Amusing warning from NEC re: "illegal" firmware



While I was browsing

I observed their warning:
Q: What would happen if illegal Firmware copies were used?
A: Optical drives are high-precision products. Usage environment and dispersion of parts characteristics will dramatically change performance. To absorb these dispersions and maintain the best performance, unique parameters are set up on every drive at each stage of production. Using illegal F/W copies may change these parameters. In such case, writing and reading performance could deteriorate, even though your drive works normally. We at NEC strongly urge you not to use such illegal copies.

So NEC has taken the position that: each drive gets unique parameters (ya right) and that modded firmware is ‘illegal’. Well NEC, technically while it is true that your work is under copyright as-is, but modded stuff is derivative and is not marketed as ‘the original’. In addition to that, I think I forgot to sign the paper at the screwdriver shop that says I am renting the drive, and that I don’t own it.

Give the customers what they want, and these problems that you perceive as ‘illegal’ will go poof.

You know? Like how capitalism works?


About unique parameters, If you look in lite-on forum some thread are speaking about “reset learning” and eeprom calibration specific for each drive. I don’t know if nec dvd burner contain such things.


NEC drives have calibration data, but this is not changed after burning a DVD.


Oh dear, your reply is confusing to me.

What happens if you flash a modded firmware like 1.UG onto a new drive and then burn a DVD?

Like I’ve just done?


You get a burnt DVD


Nec should be happy with those “illegal firmwares”… many users get Nec drivers just because there a lot of modded firmware, and this is the only way to get the most of Nec burners.


At least I had not bought a NEC burner without Herrie’s firmware that could do bitsetting.


I’d never buy an NEC burner without a modded firmware to flash it with! In stock form, NEC burners BLOW, no bitsetting, crappy media compatability, and few firmware updates! The ONLY reason I went with the 3500a was because of the modded firmwares. I would much rather have this than a BenQ or any other drive, but if I HAD to run the stock firmware, HELLO BenQ!!! Screw NEC, they can munch my brown eye for not releasing the error scanning firmware for my drive!!! :Z :a :stuck_out_tongue:


Illegal may be a poor choice of wording it but what NEC says there is what everyone says about consumer-modification of firmware for DVD and CD drives. If you don’t care much about warranty, such warning lines should pose no threat or implication to you. If you didn’t need anything like support or warranty, NEC has no responsiblity to maintain the pages for you. The page is meant for those who want to ask NEC and want good service. If you want to use an NEC drive with a modified firmware that NEC does not explicitly allow for end-user use and still want good service from NEC, you are forcing NEC to think of and plan more negative policies in the future. If you used a modified firmware, you are no longer a customer to NEC’s eyes.

Lite-On and NEC are at least less conservative than LG and Samsung. If NEC is capitalist, what is LG?


Don’t exaggerate too much. NEC ND-3500A was a very good drive even before any of the public firmware update and that was why firmware modification worked well for ND-3500A. I can still remember what rdgrimes and others said when ND-3500A was first made available. Quite many agreed write quality using “stock” firmware was better than any other drive.

ND-1000A and ND-1100A were also good choices for end user consumers when they were first released to OEM and retail at the end of 2002. Half of Sony and LG prices. If you look at the NEC section of, not many companies offered that many firmware updates than NEC. Of course, even NEC cannot compete against LG in LG’s home market so that’s the only reason I don’t have ND-3500A.


Benevolent dictator?


Hm… LG didn’t do well under the dictatorship actually. It was Hyundai that performed best, enough to have bought LG group itself.


strong call calling it illegal…i’ll do what i like to my burner though. i shop for odd’s with the intention of using hacked firmware, this is the reason why i will by another NEC in the future. Without patched firwares i wouldn’t bother with nec, might go benq way :stuck_out_tongue:

but as long as these great firmwares are being patched by liggy and tweaked by dee, that’s all the reason i need to stick with nec :slight_smile:


I have both a NEC-3500AG and an LG-4163B which is the best NEC any day.

Why you might ask…

Simple i can rip DVD’s at speed with my NEC but with the LG-4163B i can not rip DVD’s at speed.

The question I ask is.
Why is it the NEC drives have alternative firmwares to dissable the RipLock, but as yet the LG-4163B does not have.

Is it becuase the firmware for the LG-4163B RipLock to hard to crack ?

Also as an edit the LG-4163B will not read any data written UDF DVD - or + at speed either. Again the RipLock is most probaly the blame. Have written to LG many times but they just do not care. They just say install the latest firmware… :a WTF i allready tell them I have the latest firmware with pictures sent showing just that. :a

BTW… Are you planning to buy a LG drive now or the future I will tell you now do not do it. They are crap because of the RipLock that is seemingly Uncrackable by Anyone.


I don’t know much about LG firmwares, but I know that Riplock is very easy to remove on NEC drives. There’s a folder name in clear text in their firmwares and you simply need to change it to remove the riplock. LG probably works in a different way that it’s much more work there.


It’s not that NEC is strong-minded against NEC users. LG and Samsung also say it’s illegal for consumers in South Korea to buy LG and Samsung DVD drives and monitors from US and Japan that were produced in South Korea and exported overseas. That “illegal” doesn’t mean that NEC thinks you are violating laws. Regard it more like poor translation efforts or lack of ability to communicate with end users. Warning against user-modified firmware is standard for all companies listed under the DVD burner section of CDFreaks forums. The harshest is Samsung Electronics among those. Plextor and BenQ are probably most open-minded towards firmware modification or hacking or tweaking or overclocking or customization or whatever you choose to call it.

Nearly all of my DVD burners on these tables here are with modified firmware. LG GSA-4120B -> GSA-4160B, GSA-4163B with TDB rpc-1 and MCSE, lots of Lite-On drives all running Codeguys firmware, 10+ NEC drives, 6 BenQ drives, and also Plextor, Samsung, Ricoh, Pioneer… 2 TS-H552B to TS-H552U. After all, none of my 20+ DVD writers have any more valid warranty. Many of them I got “illegally” from manufacturer’s eyes. What I personally do to my own drives has nothing to do with whether I think it’s fair or not for NEC to warn consumers about using modified firmware.


Heard it’s going to take a lot of time. I use BenQ with the help of MCSE or Lite-On Omnipatched drives if I want to read faster (for more impressive transfer rate graphs.)


So it seems this drive is a tough nut to crack the RipLock.

Does someone feel confident to be able crack the RipLock for the LG-4163B ?


I’ll go along with translation not correct for illegal but then it would it not have been checked for translation i would have though by NEC.


My candidate :bigsmile:

BTW, next time post your questions in appropriate forum section. :wink: