3520 Problems...lots of them



Just swapped out my ND-2510A for a ND-3520A. Drive is on Secondary Master with a Lite-On SOHW-832S as secondary slave. Using default Windows XP SP2 IDE drivers. My reason for the upgrade was that with the ND-2510A, I was not able to burn 2 CDRs at the same time using Nero. I could do this with other drives, in the same configuration, but no matter which computer I put the 2510A in, it would always give a “Write Error” or “Power Calibration Area” trying to burn two discs at once. I should be able to do this. It was my hope that the 3520A would remedy that problem.

Here are my issues:

  1. I cannot flash the drive with The Dangerous Brothers Firmware. I double click on the windows executable and it never launches.

  2. CDR speed seems to be limited to 32x. I am running Nero 6.6.03 and when I put a blank in the drive, Nero Info Tool tells me the max speed is 32x. Shouldn’t I be able to burn 48x. The Media I tried was Fuji (Taiyo Yuden) 48x and some cheaper Sony 48x discs.

  3. All my CDR burns fail, regardless of the speed about half way through. I did not have this issue before.

I haven’t even tried to burn a DVD, or audio rip, or anything else I might use this drive for. Is this a lemon? Very frustrating. I should have stuck to the Lite-On’s.


Maybe your drive is in PIO instead of Ultra DMA…
Check your hardware settings under IDE-controllers!


nope. Definately Ultra DMA mode!


Try reseting MB bios, verify that jumpers on those two drives are in fact set to master and slave, not cbl select.

As far as burning with two drives on the same controller (1 master and 1 slave) at the same time, I’ve never heard of that working. If anything you would have to set up each drive on a different controller at the very least.


no 790. It works. With every drive I’ve ever tried except for the NEC’s. Actually, I can burn DVD’s 2 at a time with the NEC, just not CDRs. As long as you burn at a slow enough speed, there isn’t a problem (24x for CDs, 4x for DVDs).

I did manage to successfully burn a CD on the new drive (3rd attempt). I’m not sure what the problem was. As far as the jumpers are concerned, everything is configured properly.

I’ve now tried the 3520a in 2 different computers, and both times it is reporting that the maximum speed it can burn CDRs at is 32x, when the discs are rated for 48x. This has to be a bug with the drive.


Perfectly normal for the NEC to lock at 32X (higher quality burns). How many seconds are you going to save at the higher speed?


Hey Relayer,

I have a 3520 and I duplicated the 32x write speed reporting with Nero Infotool. I tested using a Fuji TY disc like you indicated you had tried. It reports 48x read speed and 32x write speed.

However, when I burn a CD in Nero it shows 48x as the burning speed option. This might just be a glitch with Nero Infotool.

I have had no trouble with burning Cds with this unit. Have not had a bad burn yet.

You mentioned you were using Nero, can you try upgrading to, the latest version? That’s the one I’m using.

Also, have you been able to determine what firmware version is installed on your drive? I believe the latest and only firmware for this drive officially is 1.04.



TY 52x CDR’s are set in the firmware to only burn at 32x - NOT the 52x per the manufacturer - and that is an issue that can ONLY be changed by the firmware developers (however I get my best CD burns at 32x - even though my TDK (Ritek) 48x CD-R’s will burn at 48x)-

There are six “official” versions of the 1.04 firmware - suggest flashing to the latest version-



I was enlightened to the six versions by another thread. You can look at the list of differences and download the latest version at this link:

In the six official versions there was one change with CD-R writing strategies (between the third and fourth versions).

Relayer - Not sure how much a difference that makes but because there were noted changes to cd-writing strategies make sure you are using the latest 1.04 version. The 1.24 OEM version is based off of the original 1.04 firmware, so it’s much older then the 6th version of 1.04 (that’s confusing but a chart at the above link makes it easy to follow).


Well, if it can’t burn discs reliably at 40x or 48x, then why even offer it as an option. Taiyo Yuden Fujis are quite capable at burning reliably on 48x on every other burner I’ve tried.

agentk7, the highest I can select in Nero is 32x, just like the max speed reported in the Info tool. 40x and 48x don’t appear in the drop down. Also, after I posted here, I updated to It didn’t make any difference.

As for the firmware, its 1.04 alright! Which one…looks like its the first 1.04 with a date code of 11/24/04. I’ll try one of the ones that switched over to 1.01g for the CD buning. I don’t want to put any “un-official” firmware on the drive though, in case I need to RMA it.


Start packing the drive cause you’re not going to get 48X!


well as far as two drives on the same controller and burning at the same time, I’ve always understood it to introduce disc write errors, years ago this was the case, don’t know if it’s still true, maybe your case is the proof.

48x shouldn’t be a prob, maybe it’s a nero issue, I myself have never written above 32x with nero. Try dvd decrypter and write some iso’s


No Write Errors, been doing 2 at once for years now. The 3520 will do 2 at once, as long as it is paired up with an old Sony DRU-510A. Won’t do it when paired with anything else (I now have six DVD burners). The 2510 won’t do it, regardless of what burner it is paired with. Strangely enough, the problem is only related to CD burns. I’ve been able to burn to multiple DVD’s with no problem at all.

