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Home -> Community -> Mailing Lists -> Oracle-L -> Re: [Slightly OFF-TOPIC] CD-Writers (REASON WHY BETTER THAN TAPES)


From: Eric D. Pierce <>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 13:55:46 -0700
Message-Id: <>


(thanks for the tip on the AWESOME NT/Oracle8i hotbackup paper, NT/Oracle hotbackups are becoming a thorny issue on several departmental production servers at our university, and I think Thomas Cox's paper will be really helpful to the developers and NT-sysadmns, especially since we don't have any real "enterprise" dbas yet.)

Anyway, back to your question, to clarify, you are not backing up your database on CDRs, you are backing up your Oracle *install media*, no?

I just put a CDRW drive in my home machine (IBM 300PL PII 450), and the CDRW drive is an outstanding investment (USA $250) for general use. I backed up several software install CDs (including a Win98SE Norton Ghost6 "image" of the campus "standard load" software which I then used to *successfully* reinstall Win98 on a blank, repartitioned disk - not a bad test).

ASAP we will start using the same setup at work to put server stuff into long term archive storage via a PC network client.

As you know, the HUGE advantage of CDR backup is that you don't have the kind of obsolescence issues as you do with tape systems. (there is an industry FAQ somewhere, maybe on the Netware FAQ web site, on tape backup obsolescence, and the consensus in the industry is that overall, backup *technology obsolescence* is much more of a problem than *media failure*. In other words, there are going to be a lot more good "ancient" backup tapes laying around that can't be read because the machine configurations they were created on are obsolete, than there will be bad tapes from media failure.) You make a CDR copy, and you'll probably be able to read it on any kind of future computer in 5, 10, 20 years *with no specialized hardware*, *OS setup*, *drivers*, etc.!!! Of course the downside of CDR is limited capacity.

(You can also "diskcopy" your music CDs, and if you get a CDRW, you can mount a CDRW disk which more or less looks like a giant floppy and can be used transparently with all the normal Windows file operations.)

Some random thoughts on easy of use: the Adaptec software, while it works great, could probably stand some "ergonomic" improvements. It takes a little while to get used to, and I made the mistake of not reading the documentation carefully the first time I tried to use it, which made things a little confusing. Adaptec's software had built-in controls on disc eject events, and you have to be careful since a CDR, or CDRW, has to be put into, and taken out of, special formatting modes depending on whether or not you are going to use the CD back in the CDRW drive later, or place it in a "regular" CD-ROM drive.

One thing that a hardware&systems tech here told me to keep in mind is that when you copy something back from the CD to hard disk, Win9x *stupidly* retains the "read-only" file attribute. It would be really nice if either MS or Adaptec had a user-controlled way of changing that behavior as part of the copy process (otherwise you have to manually "unmark" the read-only attribute after the copy, argh).

Also, while a CDR is mounted in "write mode", an OS "delete" can be performed (eg, in Windows Exploder), but the data is still there on the surface. The deleted file is just taken out of the directory list, the space can't be reclaimed.

Also, the surface that is written is the bottom one, so don't be tempted to leave your CDRs/CDRWs laying around right-side-up outside a sleeve or box as they can supposedly get damaged pretty easily.

The only problem I came across when researching the purchase of the CDRW drive for my PC was that the Adapte software has some (generic) issues with Win2000. A tech support guy at IBM said that Adaptec has a patch for the issue, but when I called Adaptec tech support (pre-purchase), I got a clueless person that couldn't even find info on the patch. Since I decided to stay on Win98, I didn't need to pursue it further. The IBM guy said that a possible workaround for Win2000 is to a specify slower copy rate within the Adaptec program.


On 4 Aug 2000, at 6:04, O'Neill, Sean wrote:

Date sent:      	Fri, 04 Aug 2000 06:04:21 -0800
To:             	Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L <>
From:           	"O'Neill, Sean" <>
Subject:        	[Slightly OFF-TOPIC] CD-Writers

> Hi Folks,
> I'd appreciate feedback, positive and negative, on performance, ease-of-use,
> gotcha's etc. from anyone out there who use's CD-Writers to make backup
> copies of Oracle Software CD-ROMS.


support and vote reform: -
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Matchbox Web Server: -
Barcelona: Received on Fri Aug 04 2000 - 15:55:46 CDT

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