DVD Backup

Z-DBackup can backup files to CD / DVD and Blu-Ray without additional software by using the live file system
(Window Vista and higher)

Backup to DVD

When you want to backup data to DVDs choosing the right format is important. Both DVD+ or DVD- formats are equally unsuitable for backups, let alone archiving! If you want to backup to DVDs, you should refrain from using DVD+ or DVD- and instead use DVD-RAM.

The only thing DVD-RAMs have in common with DVD+/-R/RWs is their capacity and the phase-change recording method. The DVD-RAM technique is the only DVD recording method which has been developed for data archiving right from the beginning. This makes them the medium of choice for backup and archiving!


DVD-RAM Backup

With a suitable driver, a DVD-RAM can be used just like a removable hard drive and can be re-written up to 100,000 times. Z-DBackup can write to a DVD-RAM without any other burning software such as our Z-DataBurn module. To automatically write backups to DVD+/-R/RW, you however need to have Z-DataBurn installed.

Windows versions from XP upwards can read and write DVD-RAMs formatted with UDF or FAT32. Windows XP can only write to DVD-RAMs with FAT32, but newer Windows versions can also write to UDF-formatted DVD-RAMs. A FAT32-formatted DVD-RAM isn’t suitable for large backups though. The reason is the maximum backup file size of 4 GB in the FAT32 format.


If a backup archive larger than 4 GB is created on a FAT32-formatted DVD-RAM, Z-DBackup doesn’t prompt the user to exchange the medium and the backup will be aborted! To avoid this, a DVD-RAM must be formatted with the UDF. Windows (Vista and higher) can format and write to DVD-RAMs using the UDF format.

Backup to Blu-Ray

The Blu-ray Disc is a good storage medium for personal use. It has a very long lifetime of up to 30 years when stored optimally and has an enormous capacity and recording speed compared to DVDs.

Blu-ray Discs are beginning to replace DVDs and the full potential of optical storage has not yet been reached. Currently available Blu-ray Discs can store up to 100 GB of data and new storage solutions are being developed. Sony and Panasonic have released the Archival Disc for data centers that can store up to 300 or 500 GB. A 1 TB disc is planned. When these discs are readily available in the future optical storage solutions might become a real alternative to tapes for long term storage.

Blu-Ray Icon

Blu-Ray - optical data storage

The most evident advantage of optical discs compared to hard disks or SSDs is that the disc only has to be inserted into a drive when it’s used, minimizing wear on the disc. And contrary to hard disks, Blu-rays can be used with another drive in case of hardware failure. Blu-ray discs also have a harder surface protection layer than DVDs which makes them more resistant to scratches.

According to the manufacturers, Blu-ray Discs can keep data between 30 and 50 years. Tests have shown that burned data will surely last 15-30 years.

Blu-ray Discs support many different file systems. For backup purposes, we recommend UDF 2.5.

Some advantages of UDF 2.5 (Universal Disc Format):

  • File names can be up to 255 characters long
  • No nesting depth limit, up to 1023 characters in a path
  • 8-bit and 16-bit character sets are supported
  • File names can be case-sensitive
  • It can store the extended file attributes of many operating systems
  • No meaningful limitations on maximum file size and maximum volume size (several exabytes)


Our burning software Z-DataBurn can copy files and folders to Blu-ray discs. The program features a user-friendly graphical interface and can also be started with command-line parameters for fully automatic backups, i.e. from a batch file or shell script. It can easily be used with our advanced task and backup scheduler Z-Cron or the Windows-builtin Task Scheduler.

Z-DataBurn supports:

Blu-Ray & DVD drives

Z-DBackup with Z-DataBurn

Z-DBackup and Z-DataBurn combined allow for elaborate backup strategies such as versioned backups, differential/incremental backups etc. File lists can have blacklists and whitelists as filters and all data can optionally be encrypted and/or compressed. Large backups can span multiple Blu-ray mediums (multi-spanning backups). For further automation, a wide variety of actions can be defined that are executed automatically before or after each backup.

With Z-DataBurn it’s possible to automatically burn archives created with Z-DBackup to a CD or DVD after the main backup. This way the backup is always created on a local hard drive first and then burned to a removable medium. Optionally, the backup archive can be automatically verified before or after burning.

Through the combination of Z-DBackup and Z-DataDVD, a great number of backup strategies can be realised. This makes them an ideal backup tool for personal as well as professional use!