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January Clearance 2017

Backing up large files to DVD

Today’s Tech Tip reveals a subtle difference between marketing and what happens in practice.

“I need to find out if it’s possible to backup a 5gig file to DVD RAM. I know DVD RAM will do 2.6 gig on each side, but you have to flip the disk to get the total 5.2 gig. I need to find out how to record a single 5 gig file (can’t be broken up) on one disk.”

When you mount your DVD RAM disc to a computer it is only going to recognize it as a 2.6 gig volume. There are some tricks you can do on the Mac to kind of work around this, but they won’t solve your problem, and aren’t really necessary. You need to use a utility that can copy files across multiple volumes. There are a number of compression utilities (Stuffit Deluxe is one) that can do this. Also, data backup programs like Retrospect can often do this. We recommend Retrospect for archiving in general and it will break your file across both sides of the DVD and then reconstruct it perfectly when you restore the file. Basically Retrospect will simply ask you to turn the DVD over once it fills the first side. It’s very simple to use. You said the file couldn’t be broken up, but I assume that if the file can get reconstructed properly it is okay to break it this way.

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