Jump to content

Disc Rot: The struggle is real


Sabertooth
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here's a great article from Motherboard on the degradation of optical disc storage media. They touch on everything from laserdiscs, to cds, to dvds and (importantly) games. Good information for people who enjoy classic cd-based platforms. Have you suffered from disc rot? I have one Saturn disc that is affected.

 

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/the-hidden-phenomenon-that-could-ruin-your-old-discs?utm_source=tcpfbus

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes...and I'm dealing with it now on one of my favorite Laserdisc movies.  The Glenn Miller Story with James Stewart and Henry Morgan.  One of my all-time favorites...but it has a small spot rotting that interrupts the video only for a few seconds but still there.  Basically all I get is some weird color and distortion...nothing serious.  Laserdiscs were bad about this problem.  I have not, knock on wood, had any laser rot issues with any console games.  

 

There was a computer system I was fixing for my cousin when AMD K6-II CPUs just hit the markets.  The CD-ROM unit was not hooked up properly so I lent a hand to correct it.  We put in an old game I had (did not know about laser rot at the time) which looked horrible but still played.  The CD-ROM was one of the first models to hit 52x in terms of speed.  Once the disc started spinning really fast the disc literally shattered.  Not sure if it was laser rot related or not but still interesting info. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've head of this, but thankfully have not dealt with it much.

 

That being said, it does make me want to review more of my disc based games just in any of them caught the rot.

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've head of this, but thankfully have not dealt with it much.

 

That being said, it does make me want to review more of my disc based games just in any of them caught the rot.

 

Well, I don't know if you know or not but one of the used video games stores I helped out and visited often got the idea to hold a disc up to the ceiling lights.  When I asked what they were doing they said they were looking for any light shinning through the disc.  You can do this, too.  Hold a disc, label facing you or away from you, straight up at the light where the disc is blocking the light from your eyes.  Now look for any pinholes where light is shinning through.  If you see any light coming through then it can mean one of two things:  1) your disc has rot or 2) previous owner didn't care for it very well (scratches on label-side of disc).  This is a good thing to get in the habit of doing when buying used disc-based games because any discs with light coming through pinholes will most likely not play at all.  Same goes with audio CDs.

 

Visually the first laser rot I had seen looked more like spider-veins on a human.  And it can start just about anywhere on the disc but mostly I've seen it start from the center hole of a disc and work its way to the outer edge or vice versa.  My Supertramp Crisis? What Crisis? CD was one of few that got it when I started the conversion from cassettes to CDs in the 1990s.  I'm now going back to cassettes and vinyl for the laser rot reason.  Besides they just have a better sound in my opinion.  More warmth and feeling instead of crisp and cold.  

 

Anyway, to learn more about laser rot here...hope this helps:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So let me ask the group this question:  For DVD's only...if you notice disc rot, would you be opposed to backing up the disc (to a DVD-R)?  I'm not one to condone piracy...but that seems like legitimate fair-use to me. 

 

For retail DVDs and other discs with copy-protection, under current U.S. law (specifically the DMCA) this is illegal.  It's not the act of copying the media itself that's illegal (fair-use conditionally allows for that), it's the circumvention of DRM/encryption needed to make the copy.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit in July 2016 disputing the anti-circumvention restriction.

 

The EFF also pressed for exemptions to this and other things during the 2015 DMCA Rulemaking proceedings.  As a result, the act of jailbreaking cell phones was exempted.  An exemption was also granted to allow cracking or otherwise bypassing of server authentication checks for games no longer supported by their publishers.  One still can't legally set up new multiplayer servers for otherwise unsupported games (Blizzard v. BnetD), though.

 

Long story short: the DMCA does some sensible things but overreaches in a number of areas, and this is one of them.  It should be legal to make archival copies of things you lawfully acquired.

 

I didn't know about disc rot -- thanks for posting the article!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Join the Atari Party! :donkey_kong_big:

    How lucky are you that you've finally found this place?
    It's time to join the best kept secret in classic gaming.
    Membership is limited, so let's get started! :wreck-it-ralph:

     

×
×
  • Create New...