I just bought mine a few days ago and it works fine with Recordnow that I already had in the pc. I haven't tried the Nero stuff yet that came with the drive. Dvdidentifer and a couple of those types of apps work fine too with the drive. Fw flash worked fine too. 2Fa is the current Maddog fw as of a couple of days ago.
Obvious things to walk through-
Does the pc see the drive as a device?
What program did you use to try for the burns..Nero? Something else?
Did you try various media for burining.
For the fw flash, did you download and save to c: drive first, then double click to flash?