NEC 3500 Confused have a few questions?

Hey Guys!

I recently purchased a Nec 3500 from Newegg and some Ri-data 8x DVD+R disk. Ive been using a PLextor 708a and Pioneer 1.06 for a while so i wanted to experiment with some DL burning.

After reading a variety of post in this forum ( man what a great resource) its seems that Herries 2.17 firmware was recommened. SO i proceeded with what appear a successful flash to 2.17.

Here’s where my questions start.

  1. Bitsetting- I read a few of the threads on bitsetting so i know the technical description but im still not grasping the practical application as it related to real world.
    SO do you set bookend for SL media to make the media more compliant with your burner or the finished burn more compliant with a variety of DVD readers?
    Does the same go for DL
    Under what circumstances does one want to change the bitsetting.

  2. How are you guys getting the option to overspeed media?
    Example burning at 12x with 8x media!
    Im using Nero 63125

  3. My Nec wont burn the 8x Ridata DVD+R at anything but 4.

I realize these questions have probably been answered over and over again. Ive read here for a while and things just seem to run together. If anyone would take the time to answer these questions it would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. THis drive already makes me Angry because of how good it is compared to the DRU500,P-106, and Plextor 708a ive got at 1/3 the price.



I am the proud owner of two 3500’s

If you flash the firmware to Herries 2.17 you should be able to burn the Riteks at 8x-

However be warned that this type flashing may nullify any possible RMA if 'ya smoke the burner-

As far as bit setting goes - well don’t worry about it too much-it has never been an issue for me yet-

The firmware for the 3500 is media specific and so far the only 12x and 16x burn speeds seem to be with the Taiyo Yuden -R’s and +R’s


Bit setting is for playback comaptibility with standalone home DVD players on burned DVD media than with burners or DVD-ROM drives. Nero should auto bit set on the NEC on SL media, the NEC does the bit setting automatically for DL media.

As already mentioned, overspeeding certain media needs modified firmware, the NEC stock firmware limits most media to rated speeds and only allows a few known quality brands of media to overspeed!

Please be advised, you need firmware that supports Single Layer bitsetting to use the Auto Bitsetting feature in NERO, also, it is still not clear if NERO handles this correctly and MAY set the internal counter on the ND-3500AG. If it does this, the ND-3500AG has a limit of 256-500 counts before bitsetting counts to zero, if this should happen you will no longer be able to set BOOKTYPE to DVD-ROM, i’d advise using the WinBtSet utility to set booktype to DVD-ROM and switch off the auto bitsetting feature in NERO until it’s clear what this feature of NERO is doing.

EDIT : @MaXimus
Some media has been speeded to 12X 16X by NEC, there is also some TEST firmware which some of us are using to speed up certain media’s. Take a look here for more details.

Answers to your questions:

  1. The practical application of bitsetting (aka changing booktype) is to allow compatibility for older home DVD players with +R discs. There is not a compatibility problem for -R discs. Bitsetting changes the +R disc to a DVD-ROM type, and thus can be recognized by the older DVD player. Newer DVD players do not have this problem. The NEC 3500 automatically changes DL +R discs to DVD-ROM, but if you want SL bitsetting, you need either Herrie’s fw 2.17 or TDG’s Maddog 2f8. (Another, unrelated reason to flash the fw is to get rid of the riplock in the NEC 3500 which prevents fast reading of DVD videos.)

  2. Overspeeding depends on the quality of the media, and the fw of the burner. There is no real reason to overspeed 4x media, since 8x media is now available. However, it is nice to burn 8x discs at 12x if you can get a quality burn. The NEC 3500 capability for 16x is limited to Verbatim 16x media, which is hard to find. Also, if you are archiving data, it is not recommended to burn faster than the media is rated for, and some say not to archive over 4x anyway for quality reasons. A fast burn is useless if the quality is reduced.

  3. YOu may have a bad batch. Try better media.

Happy burning!

