Newbie questions for NEC 3520 DVD Burner


I just bought the NEC 3520 from for 63$.
This is my first DVD burner and I just finished installing it and have a few newbie questions.

  1. Why does Nero 6.6 show it as 8x? I thought this was a 16x drive?
  2. What is the latest official firmware release? Nero currently shows it as 1.04
  3. Is it worth updating the firmware using the unofficial firmware? How much faster does it burn?


NEC ND-3520 16x DVD±RW Double Layer

Latest 16X / Dual Layer / dual format drive from NEC. Fastest available DVD writer on the market.

I would hesitate to recommend unofficial firmware check out the firmware link on the home page.


1)there’s not much media out there right now that supports 16x writing.There’s a few but not many.
2)Latest and only firmware is 1.04(there is a 1.24 but click on the link below and read all about it)
3)With the latest"unofficial" it’s your own call.What it does is bump up the speed for some media.This doesn’t mean that the quality will be great but on some media you can write a little faster than it’s recommended speed and get a good burn.Also,the firmware “auto bitsets(booktype)” when you burn a dvd+r.Remember though,if you try and flash the drive and do it incorrectly,that means “no more Warranty”.So if you do this,do it at your own risk.Go here and look at anymore NEC questions you might have.

So your saying Nero can only handle 8x max. Whats a good burning software that can do 16x?

Nero should be able to handle up to 16X. The issue is really not with Nero but with your hardware (DVD burner and discs). You may have a 16X burner, but are your discs also 16X? If so, I would think that Nero should be able to at least allow you to burn that disc at the rated speed. However if you only have 8X discs, you won’t be able to burn the disc at 16X.

One way to be able to burn your 8X disc at 16X speed is to flash your drive with “modified” firmware (assuming the firmware supports the type of disc you have–check the media code on your discs to see if it’s supported). However flashing your drive with UNOFFICIAL firmware, you WILL VOID your warranty. That’s the chance you’ll have to take.

In short: having a 16X burner alone does not guarantee that you will be able to burn at 16X speed. It’s more so of a combination of variables.

Hi i also just bought an Nec ND-3520 but my nero says the max speed is 6x even if i don’t have any media in it

Theres a way to change it. Play around with it a bit.

Also, I dont know what that speed actually means… because I was able to set to 48x, and that could be the CD-R/CD-RW speed… who knows.

I guess I’ll find out once my 16x DVD+R arrives. Ordered from for 40c/disc… woohoo!! Should arrive soon.

gompol,go here and see what media will burn at 16x besides regular 16x badged media.


Hey folks - it’s the old firmware vs. media manufacturer issue-

The firmware is set to deliver “Quality” burns to a given medias MID code - and there is no other way to change that until the firmware is set to a faster writing level-

If you want to see 16x in the little box - go get some 16x media or 8x media (like Taiyo Yuden 8x +R’s) - remembering that the media has to be in the burner when you are looking at it like with Neros Info Tools-

As far as updating the firmware - as long as you stick with the “official” firmwares from NEC - you will not void the warranty - the 3520 firmware 1.04 is now up to revision SIX - which shows that NEC is dicing it out to get this burner up to date (another reason I am still recommending the 3500)-

Bottom line - when you play with these burners - look on the NEC forums for some knowledge about what your burner is capable of-


quick question-

i too have just purchased an oem NEC ND-3520 16x dvd burner from it wont recognize my memorex 8x dvd+r’s i purchased.

  1. since it doesnt come with software, do i need to buy nero 6?.. or can i backup movies using “dvdshrink”?

  2. right now with dvdshrink installed on my computer, the drive will only play dvd’s and wont recognize the memorex dvd+r’s i try to put in it. am i missing crucial software by not having a program like nero?

  3. where, if i need to, is the best and cheapest place to get nero 6?

thanks for the help

im sorry if these questions have been already answered somewhere else on this forum…

one more question-

why doesnt my computer recognize the drive as a dvd-rw… it just shows a generic cd-rom icon. do i need drivers?

You can use dvd decryptor and dvd shrink to backup movies and they are free. Nero can do a lot more than just backup movies but of course it costs. Are you talking about it identifying in device manager or in my computer? If you are talking about my computer, it will vary what it identifies as depending on the drive and the media present in the drive. It is perfectlly normal for a dvd burner to sometimes show as a cd drive in in explorer (my computer). I cannot answer your question about memorex without more information. What do you mean that it doesn’t recognise it?

I tested a burn in Nero after I took the main movie only (no extras, no menus) using DVDShrink for Resident Evil. The files came out be about 4.2GB and it burned 2.5mins!!! which is simalr to 20x (according to nero)!!! SHHHUUUWEEEETTT!!! This is with the NEC 3520 and Verbatim 16x DVD+R’s!!


after i swapped in my new nec drive, i put a blank dvd+r into that drive just to see that the drive and or the computer would recognize the fact that there was a blank recordabl dvd AND that there was a new drive in the system.

in the device manage, the device shows up that it was working properly(it shows as _nec-dvd…), but when i run dvdshrink, i get an error messege and i cant seem to find my dvd burner to select to burn a dvd…?


hey gompol!
did you update the firmware ?

did you use only dvd shrink to back up your movie (Resident Evil)? how much time did you wait?


You can get Nero6 Suite 3 for $13 shipped from - this will give you all the good stuff that Nero6 is known for-

You can also get 16x burns from Taiyo Yuden 8x +R media - but watch carefully for errors-


Ya. I used DVDShrink to extract the main movie file (using Re-Author) to my hard drive… I forgot to time that, but it was within 30mins… (the baby cried so I had to leave the PC)

Then I burned using Nero for 16x mode to a 16x DVD+R and took about 2.5mins

And no I didnt update the firmware… It was set to 1.04.

Perhaps someone else can help out a little more here as it has been ages since I used shrink but I do not think shrink has a burn engine (you have to use another program to burn). From what I remember I always used nero. This is on an older version (it’s all I had installed) but in shrink go to edit, prefrences, file i/o and enable burning with nero. If I remember right nero will automatically open at the right time. Older versions of nero like 5.5 will work (I think) or I think dvd decryptor has a burn engine (can anyone tell I am not sure about any of this). Anybody else want to advise further?

Why do you want to this? Because you dont want to wait and do the burn manually thru Nero?

Thats just the way I remember doing it but it has been ages since I have used shrink so I could be remembering wrong. Thats why I was asking others to step in. I don’t think that he has figured out how to burn after shrinking the files but I could be wrong.