NEC 3550a won't burn DL past 4.2x

Hello all, I’m new to this forum… I recently purchased an NEC 3550a burner. My PC is a Dell Dimension 8200, P4 1.7GHz with 256MB RDRAM, using two 80GB ATA133 hard drives. XP Home is the OS.

I’m able to rip DVDs at around 10x, but when I try to burn an image to a Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL disc, the speed will not surpass 4.2x. The drive supposedly can burn dual layer at 8x. I’ve tried several different programs, from Nero to DVD Decrypter to imgburn, but none of them will actually burn at 8x. I do have the latest firmware from NEC’s website.

This is troubling because Verbatim currently makes the only decent 8x DL media, as far as I know…so trying another brand isn’t an option.

CDs do burn at the advertised 48x speed.

Any ideas what might be holding this thing back?

ALSO: is there a region-free hack for this drive somewhere? Thanks so much… :bow:

Hi slowpogo and welcome to the forum

There are many things that may be keeping the speed down.

The first thing you can try is using CD-Speed, supplied with Nero to check what your setup is capable of.
Use an already burned DVD Single layer disc and use the “Transfer rate test” to measure the rate, save the screenshot using the “disc icon” at the top of the application and post your result here using the “manage attachment” feature of the forum.

You can find all sorts of patched firmware here -> but lets make sure your drive is functioning properly before you start messing with patched firmware which will void your warranty.

Yep! You need Liggy’s and Dee’s FW for this beast. Flash away.

OK, here’s the snaphot…

Alright, I grabbed the 1.Y6 firmware from Liggy and Dee, and–[insert heavenly voices]–my next burn was at 8.3x (!), and I’m over halfway through watching the film with no errors whatsoever. !!! Thanks a lot guys…

My only question is, why is a third party able to come up with better firmware than NEC?

Because it’s supported by the heavenly geekness?!