Sorry. Meant no disrespect.
As for flashing the drive, it's rather painless. Just make sure you don't have anything else running at the time. Using BinFlash you can flash your drive in windows if that's what you're using for an OS. (Not making any more assumptions here! :)) The NEC forum has the best group of people in it who will answer any and all of your questions. Just make sure to read the sticky topics first as they don't like redundant questions. Once you flash your drive to a firmware that supports single layer bit setting, BinFlash can also set the book type you want to use for SL +R, +RW, and DL +R discs. - format discs not only don't require bit setting, it doesn't support it.
Now, I'm going to make another suggestion pertaining the software you're using. DVDXCopy is an ok software, but, there are more capable software packages out there that you should at least take a look at. On the freeware side of things, DVD Decryptor is great at ripping discs(even with the new copy protections) to your hard drive. DVD Shrink, also freeware, is an excellent transcoder that allows you to keep the whole movie or just do a movie only copy. Nero's Recode is a derivative of DVD Shrink...the author of Shrink went to work for Nero. Recode is the commercial version of Shrink. CloneDVD2 is another great software that I use in combination with AnyDVD. Both programs can be bought from SlySoft in a package deal. AnyDVD allows you to process the DVD on the fly...it's a driver that sits between the DVD drive and whatever software you use to process it. It really speeds up the process a lot.
Anyway, I hope this info helps. Check out the individual forums for all the software to get an idea of what they can and can't do. Also visit the NEC forum for more info on flashing your drive and to find a bit setting capable firmware. Oh, and if you're concerned with messing up the drive, simply make a backup of your current firmware using binflash. If something goes wrong or it doesn't work the way you want, you can always flash it back to its original state. Good luck!