About the Sony DW-P50A?

My new HP-ze5478cl laptop came with a Sony DW-P50A DVD+RW burner. I’ve been looking for specs on this drive at Sony.com and other forums like www.dvdrhelp.com without luck. I would like to know where to check for firmwares updates,etc. Does anybody knows where may I find info on this drive or if there is any other version of this drive with the same capabilities?:confused:

This model is only available through OEM’s like HP. If a firmware was ever released, it would probably appear on the HP support page for the laptop model. Sony probably won’t ever acknowledge the existance of this drive on their site. AFAIK, this drive is just a 2.4x DVD+R/RW burner with an 8MB buffer.

Your other thread: http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?threadid=76342

A Google search for “DW-P50A” yielded among others this site:


Burning modes:

JustLink over burn protection:

Media Supported:

I can’t vouch for the veracity of this site. Since I have on of these Laptops, I will try to check it out over the next few days and post on the recorder. I don’t know the write speeds of the CD/DVD+R(W), except that it’s at least 2X for the DVD+RW, probably 2.4X, but as of now I can’t say that. I will post later. You might want to do a search yourself and post the results.

Thanks a lot guys. I’ll check and post anyhing interesting. BTW, Blackwolf, do you have the same laptop? If so, tell me your experience, specially with the DVD burner. Have you tried Philips media on it? About all those writing modes, what can you tell me?:smiley:

I also have the SONY DVD+RW DW-P50A drive that came with my hp 5470us notebook. Here’s what DVDinfo Pro comes up with:

Here’s what it shows for a Memorex Blank DVD+R:

Hope this info helps anyone out there as it has helped me. Based on my findings I have concluded the following:

  • Drive is compliant with 4x DVD+R/RW blanks burning at 2.4x speed.

  • Latest Firmware Update: 1.8E (currently only obtainable through HP RESCUE/driver CD) :confused:


Thank you, m8. So this drive can write at a maximum speed of 2.4x? :slight_smile:

I believe so for burning DVD+R/RW cds. Not sure yet what the read speeds are yet. As I discover more I will let you know.

I have succesfully burned a DVD+R at 2.4x. It plays on my tv dvd video pretty good but has problems playing the video on my Xbox. I believe it’s because the Xbox is more compliant to read DVD-R rather then DVD+R cds. As it appears, HP has intenended this DVD+R/RW drive to be more widely used for writing Data DVD files and home video on a wide format (4.7G) disk. It’s still better then not having a DVD ReWritable drive but if it were up to me, HP should have supplied us a DVD-R/RW instead of a plus drive. Reason being that DVD-R blanks are more affordable and widely accepted as the regular format. But I’m not complaining. :wink:

Spoke with HP Tech Support and this is what was concluded using the drive properties from Windows XP since they had NO information in their system for this drive.

16x DVD (read speed)
8x DVD+R (write speed)
8x DVD+RW (write speed)
16x CR-R (write speed)
16x CD-RW (write speed)
24x CD (read speed)

However the drive specs are listed on Amazon.com for my notebook:

CD-RW: 40x (read), 16x (write), 10x (rewrite); DVD-ROM: 8x; DVD Recorder: 2x (read), 1x (write), 1x (rewrite);

Optical Drives, Other Mass Storage:

CD-RW: 40x (read), 16x (write), 10x (rewrite)
DVD Recorder: 2x (read), 1x (write), 1x (rewrite)
Combo Drive: Yes

I had to order my Quick Restore CD from HP, I got the usual treatment…being transfered 8 times and given more incorrect phone numbers to call…and after finally getting the correct part # for the CDs and placing an order, the CDs are on Back Order. Go figure. :eek:

I would think the Amazon Specs are more accurate for this drive.

CD-RW: 40x (read), 16x (write), 10x (rewrite)
DVD Recorder: 2x (read), 1x (write), 1x (rewrite)

However I still question the DVD Recording speeds. I’ll try using Nero to see what speeds it redcords at.

I believe amazon specs are the correct ones. Right now only a handful of desktop writers can write at 8X (Plextor PX-708A one of them). No laptop version is able to write that fast as far as I know. I’ve write a ripped DVD with Clone DVD configured at maximum speed in about 20 to 30 minutes. I believe that shoulb be about 2 to 2.4x.

