Best Firmware for Dell OEM ND1100A servo5?

Hi guys.

First post here, so I hope I don’t mess up!

I promise I have searched this forum extensively and looked at Liggy, Herrie, TDB and the etna sites. but I’m not clear.

First, what I am trying to do. I am not bothered by RPC restrictions, but my Dell firmware is years out of date and it seems to be increasingly difficult to find media that will burn at full speed, or even totally reliably (in the case of RW. Works most of the time, but seems to dislike some Verbatim 4X discs, not all). The old Verbatim 2.4x RW and 4x R seems to have disappeared or got very expensive. I am hoping firmware with updated media info will help. I am quite happy sticking with ‘plus’ media

This is what I need help with. As mentioned in the thread title my drive is ‘servo 5’ (identified using the etna process and the Dangerous Brothers’ tool. Most of the firmware updates seem to be servo7. So are there any better (more reliable, more media)servo5 firmwares?

My thoughts were to play safe, use the etna process to replace my Dell firmware with the what seems to be the only servo5 generic firmware ("1.ND 5 (1.26)) and then use the standard NEC tool to upgrade to their latest - 1.93.

But does the NEC 1.93 firmware support servo5? I’m concerned that servo5 may be a funny Dell special and NEC have not released any generic firmware updates for it.

Will the NEC upgrade tool work if the above firmware is installed?

Is this even a good choice? Is there another safe option with good media support? As I said before, I am looking for increased ‘plus’ media support and good reliability, rather than removing RPC restrictions or trying to be an ND1300.

Any advice you can give would be most most appreciated.



OK. I decided to try the latest firmware on NEC’s European site (1.A3):

Don’t know how this differs from the version on the North America site (1.93).

I used binflash ( to upgrade in one step from Dell’s 10GE firmware and it worked flawlessly, however as I suspected this appears to be servo 7 firmware.

No real idea what difference this makes. All I can say is so far it appears to work fine. Several full Verbatim 4x DVD+RW discs have been written (@2.4x) and verified. A couple of Verbatim DVD+R 8x discs have been written (@4x), verified and played on a couple of DVD players without issue. This is great, because using the 10GE firmware these discs only wrote @2.4x.

So maybe the servo5/servo7 thing doesn’t matter, or maybe it does but I haven’t hit it yet. Of course I would still be interested in any comments from those in the know. If I hit any problems I will report back here in case anyone else is trying to do the same, otherwise assume all is working fine.

Maybe this doesn’t matter in case of DVD+R and DVD+RW, but all those 1x00 drives are too obsolete these days to be further supported, to be honest.

Is there anything better than the Herrie firmware, even if you don’t care about getting (somewhat flaky) -R capability. A lot of media codes are added and tweaked in the Herrie firmware

Not going to disagree this drive is old, but I don’t plan to replace it (breakdowns aside) until my next all singing all dancing PC in about a year.

Something better than Dell’s obsolete firmware at least allows the drive to do its job with media still available. On the face of it the latest NEC firmware is just fine.

Hacked firmware is I admit a new area for me. Maybe Herrie is best. I guess the point of my question is this “servo5” issue. Withou that the info on the main sites would be clear. There clearly are two versions of some NEC firmware for the two different servos. How do these differ? Does Herrie support both?

I know I’m not an expert here but a fair amount of time spent trawling leaves the question unanswered so far.

Although it is all a bit old hat, any info from those who hacked it back then would be much appreciated!

Just to say, in case anyone else is considering the same, several weeks later and the NEC 1.A3 firmware is holding up perfectly.

Tempted to say “job done”. The servo issue seems to be non-issue, for me at least. I guess it could vary from drive to drive.