I have some queries I would like to discuss and hopefully find the best solution. Recently I have experienced problems with burning new DVDs on my NEC ND-3530A drive. Upgrading the firmware should make it. I tried to find it on official NECâ€™s website but without any success. I downloaded and successfully upgraded the driveâ€™s firmware with version 3.01 from http://liggydee.cdfreaks.com The problem has not been solved. Ala42 helped me with his Media Code Speed Edit (MCSE) v188.8.131.52 to fix a bug in the firmware for Imation DVD-R 16x [MBI 01RG40] which was indicating an error “Illegal disc” in Nero (http://club.myce.com/f86/mediacodespeededit-support-nec-dvd-writers-139455/index15.html). Now I am still looking for a way how to burn Tesco DVD+R [Dvsn+160-001-000] and possibly other unsupported media types by the firmware.
Step 1: To ask NEC for an update of the firmware
I think that there is a newer version than 3.01 Actually where does this version come from as ND-3530A is missing on the NECâ€™s list of supported drives? http://support.necam.com/Optical/downloads/FlashFirmware/
According to NECâ€™s DVD Media Lists http://support.necam.com/Optical/downloads/MediaLists.asp for ND-3530a there is some 3.02 version. It seems that they forgot to publish it for public downloading.
The problem is that there is no proper contact. Probably they do not want to be bothered by customers. Does anybody have experience and know how to contact them with queries about optical drives and firmwares?
Step 2: To make own update
I checked the firmwares for another 2 similar drives: ND-3520A v3.07 and ND-3540A v1.04. They both have firmwares updated to the same level. I would like to achieve that level for ND-3530A, too. Is it possible to import missing media codes with writing strategies from different firmware? I mean to find some patterns in the firmwares which make the difference among drives on one hand and what is common inside the firmware on the other hand. Data could be then somehow exported, adjusted and then imported. I am not a programmer so I cannot hack binary files. What programming skills are necessary for this task? Assembler, C++, â€¦? I can just use some existing tools and analyze their outputs. Please find attached file:
Even Lister of Total Commander (key [F3]) is able to show you blocks of data where you can clearly recognize all media types (codes) grouped according to DVD kinds each followed by a version of a writing strategy, data … There are 674 different media types in ND-3540A v1.04 firmware. Does it mean that there is the same amount of writing strategies in the firmware?
Step 3: To use existing writing strategies for unsupported media types
MCSE by ala42 is able to list supported media types of a firmware and should be able to set different writing strategy from strategies in firmware. I will try later.
Step 4: To use only supported media
Now I know about the existence of Unique Disc Identifier of the DVDs and that it is not just about DVD kinds like +/-R, +/-RW, +/-R9. DVD Identifier located at http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com can be used to identify a DVD and its media code can be imported in MCSE. That is how DVD-R: MBI 01RG40 bug in the firmware can be fixed. Just follow import instructions in MCSE. I have not found any other similar bug in firmware. I compared all media codes (except DVD+R) in ND-3530A v3.01 with ND-3520A v3.07 using output (hexadecimal values) of NecDump 1.2.3 Made by Quikee (it has problem to list +R for ND-3520A v3.07). The problem is that Unique Disc Identifier preburned on DVDs is not printed on a label of their package, so a customer does not know whether media is supported by his hardware (and its firmware).
Step 5: To crossflash the drive
I have found some informations that it could be possible to upgrade (to ND-3540A) or downgrade (to ND-3520A) ND-3530A drive by crossflashing. All mentioned drives use the same chipset but is their hardware really the same?
NEC Drive Converter can be found here http://liggydee.cdfreaks.com/page/en/NEC-Drive-Converter/
If I changed the driveâ€™s ID from ND-3530A to ND-3540A, how would I update itâ€™s firmware as a computer and operating system would have problem to recognize the drive with the wrong firmware? I am not equipped with external hardware flasher and do not have proper skills.
A conversion could break the drive and lead to Step 6
Step 6: To buy a new drive
Would you buy a NEC drive again? Good drive vs poor support and customer service.