The digital photos stored on your CD-R discs may be fading away even as you read this.
Are you backing up your photos on CD-R discs? You should since every hard drive will eventually crash. BUT those photos on CD’s may not last as long as you think. In recent tests (see the links below), some brands of CD-R discs lose their data in as little as 2 years. Whatever you do, don’t buy cheap discs. And you should store your data on at least two CD-R discs which are stored under the right conditions (coll, dark, dry) in at least two separate locations.
Other options are to store your photos on multiple internal and/or external hard drives. DVD’s are an option too but some DVD’s may not be much better than the cheap CD-R discs. Again, buy good quality. One of the best currently available options are the Mitsui Gold CD-R discs which you can get from InkjetArt. Paying more for top quality discs is better than discovering your digital photos have faded away to nothing. Don’t assume your data is safe for anywhere near as long as the claims you read. Go back periodically and check your discs.
Another option is turn your best digital photos into prints and copy the prints onto high quality slide film. Recent Kodak or Fuji slide film, if stored in a cool (70 degrees or less), dark, low humidity (40% or less) place will outlast the vast majority of digital storage media now available.
You can read some recent research at news.independent.co.uk. They have links to two other articles here and here.
You should also read the article on storing photos on CD-R discs at my website.