A broadband laser recording and data storage medium for direct read after writing, formed from a photosensitive silver-halide emulsion in four steps. First, a non-saturating actinic radiation exposure is used to create latent images. A normal photographic development is used to produce a medium of gray neutral density. The surface of the remaining silver halide is fogged in a water or alcohol based solution to create a very thin layer of silver precipitating nuclei on the surface. Finally, a single-step, negative silver diffusion transfer process is used to dissolve the unexposed and undeveloped silver halide, forming silver ion complexes. These complexes are transported by diffusion transfer to the sites of the silver precipitating nuclei and the filamentary silver on the surface, where the silver complexes are reduced to metallic silver on both the nuclei and the filamentary silver to form a high concentration of non-filamentary silver particles at the surface of a low melting temperature colloid matrix which is highly reflective of light and electrically non-conducting.