Newbie nec 3520 question



Hi i just ordererd my nec 3520 OEM online and i don’t know much about firmware. On the nec site, it says i shouldn’t download the official fw (3.04) for an OEM and on this site i see people have downloaded dee’s fw. I just wanna know if it’s even worth doing a fw upgrade for someone who’s not really hardcore about burning?? I see people say the riplock is a big issue…

Also, has there been cases where dee’s fw has caused problems for people. i don’t want to download an upgrade and then lose the warranty over it if it causes any problems



NEC refers OEM drives to drives under differrent brand names, i.e HP, MadDog, TDK, and so forth. Most hardware shops refer to bare drives under to manufacturers own name as OEM but NEC calls them BULK drives. You are fine to use the 3.04 firmware from there site.


I bought this from an online retailer tigerdirect. And does 3.04 improve some problems such as riplock.


If you’re happy with how the unit burns your particular media, and you don’t need extra options like no riplock, bitsetting, better writing strategies for many media and possibly no PIE/PIF scanning abilities, then keep the firmware the unit came with …

You can upgrade to the official 3.04 using binflash, even if NEC’s own flasher doesn’t let you do it …

I haven’t seen any such case yet … a lot of people are using Liggy and Dee’s firmwares and have no problems whatsoever … However, by using unofficial tools and unofficial firmware, you will void your warranty. So you have to decide what you want … and if you want to take this risk …

If you’re not happy with one firmware, you can always go back to an official one later on …

On the other hand, when updating the firmware, there’s always a small risk that something might happen, and this is true for official firmwares too, but these things very rarely happen.

Have a look at the FAQ section as well.


All official firmwares have riplock enabled and come without DVD+R and DVD+RW bitsetting! If you want to get rid of the riplock, and you want to have bitsetting too, then your only choice is to use unofficial FW.

If you don’t want to use unofficial FW, my advice is to at least update your FW to the latest official one (3.04), if your drive doesn’t come with it already.


couple of questions:
Does riplock have a major effect when ripping DVD movies? How significant is it?
How would i know which fw it comes with?
If i buy it from an online retailer which says it isl OEM, what’s the difference with this one and a manufacturd one such as TDK, HP etc?
and if so how come on the nec site is says OEM drives shouldn’t download the 3.04 fw



From the FAQ:
Q: What is riplock and do I need it?
A: Riplock is a term used for locking the reading speed on a drive for certain media types. For example a DVD-VIDEO will only read back at a certain speed, somewhere around 4X - 5X. This keeps the film makers happy as you won’t be able to backup a DVD very quickly. Another use for riplock is keeping noise levels down when playing back a DVD movie on your PC.

In most patched firmwares riplock has been removed, allowing faster rip speeds, these will generally only affect pressed DVD discs. For DVD5 (SL) the drive will generally reach its max read speed with riplock removed. For DVD9 (DL) the rip speed will be much reduced. In the case of the ND-3500 series drives, about 7X is all you should expect.
Riplock removed can make a drive noisier when playing back pressed DVD’s on your PC.

Use NERO Infotool, DVD Identifier or DVDInfo …

A drive sold by, lets say MadDog, will be identified in your computer as MAD DOG rather than as a NEC. It might also have a stamped MadDog logo on it, and the warranty label will say the unit is a MadDog model 16X9A2 or something like that. In fact the drive is rebranded as MadDog, but inside it is just another ordinary NEC3520! Normally these drives should use the firmware provided by the MadDog, not the one provided by NEC, hence NEC’s note.

The meaning of the OEM from a retailer’s view point, is that the drive comes bare, without a box, SW, manual, cables, etc … e.g. is not retail. These ones are identified as NEC, and as such you can update them with NEC FW.

Other manufacturers do make a difference between their retail and OEM drives they sell, and they have two different sets of FW’s but normally this is not the case with NEC. Try NEC 3.04 and see if you can update it.


Has anyone else bought the drive from tigerdirect?