HP 420vi vs HP420i flashing et.al

Hello everyone,

This is my 1st post, just starting to get into dvd burning.
I just picked up my first two drives both HPs and was wondering
the difference between the drives if any.
they are:
HP 420vi (from Walmart) (HP DVD WRITER 420N f/w 1.27)
HP 420i (from Office Max)-- unopened as of now

The “i” was $30 cheaper. I suspect the “v” is just a vendor designation.
for walmart?? I’m using the vi now and haven’t opened the i yet.
I’ll try to get a price match if its all the same. anyone?

Does installing any offical HP software affect the EPROM chip and my abilities
to upgrade the burner with unoffical firmwares down the road. Somewhere in
the back of my mind I seem to recall reading a post somewhere about that.
But it could have been something else I read. I’m on a steep learning curve &
personal burnout w/ hardware and software reviews, burning techniques, et.al.
***From the HP website
“Before Running the Update:
The RecordNow software included on the DVD Writer installation disc must be
installed for the firmware update to operate successfully. Install RecordNow
before running this update.” ***

I see that Dangerous Brothers has two firmware sections on these
HP DVD WRITERS. I’m wondering which one to use when I attempt for my 1st time to
flash this rebadged nec2500 into nec2510 –
is it better to use the firmware that Dangerous Brothers has that
is from HP and for the HP 520 or something else.

Here are two sections from their webpage:

NEC ND-2500A:

HP Firmware reporting as “_NEC DVD_RW ND-2500A”

  • Rip Lock, Bit Setting, 2100@2500 - Binary Only
    HP 420n 1.25, HP 420n 1.27,
    HP 420n 1.28,= 2500r128.bin and
    HP 520n 2.21.= 2500r221.bin

or

HP DVD Writer 420n (420i, 420vi, OEM NEC ND-2500A)

Currently RPC1 firmwares based on 1.25 DOS RPC1/Rip Lock,
1.27 DOS RPC1/Rip Lock, and 1.28 DOS RPC1/Rip Lock. = Hp420128.bin

HP DVD Writer 520n (OEM NEC ND-2510A)

Currently supplied as binaries suitable for flashing in DOS.
The package includes original stock firmware, RPC1 with Rip Lock,
and Rip Lock only. 2.21 Binaries and Flasher

This package =
520NORIG.BIN Original binary as supplied
520NFAST.BIN 2100@2500 and Rip Lock Patches
520NRPC1.BIN RPC1, 2100@2500 and Rip Lock Patches

or is it better to use a Hermies firmware or other?/
Thank you very much for your time.

Well I took back the 420vi to walmart 40 days after buying it. They wouldn’t price match OM.

First I played around w/ flashing various FWs. I left it at the
520Norig.bin

Installed the OM’s one, 420i. Flashed it to 520 too.

To answer my q. about the dif. between vi and i, I
think it is that the vi had all gears as far as I could see from the front.
And it had smooth open/close action on the tray.

The one from OM - I can see a belt when it opens on the right front,
and is a little noisy as it opens. When it operates it is very quite.

One thing I’m concerned about is that the serial no as reported by various
dvd info tools is dif. from the box’s number and the drive’s label
(box=label but not software reporting programs). Does flashing have anything to do w/ that? This was factory sealed new.