NEC 3550A sucks?

This is my 3rd NEC 3550A from different vendors.

My MB is an old Asus P4S533. It has 2 Ultra DMA 133 port.

Port 1: One HD and one old Pioneer A104 DVD writer
Port 2: One HD and one OLD CD-ROM drive.

I use Ultra DMA133 cable on both ports. Pioneer works well.

Now I upgrade Pioneer to NEC 3550A. Nothing works. I cannot flash firmware, cannot write, can read. I read several posts and think I might have to use regular IDE 80pin cable to hook up NEC 3550A. Since I cannot change my HD layout (otherwise I will get ‘NTLDR is missing’ error), I have to install my spare Promise Ultra133 TX2 card and use regular 80pin IDE cable to connect 3550A to it.

Promise card URL:

Post shows that NEC 3550A is UDMA 2, which is correct (?).

Now I am able to flash firmware (I use 1.Y6 now). But, I still cannot write on top of either default firmware or 1.Y6. I tried DVD+R DL and DVD-R. I tried Nero, DVD Decrypter.


  1. NEC 3550A is a much newer product than Pioneer A104. How come its compatibility is so bad?

  2. Now I don’t think my drive is defective. Any ways to work around?


Which brand of media did you use?
Did you try DVD+R or CD-R?
Try media from good manufacturers (Verbatim, That’s, Plextor). I remember older NECs were sensitive to less known media, at least the 4x 1300s were, but I’m not sure about newer NECs.

All my DVD discs are Verbatim.
I don’t have DVD+R.

Thanks anyway.

Both hard drives should be on the first controller. Your dvd drive should be secondary master and your cd drive should be secondary slave. When you install a cd/dvd drive on the same channel as your hard drive, it will slow down your hard drive and reduce your transfer rate.

Assume you are right, which I am not sure. How do you explain my OLD dvd drive works like a champ, and the ‘newer’ NEC doesn’t work at all?

I don’t know why your 3550 does not work, but the IDE settings are common knowledge. Here is the first link from Google:

I have to ask, how did you even manage to connect them that way? Most computer cases are designed to physically make it impossible for an IDE cable to be able to connect both a hard drive and a DVD/CD together in order to prevent a system conflict.

The reason I setp up like this way, which I have used for FIVE years, is I have to make CD-to-CD copy all the time. If the DVD and the CD are in the same IDE channel, certainly it will effect the performance.

So back to my original question, how the hell does NEC drive not work?

Hey, my setup is already changed anyway and NEC drive still doesn’t work:

IDE1 on MB: one HD
IDE2 on MB: one HD
Promise IDE card: NEC drive

Now I think even you don’t think my setup is ‘wrong’, right?


Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’d have put an optical drive on an IDE controller card.

I’d have arranged it the way ChrisWB suggests. Indeed, up until not long ago, I myself had two HDDs on the Primary IDE channel, and two burners on the Secondary. :slight_smile:

Edit: having the two optical drives on the same channel will only affect performance if you’re copying on-the-fly. Which I wouldn’t do anyway. :wink:

Right, I do copy CD on the fly, why not? :slight_smile:
Certainly I won’t waster my time to reinstall OS and all the stuff for a $35 cheap NEC drive. :slight_smile:

Will go for external DRive, oh no, will never use any NEC products in my life time. They suck. Have a good one, guys.

I think that’s a common misconception; modern IDE controllers have independent timers, so the hdd will run at full speed, and the optical drive will run at its speed independently.

You will however get a slowdown when the optical drive is being accessed, as only one device can use the IDE channel at a time; optical drives have slower access times than hdds.

The NEC drive will NOT work on a Promise controller card. It needs to be connected the motherboards own IDE controller. In fact, i doubt any modern 16x optical drive will work on a Promise card.

I put my friend’s Samsung on Promise, it works well.

Could you tell me why?

Maybe you can post a picture of Transfer Rate Test and let us see this drive working well on this controller card?

This is getting interesting.
Sure I can ask my friend lend his samsung drive again.
But, any rewards? How’s $100 sound?

How does $0 sound?

If you want money for participating in this thread or on this forum, then we’re not interested. :wink:

so be it. :slight_smile:

This is wrong. The ODD has nothing to do on this Promise, only HDDs.

Because it’s Samsung and brand new…

This is the data sheet of Promise card.

Isn’t that NEC 3550A ATAPI drive?

NEC drive is also brand new.
Yeah, it’s because it’s samsung.