I’m cleaning up old files that are on different flash drives and CDs and I
would like to combine them all in one place. Is it better to put them on a
CD/DVD or simply put them all on a larger flash drive?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #59, I look at issues around reorganizing old files and storing
them for the future.
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Cleaning old files
I’ll start by giving you my most common answer, “It depends.”
It depends on how long you want to keep them, what you’re going to be using
them for, and so forth. If you’re simply combining out of convenience, to be
honest either will probably do.
Drive quality matters
You’ll be able to get a flash drive that’s going to be much larger than any
CD or DVD that you can get these days. So I’d be tempted to go with a
good quality flash drive to make sure that everything’s not going to
fade away over time; since flash memory does wear out the more you write to
Now, I don’t know how often you’re going to be writing to this thing. And of
course, I have to insist that regardless of what you put it on, you make sure
you back it up.
No matter what media you put it on (CDs, DVDs, flash drives or even external
hard drives), eventually something can go wrong. CD and DVD material does wear
out, flash drives wear out as I already mentioned, and even external hard
drives can at some point, fail.
So, the most important thing is to find what’s the most convenient for you.
These days, I’d probably lean towards something connected via USB, so that it is
more portable to more different computers, since we’re finding more and more
computers that don’t even have CD and DVD drives.
Pick what’s appropriate. Pick what’s convenient for you.
Like I said, I’d be tempted to go with a USB drive just because they’re
small and convenient and easy to deal with. If you’ve got a lot of data, I’d
actually be tempted to go to an external hard drive. Those are going to be
physically a little bit bigger as well and that’s something that may not work
for you. I really don’t know.
But in all cases regardless of what you choose – back it up.