Thanks for the new tips. It got me somewhere, although finally the drive still crashes the whole system when any CD/DVD media is in.
Here's my story. I have a NF2 chipset based mobo (Abit AN7) which uses nVidia ATA/IDE driver. I took the advice and "roll back" the driver to Windows' default IDE driver, and restart the system to the Safe Mode. There, I could finally see BQFlasher detect my OEM BenQ DW1655 all right (so looks like it's getting somewhere.)
In the Safe Mode, I carefully checked Primary/Secondary IDE DMA settings on Device Manager, and verified that all drives were set to the "PIO Mode", i.e. no DMA is enabled at any channel. Then I used BQFlasher to cross flash the BCDB.exe firmware. After it is done, I shut down the computer, and turn back on to the normal windows mode. Inserted a DVD movie, then the system froze up just like before.
I reboot it and removed the the DVD, and let windows boot into the Safe Mode again. Again I verified the PIO Mode setting, but this time I would like to try direct firmware flashing with the BCDB.exe alone. The direct flashing was done successfully, and I reboot the windows into normal mode. After windows was up, I inserted a music CD and the system still got locked up as usual.
At this point I strongly suspect this OEM BenQ itself is defective, although there is no way I could prove that. The retailer (I/O Magic) does not provide their own 'touched' firmware to the public, hence I am stuck. If someone would help me out with the Nero Info details, where should I start the thread and ask?
Thanks for your time.