by January 3, 1999 0 comments

Compact disks are sturdier and longer lasting than most media, and
are not affected by magnetic fields. But like other media, they can lose data too, and
hence require special care. They have their own set of dos and don’ts that need to be
followed. Recordable CDs–CD-Rs and CD-RWs–are more delicate than the regular
CDs, and should be handled more gently.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Temperature

CD-R
and CD-RWs should be kept at normal room temperature. Since they are made from plastic,
exposure to direct sunlight or temperature higher than 48 degree Celsius can warp the CD,
making it useless.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Contact

Be very careful while handling CDs
as their media area is exposed, making them very vulnerable. You should also protect your
CD against dirt and scratches.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Labeling

Avoid putting stickers, labels and
tapes, or writing with regular pens on CDs. Instead use labeling kits. Misuse of the label
side can damage the data layer, which is right under the top surface. Use soft felt-tip
markers.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Moisture

CDs should not be exposed to
liquids. However, if by chance you do spill some liquid on it, rinse it with warm water,
and wipe it off with a soft cloth. Don’t use hot water or a coarse cloth.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Flexibility

Bending a CD can be dangerous. They
tend to shatter, sending shards of sharp plastic in all directions.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Dust and dirt

Excessive accumulation of dust and
dirt can hamper reading a CD. Dust accumulation should be avoided and the CD regularly
cleaned.

redsquare.GIF (909 bytes) Cleaning

Don’t use any solvents or
liquid cleaners, as these may harm the plastic casing. Never clean the label side of a
CD-R or CD-RW. This can lead to more damage, because the data is actually stored right
under the label of the disk.

CDs should be cleaned radially–starting from the inside of the
disk, move outwards rubbing in straight lines and not circles. The reason for this is that
cleaning in circles can cause long scratches over a single section of the data track,
causing signal loss. Small scratches across many tracks can be handled by the error
correcting capabilities of the drive.

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