Hey guys thanks for all the Info and the quick response’s you helped clear up bitsetting for me!

I flashed to Herries 2.17 and saved my old Firmware. To clear up the overspeed issue. If the media has been pre-tested by NEC or the Firmware modder and is in the table for it the i will automatically be able to select the higher burn speeds? Or are you guys using a program to force it to overspeed?

What is a good program and/or method to test my media to make sure its the media and not the burner? It looked like Nero has a bench mark where you actually burn to a disk but is there a way just to scan the disk ect?

With the massive drop in price this will actually be fun to play around with.


The selectable burn speeds are in the firmware, be it a hacked or stock firmware. Those speeds are then selectable in your burning software.

If your using NERO, NERO CD/DVD Speed Utility can burn and test media.

I just got a NEC ND 3500AG too. I upgraded from a Sony DRU 500A that performed +500 burns almost flawlessly. I read lots of forums before deciding on the 3500a. I saw lots of posts about firmware so I had some of the same questions as MaXimus.

Is is fair to say that if you have a newer DVD player that plays DVD-R and DVD+R with no problems, you should just be satified with the 2.16 firmware it came with and be happy with the speed (even though some hacks can lower burn times by a minute or two)? I can’t see why a person like that (like me) would want to take chances on “unoffical” NEC firmwares, but maybe I’m missing something so I’m asking.

One clarification: I flashed fw with TDB 2f8, which removed the riplock, but to change bitsetting to DVD-ROM there is a separate program called winbtype.exe. I am not sure if this program will set booktype on the OEM 2.16 fw. If there is no incompatibility for your burned video discs with your DVD player, then there is no need to change your drive’s bitsetting.

The only reason I flashed the fw was to remove the riplock. My previous drive was a Toshiba which was a very fast ripper, and I wanted to improve my NEC 3500ag’s rip speed. It is still not as fast as my old Toshiba 8x burner, which I gave to my brother-in-law, but I am happy to have a drive that will be able to burn high quality 8x, 12x, and eventually 16x.

My son has a Sony DRU 500, and I agree with Benzima that is an excellent burner. I believe it has an 8meg cache, has great media compatibiltiy and high quality burns. The bottom line is a quality burn, not speed if it lowers quality.

can you tell me how to switch off auto bitsetting feature in Nero?

There are probably many ways of doing this but i find this the easiest.

Open Nero
Select the recorder menu, then select choose recorder
From the dialog that appears, click the Options button.
In the BookType setting select Current recorder setting

Call me thick headed but the overburn speeds in the firmware you refer too, Do they work off media as well in other words The firmware has to see a certain media ( entered in a table within the firmware) inserted before it will unlock the higher speed settings? I have tried like 3 different media types and mine wont give me any options higher than 8.

SO that is to say Ritech G01 8x DVD+R has to be present in the firmware before it will allow Nero to “unlock” the higher burn speeds. Or am i limited simply because the exact media i place in there is scanned by Nero and will only “unlock” the speed settings that disk should qualify for?

Im trying to determine if i have a bunch of low quality media that is not capable my 8x Ritech will only allow 4x within options for example of if there is a consideration im not taking into account, or configuration issue.

sorry to beat a dead horse guys


All DVD media has a MID code, the firmware stores what speed a media can be burned at and which speed options. Each type of dye has its own unique MID code, the disc is read when you insert it into the drive and the burn options is then passed to your burn program.

For a list using one of the most popular firmwares used on the ND-3500AG, i refer you to this thread.

That’s too bad. Will I void the warranty if I flash my drive with either Herrie’s or TDG’s firmware ? If I will, well I’d rather buy the Pioneer A08XL which has better writing quality.

It hasn’t (that really depends on the discs you use anyway). If you are afraid of voiding your warranty, you can buy the Maddog (USA) or TDK (worldwide) OEM version of this drive. Both companies have released bitsetting firmware that can be used without voiding the warranty.

P.S.: None of the Pioneer drives supports SL bitsetting.