MAM-A's Guide to Handling & Storage of Media

Recommended Handling and Storage Conditions
For CD-R and DVD-R media
To maintain the integrity of the disc and the data stored on the disc, please use the following handling
and storage guidelines.
Precautions Before Recording
Handle the disc only by the outer edge to prevent fingerprints and smears on the surface.
Never touch the recording surface (unlabeled side) or set it down on a hard surface.
Store the disc in its protective case. Proper storage helps protect the data from damage due to
scratches on the disc surface.
If dirty, clean the surface with canned air. Cleaning by wiping the surface is not recommended
General Handling Precautions After Writing
• Never use a ballpoint pen or any other sharp object to label your discs. Using a felt tip pen is the
easiest and fastest way to label a CD-R. Note, however, a few caution items. Some chemical
properties of the ink can actually permeate the disc surface and cause damage to either the
reflective layer or dye layer below the surface. Never use a solvent-based permanent marking pen
on the top surface in the data area. The absolute safest area to label your CD-R is in the clear
center near the center hole (any marker can be used here). A water based, permanent marker is
recommended when labeling the top surface.
• Do not attempt to erase anything that has been written on the surface of the disc.
• If you will be using any adhesive labels or stickers, some precautions should be taken:
Labels must be perfectly adhered to the disc surface. Any bubbling or creasing can imbalance the
disc, which can cause tracking errors or noisy spin-ups. Never attempt to remove an adhered label.
This can damage the protective layer or the reflective layer causing permanent damage to the disc.
In addition, as with writing pens, insure that your labels' adhesive does not contain any chemical
solvents that can become absorbed into the top layer. The adhesive on some labels have been
known to damage discs. Labels can also become loose with age. Adhesive labels are not
recommended for discs being used for archival purposes. (see list below)
• If you need to remove dirt or fingerprints from the read side of the disc, please follow these
Use a CD-cleaner cloth if available and wipe the disc from the inside to the outside, perpendicular
to the tracks. (Lens cleaning cloths work well, or a clean cotton cloth. The cloth should be a “nonwood product” i.e. not a facial tissue or paper towel). Do not wipe in a circular motion around the
disc, as this may scratch the disc ALONG the track if dirt is on the cloth. (Scratches ACROSS the
disc are easier to correct than ones that follow the track) Commercially available CD cleaning
liquid, ethyl or isopropyl alcohol, clear or soapy water can also be used. Do not use gasoline,
kerosene, benzene, acetone, lacquer thinner, anti-static agents, or LP record cleaners as they may
damage the recording surface.
Revised 1/25/2006
Environmental Conditions
Recommended Storage conditions are as follows :
Temperature Range: 5C to 30C
Absolute Humidity: 1 to 20 grams/cubic meter
Relative Humidity: 8% to 50%
*dew should be avoided
For archiving:
Discs should be stored vertically in a protective case. (A standard jewel case is adequate. In jewel cases,
the disc is suspended by the center hole and isolates the written area [read side] from contacting any
surface, It also offers some protection against rapid temperature changes).
Tests to confirm the ability to survive these requirements are defined in the Orange Book, in attachment
B4, and are the responsibility of the manufacturer.
For storage and transport of discs before and after recording, the following climatic tests are used to
simulate conditions:
Dry Heat Test according to IEC 68-2-2 Ba:
Relative Humidity: Max 50% at 35C
Storage Time:
96 Hrs.
Cyclic Damp Heat Test according to IEC 68-2-30 Db:
25C Min
Relative Humidity: 95%
40C Max
Cycle Time:
12 + 12 Hrs.
Quick list for Archiving:
• Use gold CD-R or DVD-R media for the best longevity
• Never touch the recording side
• Do not use adhesive labels
• Store vertically in a protective case
• Protective cases should be rigid and contact the disc at the center hub only
• Store in room temperature at moderate humidity (below 50%)
• For labeling, use a water based permanent, felt tipped marker for writing on the top (write area) of
the disc, or mark in clear center hub with any marker or ideally, write only on protective case
• Do not subject CDs to rapid changes in temperature or humidity
• Protect from light
• Never flex a recordable disc
• Store 1 copy offsite if possible.
If any questions please contact:
Joe Weisenbach, MAM-A Inc., 10045 Federal Drive, Colorado Springs,C0 80908,
(719) 262-2453,
Copyright © 1999-2003 MAM-A Inc. Inc. All rights reserved
Revised 1/25/2006