I don’t know if this topic belongs here, exactly, but can anyone offer any suggestions? I have a lot of CDs, and I just discovered today that mold or mildew or something is growing on them! I use them often, but I guess the house I’m living in is just too damp. Has this happened to anyone else? Will it make the CDs unusable? How can I prevent this, short of moving back to the desert I was born in?
Wipe the mold off with a towel?
Keep them in an airtight box with some moisture-absorbing silica packets in it?
If they are CD-R’s, is it “growing” in the dye layer, and if so, are you sure it’s not just the dye layer delaminating?
Well, how old are your CDs?
CDs (and I think there is no difference if they are CD-R, CD-whatever) will only last up to 20 years. And that is, assuming that you store them in dark, dry places…
I have friends with big CD-collections, they start saying goodbye to CD’s they bought 20 years ago. It’s like they are getting rotten.
Also, consider this when you think about digital photography. Black and white negatives can last up to 100 years, digital ones on CD well… only 20 years. The only solution at the moment: copy all your CDs every 15 years or so.
In 15 years, we’ll be on about the ninth generation of DVD-R’s. The second generation is coming out in the next few months and will hold ~9GB, or about 14 CDs worth of data.
If you can’t wipe it off than I think we are talking CD rot (said to happen to DVDs sooner or later, too), i.e. the inner layer starts slowly dissolving until the medium becomes unreadable.