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Data Rot

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If this does not affect you today it will some day.

Data Rot:
Data degraded or no longer readable because of media wear or hardware no longer viable.
Data that is lost due to the age or neglect of the medium on which it is stored.

Examples of this are paper storage such as paper tape or punched cards which may get mold, mildew, ripped or poorly stored so they can not be read again. They may also become so old that there is no longer any equipment in working order to read them.

Those reel to reel tapes are 10 maybe even 40 years old. Do you still have the equipment to play them? You need to do it yourself or pay someone and have the data put on a disk instead of letting it go to data rot.

This is important stuff!

Your data must be migrated about every 10 years in order to keep usable! All recording media goes out of date either by deterioration or the equipment required to play or view it is no longer in production.


Data Rot applies to all digital data including documents,
music, videos, digital art and photographs.


This is a big deal because your history or important work will become useless if you do not bring it forward to be usable by the current technology. All of mankind's history and culture is in danger of being lost if it is not kept current. Granted not all of man's achievements need saving but much does.

Why is this important to you? Maybe because you're old photographs of your children who are now grown with their own children are fading away.

Think about all the digital data in the world today
and there is more and more every day.


If all your documents and photos are on a hard disk or CD rather than paper, what are the chances of long-term survival?

If all your photos are on paper or film, what are the chances of long-term survival?

If all your documents and photos are not in archival storage, what are the chances of long-term survival?


As more of the world's data is produced by digital means data rot is a real problem. There is a phrase "digital dark age" that describes a future in which what we produce today will not be usable because we will not be able to read the information, music, photographs and movies made today.

Rot - languish: to endure the effects of complete neglect

Preserving Your Digital Memories

This is important for today and tomorrow.
Tell your friends and colleagues about Data Rot.

Article by Copyright ©Byron Rogers, visit for more original content like this. Reprint permission granted with this footer included. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is required.


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