I’m in the early stages of developing some software for a computer recycling organization. We have a steady incoming stream of optical drives that need to be function tested for use in rebuilt systems or sale in our thrift store. Currently this is a manual process; I’m looking to automate much of it (except the physical loading of drives and discs).
In order to test the write function of CD-RW and DVD+/-RW drives, my current plan is to write a session to a rewritable disc, then read it back and verify that the data was written correctly. I would write one session for each drive tested as a quick test. The sessions (plus lead-in/out space) would fit 20 to a disc before the disc would be quick-blanked and reused. After 20 blankings (400 total drive tests), the disc would be discarded as by that point physical damage is likely and discs are cheap.
My question is what is the best CD-RW and DVD-RW media for the task? Anything with a scratch/scuff/dirt resistant coating would be a bonus.
Currently we plan to test DVD-RW and not DVD+RW. While I understand that DVD-RW may be a more error prone standard, this is actually okay – if tests fail on drives that are marginal, we want to recycle them. Also, all drives manufactured prior to 2002 and all drives that do not support both DVD-RW and DVD+RW will be recycled.
Thanks for your input!