3500AG - Can't write faster than 4x. Any Ideas?



Evening gentlemen.

Sorry if this is answered elsewhere…first post.

I am also kinda new to this firmware upgrading and specialised media thing, I kind expected to put an 8x disc in an 8x drive and just have it write at 8x for goodness’ sake :slight_smile:
(I have done a firmware upgrade before and it solved a problem like this with my old Liteon dvd burner.)

I have recently purchased an NEC3500-AG drive, and I am extremely happy with the drive for it’s quality. (it’s not made a single write error in over 20 DVD’s whereas my previous Liteon was very hit and miss.)

However, the main problem is that I cannot write above 4x on the discs I have. I do not have the name or brand of the media, but the gent who I bought them from is a reputable source and said they are rated at 8x.

This includes Discjuggler, Nero6 and CloneDVD, none will go above 4x write.
All but Nero are oldish version so I will update the software soon.

One other thing that I know has been mentioned here is that I have an nForce motherboard, and am using the nforce IDE drivers.

It is using the retail firmware v2.16.

Will a firmware upgrade sort this drive out?
Does anyone have any other suggestions.

As this is a 16x drive I will damn unhappy if I cannot get it to write above 4x.

Mucho Gracias.


First off, always check your hardware settings. Set your Nec 3500AG as master on either primary or secondary channels. Check ide cables and make sure their pins are not bent or damage. Check the mainboard ide channels and make sure there’s no dust, damage, bent pins, etc… Try changing the cables as well. Is your drive properly detected in Bios? I always reset my Bios when adding new hardware. This gives me a “Control” if something is not right. If you are using an external enclosure, check the chipset for damage, dust, etc… Again check to make sure all connections via cables are snugged and show no damage to their pins. Software wise, in windows, make sure your drive is set to udma. Go to control panel/performance and maintenance/system/hardware/device manager/ide ata/atapi controllers and check under what channel your drive is set to for udma mode by right clicking for their properties and advance properties. Once set to dma or udma, etc… reboot for safe measures. Remember as well in the hardware check part, you can always try placing the drive on different channels. Definitely upgrade to Nero as this version adds more support for the Nec drives. Now, you may also have bad disks. Use programs like dvdindentifier or dvdinfopro to correctly identify the media code of the 8X disks. The Nec 3500A like most other drives will only recognize those disks with those particular media codes that are listed in its firmware. Are you sure that you are not using DVD-RW disks which will only write at 4X? Dual layer (DVD9) or DVDL+R disks will also only write at 4X. Basically check your formats. Try different combination of brands of disks rated at 8X. For example, get yourself the Verbatim, Ritek, Taiyo Yuden, disks which are highly rated for quality and performance. Of course, there are many others. Point, shop around. Also check your mainboard drivers. Is it Via, Ali, Amd, Intel, Sis, etc…? Upgrade the drivers to the latest or the ones that seem most compatible for your particular system. Do all of these things before considering upgrading the firmware. If upgrading the firmware to either Herrie’s 2.17 or TDB’s 2f8 doesn’t solve your problem, I would rma the drive for another one. The drive may be bad or is going bad. Upgrade firmware using uniflash if the firmware is in binary or just use the window’s flasher version of the firmware. Refer to this link: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=105676
You can of course flash to a newer firmware via DOS as well. Personally, from the information you have given thus far, your problem appears to be more media related. I know that I forgot something, I’ll repost if other ideas come back to me. Later.


DVD Identifierand Nero InfoTool can come handy… :slight_smile:

BTW, no need to flash the drive the first you do…

@NScythe, Good post. :iagree:
But, a break here and there wouldn´t hurt.