Best firmware...official or unofficial?

I use my NEC 3500AG external mainly to burn to a blank dvd from an *iso file, that has been shrunk and adjusted. I use various softwares.

I have an internal Toshiba (FW x905) ‘unlocked’ , RPC1, and region free to read the DVD.

I then create an *.ISO file by shrinking and whatever else happens.

Lately I have had great difficulty burning anything, (mostly use nero, trying other softwares,)

and have reflashed my NEC a few times, - currently have LD 2.TC , and have even changed media and the like. (Current media is TDK)

Nothing seems to be working to enable me to burn error free.
Previous media is unavailable, so my burner has gone haywire.

Since I use the NEC 3500 AG almost 99.9999999% of the time to burn and do not play a dvd/ movie, does it matter that I only use Official NEC firmware?

My *.ISO file is already region free and decrypted via the creation of the *.ISO file,

Therefore I suspect the region free, riplock and rpc 1 feature of amended NEC firmware may not be necessary in my situation.

Is this theory correct?

If the answer to the above hypothesis is “Yes”,

Which, then, is the best NEC firmware to flash,
or must I reflash each time I change media?

For example, I just purchased a TDK blanK DVD -R (8X);
should I flash to the official NEC TDK firmware listed in the link?

If yes, which is best, most current, TDK official NEC firmware to use?

Must I reflash each time I use different media?

Hope I haven’t confused everyone too much.

You are all so helpful and much more knowledgeable than I am about this.

Something is amiss and I can not figure the best solution.

Thanks in advance,


Second, that firmware is a silver bullet to solve all problems is a common myth. “Lately I have had great difficulty burning anything” If the drive was working before and stopped working now, then firmware will not solve anything. You can flash to a dozen different firmwares two dozen times and it won’t change anything.

In general, the only thing that a firmware will fix (riplock removal and RPC1 is more of an improvement than a fix) is burn quality issues on certain media–issues that have always existed. Any other sorts of issues will almost never ever be fixed by firmware. And as for burn quality issues, if the drive used to work fine and has just recently developed burn quality issues (i.e., if it’s an issue that has not always existed), then that’s usually a physical issue and not a firmware issue. Your drive might be getting old. The lens might be getting dusty. Or you might just have bad luck and have a drive that’s on its way to that big place in the sky.

As for official vs. unofficial, if you have no need for RPC1 (I have to admit, I’ve never used a RPC1 firmware… not very useful for me personally when I can’t get a hold of anything other than region 1 discs in the USA) or riplock removal, then there’s no point in having them. But riplock removal (which is implemented trivially by having the drive look for something other than VIDEO_TS when determining whether or not to kick in the video riplock) and RPC1 are things that should never ever affect burn quality–they are just small insignificant components of a much larger firmware. If you replace the Minesweeper program in Windows with something else, it’s not going to affect any other part of Windows. Likewise here.

Thank you for that insightful answer.

I guess you are suggesting my firmware is okay, then.

I suspect the media may be the problem,
as I reside currently in a place where we suspect everything we purchase,
is the order of the day.

So much bogus stuff is sold here, (Though the NEC is a real NEC, as I purchased that from a USA vendor) and we can not tell if the media item is a knockoff or not.

I just checked the media and it appears to be real TDK media.
Used Disk Identifier and it says manufacturer TDK, (TTG02).

Previous media TY G02 burned fine. As mentioned I can not access those discs here anymore.

As for NEC DVD writer, it is new as from December 2004.

I will blow some air into it as you may be correct about optical lens being dusty.
(though it just did the disk identifier process…)

I reside on an island where dusty wind is an everyday occurrance.

The TDK media which did not work was one of two units I purchased:
one burned okay, and the other one did not.

Other media I used was
ATi, infomedia r 20 and about 7 or 8 of the 25 pack spindle became coasters.


I will ponder whether I ought to try and restore to original NEC firmware.

Problem is, I have an external writer with a USB 2.0 connection,
and the official NEC firmware will only seem to take with an internal connection.

I have read and reread the link to and about NEC,
and think I can flash using wingui… and a *.bin file.

And then I think I must restore first to an earlier FW, 2.16 or so.
Is that correct?

Unless someone has a simple suggestion and solution.

Thank you again.

Blew air into DVD writer with a compressed air duster.

Just reflashed back to 2.FD, (v2.19 plus RPC1 and riplock) now if I can only locate
a *.bin to go to basic NEC v2.19 that might make me feel better.

Or is is safe to stay where I am for now with 2.FD?

Does anyone have a link to the v2.19 basic bin?