Articles: Storage

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In some ideal world there wouldn’t be any problems with data storage media at all, but ours is a harsh and cruel reality where optical drives sometimes have difficulties writing discs or reading them afterwards. These problems may come from various causes. For example, the optical drive itself may be defective at performing read/write operations. Then, you may have encountered such a situation yourself when the drive just ignores the disc you’ve inserted into it.

In many cases this problem can be solved by re-flashing the drive’s firmware, since this procedure updates the database with information about different media and operational modes suitable for different discs. But the firmware update doesn’t always work, we should confess. To secure yourself against purchasing a bad device, you should read reviews of optical drives before the purchase. In this article, however, we are going to inspect the other side of such conflicts, i.e. the media (the programs you use and the whole configuration of your computer may be intervening factors, too, but of less importance).

So why do we touch upon the problem of media in this article? Because however good you optical drive may be, there will always be blanks you don’t have the expected burn quality with. Of course, it’s possible that you’ve got incompatibility of a particular drive with a particular disc, but we are interested in answering the general question of which media available now on the market are preferable from the standpoint of quality. Of course, the old rule that you can be on the safe side sticking to media from renowned brands holds true, but there are many DVD discs from obscure companies that offer a comparable quality at a much lower price.

The problem of choice of media becomes the more complex now because many companies that have never been engaged in this business have started to promote their own brands of discs manufactured by other companies under OEM contracts. They can vary greatly in quality, of course, and it’s better to test them in practice to see what’s better. We should remind you that there are much fewer real manufacturers of DVD blanks than there are companies whose brands and names these blanks are selling under. It is not impossible to spend different money on different media only to find them fully identical to each other under closer inspection. So, we have tried to free you from the routine and tiresome work of finding the best write-once and rewritable DVD blanks by performing such tests in our labs.

Of course, it’s impossible to test everything, but we did our best and are now ready to share the results with you.

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