As far as 48x, I can’t see it being a Nero issue since I have burned to 48x with Plextor and Lite-ON 48x CDR’s in the past. I just can’t see how in the world they can advertise it as burning CDRs at 48x when it can’t even do 40x on good media. It’s false advertising if you ask me.

I fiddled some more, no luck with the 48x speed at all, regardless of firmware. It seems to be okay with burning regular CDs now. I still don’t know why the first few failed half way through. I’m going to try burning my first DVD on it in a few minutes.

So far, I’m very disappointed with the drive. It’s been years since I’ve had to spend this much time just getting an optical drive to work. Not only that, it sounds like a jet plane.



Your CD burn problems may have been a result of the old firmware, especially since you upgraded and now it seems to be ok.

As far as burning at 48x goes, I always set it at 48x in Nero. However when the burn is done Nero may report a lower speed. Typically, I get times for a full 700meg disc to be around 2:53-3:15. I consider the actual time it takes for a burn. I know if it goes over 3:15 it definitely burned at a lower speed, but 20-25 seconds is not that much time to worry about…

About your drive sounding like a jet plane. My drive has been really quiet. Makes me think that maybe there is a problem with the drive…


I wonder which “windows executable” that should be.
It’s always a good idea to update Nero to the latest version because it always has bugs…
Try with other media, even if they are rated for max speed doesn’t mean that the burner will burn them at max speed, especially when it is a DVD burner.
Your burner might have a connection problem or the IDE cable is creepy, or some softwareissue. No chance for a good help unless you can provide an exact error message.


Regarding issue 1: I had a similar problem. Do you have the Intel Application Accelerator installed?
If so, uninstall it and try flashing again.


chef, it was the firmware executable. Metallian, I don’t have Intel Application Accelerator installed. I’ve tried the drive in 2 different machines, and the firmware update program did not work with either. They are nForce2 based machines.

And, chef, there is no exact error messages. When the first couple burns failed, it said “Write Error”. I haven’t had a bad burn since then, so I’m satisfied that specific problem is solved.

I burned a number of DVDs last night. All on Yuden002’s, and they all burned very well and very fast. I’m happy about that aspect of the drive. It also seems to be pretty fast with Secure Mode EAC extraction with C2 enabled. Also very nice.

The outstanding issues are that the TDB firmware update program doesn’t work for me within Windows. I don’t have a floppy drive installed for either machine, so I would need to create a boot CD to flash with the DOS based flasher. Seeing as I decided I am going to keep the drive, even though it doesn’t burn CDs at the speed at which it is advertised to, I flashed the drive with that Liggy and Dee firmware, or whatever it is called. That flash worked very well.

Basically, its a good drive for DVD burning, no question. However, I find it lacking as a CD burner. It is also very loud (my 2510A is loud too). Any burner that is rated for 48x should be able to burn 48x Taiyo Yuden media at 48x. It is simply false advertising in my opinion, and should be illegal. Also, like the 2510a, I cannot burn two CDRs at the same time, which I can do with every other burner I’ve tried (Sony’s, Lite-On and Cyberdrives. Hell, even my old Mitsui from way back). I guess I cannot really complain, since the drive was so inexpensive, but I am certainly disappointed.


The 3520A is still pretty new; write strategies will be added in new firmwares to allow TY 48x media to burn at 48x, I’m quite sure of it. It’s not false advertising or illegal as long as at least one brand of discs burn at 48x, though I’d guess more brands work than that, you might want to check NEC’s website where they have supported media lists. Every drive undergoes firmware changes during the first few months of its release to allow more media compatibility, and I’m sure this will happen.

As a side note, my NEC 3500A burns the Verbatim discs I buy at 48x very well. It’s been around longer, so more write strategies are out. The 3520 has a new chipset, and these differences make for some changes.



Previously I had mentioned I had Fuji TY discs that Nero was burning at 48x on my NEC 3520. I may have mixed up some results between my Plextor 48x drive and my NEC drive. Today I went to burn a Fuji TY disc in Nero and it only allowed 32x like you indicated. I can definitely duplicate the situation you have.

However, I also use Ritek TDKs discs and Nero burns them just fine at 48x on my Nec 3520.

I think that LoneWolf15 is right. It’s just a matter of the firmware maturing and the TY’s will burn at 48x. It’s definitely not false advertising on NEC’s part though because my TDKs did burn at 48x.

If you can put this in perspective though, the difference between the Fuji TY disc at 32x vs the Ritek TDK at 48x was 3:27 vs 2:55. The discs were both SVCDs with the TDK disc burning a file about 9 megs larger.


Go here and see that most media they tested wouldn’t burn at 48x.They say the old 3500 even had trouble with it.