Roxio Easy CD lists the write speeds for DVD media at 1x or 2x in the max speed drop menu. :rolleyes:

Yes, I forgot to mention it:rolleyes: . BTW, the first DVD+R backup was tested on my XBOX. Posterior backups on DVD+R have worked just fine too. Brands used: Fujifilm (1x and 4x)and Phillips (2.4x).

I have also bought a HP Compaq nx9010 notebook that has this drive. It came preinstalled with Easy CD Creator 5 basic anc Sonic MyDVD. Does anyone know what software and/or how I can use DVD+RW discs in it with drag and drop facilities? I presume that a DVD+RW has the same capabilities as a CD-RW so that I can add and delete files through windows explorer.

I removed Roxio 5 from my Compaq Presario 2585US (with “Sony” DW-P50A) and replaced it with Roxio 6 Basic which came with a desktop CD-Writer I am not using. My main reason for installing the newer software was to have AudioCentral available to convert CD Music to MP3 and play it back on my laptop. Of course, I would like to be able to burn CDs as well.

I am having a couple of problems with this drive. First of all, when copying CDs, the best I can get is between 5x and 8x read speed! I am talking about the read portion of the burn where the data is cached to the hard drive. Even if this drive is only 24x read capable it should do better than that, shouldn’t it?

Also, I have run into a couple of CDs which this software cannot identify using Gracenote CDDB – when I put the CD into the drive and AudioCentral comes up, it queries Gracenote but a popup comes up asking me to enter all of the info about the CD myself! I have Roxio 6 running on a desktop computer at home with a DVD combo writer drive in it and this setup identifies both discs with no problem.

I am wondering if I have a defective drive that is getting read errors and this is the root of both problems.

Any ideas? Also, is there some sort of diagnostic program that I can get that will try to read back data from the drive at different speeds and give me feedback about error rates?

Also, what is the deal with all of the spinning up and down this drive does?

Thanks in advance…

There are two CDs now that I cannot retrieve information for, neither through Roxio AudioCentral nor Windows Media Player 9. Both are running under WinXP Home on my Presario 2585US.

Several other PCs with CDROM/CDRW/DVDROM/DVDRW drives have no trouble identifying either of the CDs. I burned copies of the CDs on another PC and my Presario will not recognize the copies, either.

I have run DVDInfo Pro speed and read error testing using one of the CDs in the DW-P50A drive and it passes both with no errors but the best speed it can do is a little over 10x.

So, I still have two questions: Why is the CD read so slow on this drive?, and Why doesn’t the computer with the DW-P50A in it recognize certain CDs that other computers recognize with no problem?

TIA for any suggestions…

You need to remember that even though the drive has a read speed of 24X this is for data only and is the maximum attainable speed that the drive can manage (the average will be lower).
When extracting data from audio CD’s you are using Digital Audio Extraction (DAE), the speed that this can be done at varies considerably with each burner/reader. In the case of the Sony DW-P50A as you have found it can barely manage a DAE speed of 5X. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about it apart from changing to another drive with better specs.

Okay, so the drive is a piece of junk! I am about ready to give Compaq a call about it. Do you know much about this drive, like who makes it? I have read that it is actually made by Lite-on, is that correct? If so, is there an equivalent Lite-on drive I can get info for?

Any ideas about why it won’t identify two of my CDs? This bothers me even more than the speed (or lack of it).

Thanks for the post, BTW…

Considering that this is one of the first DVD+RW portable version drives, I don’t think it is any junk. It even writes at faster speeds than the first desktop versions. Even today, more or less six months after I purchased the laptop that came with it, it is hard to find laptops (from major manufacturers like Dell, HP, Compaq) with internal DVD+RW drives. My experience with this machine has been more than reasonable. I’ve been able to backup a lot of DVD’s as long as the original is not too scratched.

Thanks for your reply…

If you notice, I did not mention its performance as a DVD writer - as such I have no problem with it so far, although I have not done much with it. My problem with this drive is that the CD Read/Write speed is so slow, not so much in terms of specs as with my actual experience with it. Also, I am puzzled about why it won’t even recognize two of my pre-recorded CDs while other computers have no trouble at all.

I do have a problem with Sony putting their name on this drive and then providing no support whatsoever. I just bought the computer it came in brand new last month, so I was expecting more from it, especially given the Sony name and that HP/Compaq had chosen it for this laptop.

What computer did yours come in?

Thanks again…


Is this the drive/computer you were referring to?


I thought I recognized your handle from seeing this post earlier. Do you have more than one of these drives, or have you actually had this one over a year now?