Thank you so much for posting the steps for recovering the NEC 6650-A drive. I had the same problem, and the steps worked perfectly on my XPS Gen2 system. I now have my original firmware.
I now have a question for everyone: I tried to update my firmware because my NEC drive stopped being able to recognize CDs or DVDs. It makes a strange grinding sound when it tries to read discs, and it can't read anything. I've only had the drive for a few weeks, and have only put it through light or moderate use.
Would updating firmware likely fix this problem? Or is it more likely that the hardware has just gone bad?
Strangely enough, this is the second drive that has had this problem on the XPS laptop. The NEC replaced the Sony DW-D56A drive, which also stopped being able to recognize discs. Dell tech support put the drive through a whole battery of system tests, then decided to send me the NEC drive. Strange that this same problem has occurred in a different model drive.
Any thoughts extremely appreciated!