An optical disk drive system with which data may be permanently and correctly stored on removable media. The system includes a drive into which the media, a disk housed in a cartridge, may be removably inserted. The drive interfaces with a host CPU through a storage control unit, which storage control unit may also have other peripheral devices, such as magnetic disk drives, coupled therethrough to the host CPU. A special data format is used for data stored on the disk in order to provide efficient use of and access to the available storage space. The disk is divided into data bands, each data band having a prescribed number of concentric data tracks therein. Each data track is divided into equal length sectors. The data is organized into data blocks, each block being made up of a selected sequence of prescribed data sections. Many of the data sections commence with synchronization bits followed by the data to be stored. The data of each data section is adapted to fit within each data sector on the disk. When data is written in any given sector, it is immediately checked for correctness by reading the data that has been written and comparing it with the data that was to have been written. Defectively written data is flagged so that it can be skipped over and ignored during subsequent reads. Data in a given sector is rewritten until it is written correctly.