How to install NEC 3500, the right way?

Me and my friend both purchased a nec nd3500.

To begin with, I have a dell dimension 8300. For those who don’t know, all the drives are screwed into 2 green sliders. There are spare sliders attached to the inside of the pc. The assembly with the 2 sliders, clicks into place into the drive bay but doesn’t fit tightly. Of course, it’s much easier for a company like dell to work this way but is it safe if the drive isn’t attached directly to the case?
It seems like I have 3 IDE connectors on my motherboard: 2 black ones, one smaller than the other (I think it goes to a floppy drive that isn’t present in my pc) and 1 white. If I remember well, the white one is connected with the far end to my hard disk. The black one is connected the same way to my old nec nd-1100. If I sell my nd1100 should I connect my 3500 as master to the same IDE as my hard disk. What are the advantages of all the possibilities?
My soundcard (chaintech av710) will arrive tomorrow. I don’t know if it includes an analog audio cable. Do I need this if I run XP. I’ve heard that this isn’t necessary.

My friend’s pc has a slightly different setup. He has a LITE-ON LTR-52246S cd-rw drive and he is going to use it along with his nd-3500 and his audigy 2 ZS. How would his setup be the most efficient? He isn’t going to copy on the fly very much.

What’s the best driver for the moment? I don’t need any special overburning or high speed copying features. Bitsetting and compatibility are important. Should I backup the original driver or can a download it again later, if something’s wrong?

Last time i looked Dell were using an Antec case, those sliders work well and will hold the drive in place perfectly well.
Your harddisc will most likely be connected to the primary channel and set as Master, fitting the ND-3500 as slave on that channel should not be a problem, or as you say you can remove the old drive and simply replace it with your new ND-3500, just set as MASTER or SLAVE depending on how your old drive is set.

You’ll need the audio cable if you intend to play music cd’s.

Your friends PC, i’d check how the Liteon drive is set, if its set on MASTER i’d change the Liteon to SLAVE and set the ND-3500 to MASTER. In both PC’s use 80 connector IDE cables for best performance.

By Driver i assume you mean Firmware. I’d make sure both drives are working correctly before attempting to FLASH them with non offical firmware. Then read up on the threads here on cdfreaks before making a choice of firmware to use.

If you setup your NEC drive in Windows to use digital playback, you won’t need the audio cable at all. Otoh, if you have the audio cable, you might as well connect it.

Digital playback of music cd’s is the norm with Windows XP and reads music data from the drive through the IDE data cable - just like when ripping an audio cd.

To check that digital playback is used, open the Device Manager, double-click the relevant DVD/CD-ROM drive, select the “Properties” tab:
[v] Enable digital CD audio for this CD-ROM device.

On your friends pc there are basically four choices:

  1. put the new 3500 drive as a slave on the secondary channel with the cd-rw drive.
  2. put the new 3500 drive as a slave on the primary channel with the harddrive.
  3. put the new 3500 drive as master on the secondary channel, at the same time changing the cd-rw drive to a slave on the same channel.
  4. put the new 3500 drive as a master on the secondary channel, at the same time moving the cd-rw over to the primary channel and changing it to a slave.

None of these choices is the “best” one in all scenarios, but #1 and #3 are probably the best choices in most cases. Personally I’d go for #3, but #1 is a bit easier.

Don’t expect to copy on-the-fly at maximum speed with two optical drives on the same channel!

Regarding the original firmware in your 3500 drive, I would definitely save it before flashing your drive with new firmware; I don’t think you can download any 3500 firmware from NEC’s official websites (at least I can’t find any), and you shouldn’t depend on the unofficial firmware pages providing the original firmware if you need it sometime in the future. Use the “dump” feature of binflash ( to save the original firmware.

Now that’s some straight forward response :slight_smile:
It seems like option 3 is best for my friends pc. I don’t know if I should connect mine to the same IDE channel as my hard disk though. Could you explain in detail how drives function better either on the same IDE channel or on a separate one. If you do a “on the fly” copy too fast, would the disk be corrupted? I thought that was impossible these days with all the buffer underrun protection etc.


re copy on the fly : no, it would just slow the copy down, the ND-3500 has underrun protection.

I copy on the fly with both reader (Memorex)sec mas and writer (NEC-2510)sec slave and have no problem whatsoever BUT if the process fails in anyway the disk being burnt is a coaster!


you should separate your drives on different channels as much as possible. If you only have one harddrive and one optical drive, put the optical drive as a master on its own channel. Whenever you have two drives on the same channel (as master and slave) they are competing for the same bandwidth, and in some cases they may interact with each other in a way that slows down even further. It is difficult to predict when two drives on the same channel will interact badly with each other.

I’m guessing from your initial system description that you have a Serial ATA controller in your pc, with a harddrive connected to the S-ATA (white port), and that you have a (Parallel) ATA controller with one channel (the wider black port) with a NEC ND-1100 attached. If you sell your ND-1100, put the ND-3500A where the ND-1100 is now (as master). If you keep your ND-1100, put the ND-3500A on the same channel as the ND-1100 on the same cable, with the ND-3500 as slave and the ND-1100 as master or vice versa. If the cable only has a connector for a single drive, get a new 40 pin 80 conductor cable with two connectors.

Ok, but should you set the oldest drive to master because it needs more bandwith? Or is this hard to tell because I suppose your writer would need the most bandwith right?

BTW I bought the bulk version of the nd-3500. I have no cables, no software. Should I install a driver besides flashing the drive to 2.27+ ? Currently seems like the best firmware to me. Just double checking, I really don’t need an extra audio cable, right?

If possible set the ND-3500 to MASTER, although it doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference with the ND-3500, also make sure DMA is enabled for your IDE controller, and set to Ultra DMA 2 transfer mode, and its best to use the standard Microsoft IDE drivers.

Don’t FLASH the drive with new firmware until your sure its working correctly, flashing with unoffical firmware will VOID your warranty.

You don’t need to install a driver for the ND-3500, any version of Windows starting with Win95 has builtin drivers for optical drives. Yo do need to have some burning software installed of course, if you want to burn anything else than simple CDs (which Windows XP can do for you if you enable CD recording on the drive).

You really don’t need an extra audio cable… unless you really really want to be able to play from the analog output of your drive.