Problems with QSI SBW-241...Please help, am tearing my hair out

Hello guys,

I’m having problems with the CD burner QSI SBW-241, which is a CDRW/DVD combo drive in my VAIO PCG-FR285M.

I’ve had the laptop for about 3 months now, and haven’t been using the burner that much. But the times I have used it I have been able to burn CDs without any problem. The problem is, now that I actually need the burner, it does not seem to work.

My problem is this; when I try to read a CD that I have burnt myself, it doesn’t want to access it. The CD spins and stops, makes a strange noise as if the disc was hitting something (I assume however that it is the lense moving back and forth) and generally does not want to accept the CD. When I take the CD elsewhere, they can read it but get CRC errors when trying to access any of the files. I can read other peoples burnt CDs fine, along with factory music CDs and DVDs and in fact my own burnt CDS from before the burner started misbehaving. Even the same brand of CDs. The noise and general dislike for the CDs created seems to increase with the amount of data I try to write.

I have tried a variation of CD-Rs, including some high quality ones that cost me a fortune. The problem persists. I’ve tried using the QSI burner in Windows XP, Nero 6, Discjuggler and CDRWIN as burner software, but they all result in corrupt CDs. I have plenty of space left on my machine, so it’s not the file caching. And the firmware installed on burner is VS04, which is the latest. I have also tried writing at slow speed (down to 1x) and tried all variations of closing disc, finalising, simulation, verify. Nothing seems to work.

Do any of you guys have any suggestions, or had similiar problems? Maybe it is the firmware, do I need to use older versions? I desperatelly need help to be able to transfer data for school work, so any help what so ever would be highly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

My drive on my Sony FRV-25 has the same symptoms! Somebody save us!

My acer aspire 1301xdc has the same cdrw/dvd combo drive, and I too have experienced this flaky behaviour. I’ve put it down to the burner being absolute crap. I’m looking for firmware updates at the moment, will let you know if I have any success

I’ve had the same problem. It makes a scratching noise and the CDR has a circulur scratch on it. Its really annoying me, i’m bring it back tomorrow!!

Yeah, I tried using a VF-04 updated firmware provided by Sony, but I think that made it worse not better:Z

The reason why many people are having problems with this burner is do to the fact that they are using the wrong CDs. QSI, which is a sub-company developped by Lucent Technologies, created combo drives that worked with only certain cd-r discs. The reason for the lack of compatibility is due primarily to the economy and business politics. QSI did not purchase the licence to conform compatibility with most cd-r discs. Even though they do not have the license, they do have the compatibility with all cd-rw discs and most DVD-R discs. Below are the discs that work and the discs that do not work, or have problems reading when using the QSI SBW-241 drive. Certain discs from certain manufacturers work better than others. Some work so well that they allow the drive to write at its MAX speed of 24x.

Working CDs and DVDs (Excellent Quality and Speed usage):

  1. Verbatim Data Life Plus (AZO and Super AZO brand CD-R)
  2. All Sony Brand CD-R
  3. HP CD-R
  4. Ricoh Platinum CD-R
  5. All Kodak CD-R
  6. FujiFilm CD-R
  7. Toshiba CD-R
  8. All CD-RW discs
  9. All DVD-R discs
  10. All DVD-RW discs

Does NOT WORK!!! (Burn problems and read problems):

  1. Maxell CD-R
  2. Memorex CD-R
  3. SmartBuy CD-R
  4. Plextor CD-R
  5. Minor Name CD-R
  6. No Name CD-R
  7. All DVD±R dics
  8. All DVD-RAM discs

If a certain brand or type of disc is not listed above, then it has not been tested on this drive. You may wish to test it yourself or use one of those discs listed in the Working CDs and DVDs section mentioned. For optimal performance including the usage of the full 24x speed of this drive use: Verbatim Super AZO CD-R
or Sony Brand discs or any CD-RW disc.

Ok that would be understandable for cdr’s

Has anybody had problems reading dvds with this drive? Some of mine work fine but others are constantly skipping and very choppy. On these discs I can hear the drive making all sorts of clicking noises.

Any ideas here?

Hi, I have notebook nx9005 and have also problems with this combo to burn CD’s.I use Nero 6, when I try to burn, one CD
is burned OK another no(“SCSI command fail”), all my CD-R are .Sony

I also have a QSI SBW-241 cd burner, and am having some major troubles with it. At first, it simply wouldn’t burn more than four files onto an audio cd, but would burn a data cd. That was okay, but annoying. But this afternoon, I was trying to burn two audio files onto a CDR (of a type that has worked fine with my computer, and worked on my mother’s computer that has the same type of burner), and the computer stopped even being able to use the cd drive. I tried to open a file from a cd that I knew had files on it, and the drive said that there was nothing on the CD, and when I attempted to burn cds, it told me that there was not a blank cd in the drive.

Does anyone else have a similar problem? If so, do they know how I could fix it? I’d really appreciate it if you could help! If you think you have any information that might be helpful, or need more information to possibly fix my problem, feel free to get in touch with me.


