovered that leads to the deterioration of the protective lacquer layer of CDs and makes them unusable

In the year of the 1990s and 2000s revival, old CDs could be the ones to leave us. In fact, compact discs over 20 years old are starting to deteriorate. The cause depends on some components. If we have a CD with important data it is better to copy it before it is too late.

Researchers call this "pathology" of CD disc rot. The main cause of this deterioration is the reflective layer of compact discs. They usually consist of a polycarbonate layer and another reflective metal layer. To cover these two layers, a third one is applied with lacquer to prevent oxidation of the metal. The problem arises with this last layer. When the protective lacquer is not strong enough to stick to the disc, the CD begins to oxidize, or rather the metal layer begins its oxidation phase. This leads to an error in reading the data and therefore to a complete uselessness of the CD.

CDs age

As it happens with people, every CD ages in its own way. The lifespan of a compact disc depends almost exclusively on the strength of the materials that the manufacturers have used in making it. So the stronger the layer of lacquer, the longer the life of the CD. That's why there are CDs that last only 10 years and others that, after 25 years, still don't seem to show any signs of failure. Researchers, however, have established 20 years as the average lifespan of a compact disc. If your 2000 vacation movie happens to be on a CD, then you might want to save it somewhere else. The ideal storage for CDs, experts say, is around 5 degrees with a humidity of 30%. Rather than making a CD greenhouse at home, we can save every CD s contents in a cloud space. But that's not all. In fact, you can save the contents of CDs on our portable hard drive and always have our favorite album with us.