If the cd’s continue to burn with errors then you need to use a CD-r media of speed 1-16x. The QSI (Quanta Storage INC.) SBW-241 was designed using these low speed media but will still write at 24x on these CD-Rs. The reason why so many people are getting errors is because the QSI SBW-241 was not modified to work with high speed discs, that is why cd-rw discs work because they have a speed of 1-10x.

Try Ricoh 1-8x discs, they work perfectly on the QSI SBW-241 and can be written at 24x MAX too!!!

This message concerns all who have a problem with the QSI SBW-241, below are solutions and procedures to making the drive work properly. Follow each step exactly.

STEP 1: Conflicting Programs

The first step that must be done, is to remove all conflicting burning applications on your computer, leaving only the burning application that you use most often. If you use 2 or more burning applications, delete all but the one that you use most often. For example, say that you have both NERO and Easy CD Creator installed on your PC. Remove the program that you use the least, say Easy CD, and keep ONLY the program you use frequently. Even the built-in recorder for Windows XP must be disabled. To disable the Windows XP built-in recording software, right-click your cd drive icon in My Computer and select properties from the pop-up menu, go to the tab labelled Recording and uncheck the box labelled “Enable CD Recording on this Drive.” That will disable the built-in software allowing your most used CD Burning application to function correctly.

STEP 2: Media Types

The QSI SBW-241 is NOT compatible with high speed media (1-48x, 1-52x), this means that you must use media that is designed at low speeds (1-16x). Even though these media are certified only for a max write speed of 16x, they can still be written to by the recorder at a speed of 24x!!! Why does the QSI SBW-241 not write to high speed media? It is because when the drive was manufactured the only cd-r out were those with speeds of 1-16x. The drive was designed using the discs, the 1-48x and 1-52x cd-rs came much later.

STEP 3: Firmware

Finally it is essential to download the correct firmware for your drive. Be cautioned that even though Sony and HP both use the QSI SBW-241, it does not mean that they both use the same firmware. In fact Sony uses firmware for the drive of type VXYY(where the Y is a number) and HP uses the VHYY type firmware. They are different because both systems are different and so the firmware must correspond to the correct system. Using a VXYY type firmware on a HP or Compaq computer can cause unpredictable results. Below are the working firmware for both computer systems:

Brand Firmware Revision

HP / Compaq VH05 (VH04 is the original that comes with the drive and only allows the drive to use 1-16x cd-r media)

Sony VX09

These firmware updates allow one to use high speed media on these drives. If you can not find your system specific firmware, then download the firmware at but note that this firmware update (VS05) is a general firmware update, it is for the base model, the firmware may not be compatible with your system or operating system (Windows XP/ 2000/ 98/ ME). In fact upgrading your firmware to a general firmware no designed especially for your PC is dangerous and can render your drive useless.

I will post more information as it becomes available.

On my laptop (Compaq Presario 2500 - Windows XP) I have a DVD/CD-RW drive which is a QSI CDRW/DVD SBW-241.

I have been attempting to create a DVD of some video footage. I used Ulead VideoStudio 7 to edit the footage. This package has an option to burn to a DVD but when I tried to it was telling me that the capacity on the brand new DVD-R that I had inserted was 0 bytes capacity.

Properties via My Computer also says Used Space, Free Space and Capacity are all zero.

The DVD I inserted was a Sony (DMR47N2) DVD-R 1x-4x compatible 120 min 4.75gb

I guess I have 3 questions (I am not a techie and am sorry if the following questions are dumb)

  1. Can this drive write video DVD’s?
  2. Am I supposed to format the DVD first?
  3. Given what daEngineer said above, am I using the wrong media type disc?

this drive is a combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) not DVD-+RW

Hi guys. I have the same problem with my FRV-25 but now I have a new twist to it.

I upgraded to v07 but now the laptop wants a file to complete the installation of the new drive. I noticed in the drivers for the QSI SBW-241 that it used to have three files defined there and now there are two. I am guessing that is what the laptop is looking for.

I have tried receovery and also reinstalling different drivers from sony website to no avail.
I was wondering if someone here would have the patient to email me that third file.
The two I have are:

cdrom.sys and pxhelp20.sys

I would really really appreciate the help here.
You can zip the file and send it to me. I can share my yahoo account in private (not sure of the rules of this board yet)

what do you mean by " All DVD±R dics " above? which do you recomends? (universal media) burning DVD+R or DVD-R? :confused:

Hiya, i have the same problem with my QSI SBW-241. i have followed the steps as mentioned and downloaded the firmware zip but I don’t know what to do with it :confused:

How do i extract it and get it working?
Please excuse my clueless-ness… I’m not very technical minded.

Hey Guys at last i found some solution here for VS03 Screwups, After messing with all the google searches. I am here problem was with VS03 breaks up not writing the data untill end. Use this url and upgrade your firmware

REMEMBER THIS IS ONLY FROM VS03 to VS04 for all others please search for your firmware