QSI SBW-241 Read/Write DVD+R and CD-R Problems



I am running Windows XP Home on a HP ZE4145 that has the following hardware:

1.53 GHz AMD Athlon XP
40 GB Hard Disk
CD-RW: 24x (read), 8x (write), 8x (rewrite); DVD-ROM: 8x;

Here is the messed up part. The cd-drive states that it is the QSI SBW-241 CDRW/DVD Combo Running firmware version VX08 (not sure which revision of that). This drive according to Nero’s webpage, program, and any other source on the net states that this drive is the following:

CDRW/DVD SBW-241 IDE/ATAPI 24x10x24 x x x

I tried to burn discs at 24x, but was only able to achieve 12x speeds. I didn’t feel like sending in the laptop for service, but finally the laser died and I sent it in a week ago.

I picked up a NEC ND-1100A drive the other day, and jumped on dvdplusrw.org to check out compatability with the QSI SBW-241 to find it FULLY compatible.

So I got the drive back form HP service today and it burns fine at 8x CD-R. It cannot read DVD+RW, and I haven’t tried to use DVD+R yet (afraid it won’t work either).

So what is this drive really? Why can’t it burn at 24x, and why won’t it read DVD+RW? Finally, I heard it is not safe to flash with other flavors of the SB-241 firmware family, so how can I make this drive work?

Thanks for the help, HP is retarded.



Any help here guys? I would appreciate it if someone knowledgeable could help me out a little…



i know this doesn’t hlep much but you should contact HP via phone or email and tell them this. they might have an answer or they might allow you to return it.


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.


we all get the point about the disk’s. you probably posted it on every forum in the universe.
the qsi sbw-241, of which i am an owner, is undoubtedly the most moody drive in the world. i cannot get any more than 8x out of it, and before mr media pipes up, i have used a greater variety of decent brand media than a decent brand media mogul cd burner guy.
anyway. this should always be kept lighthearted. everyone needs a little help.
i achieved a greater amount of success by burning only iso1 and turning joliet file names off.
i don’t make coasters anymore, i just burn slowly.


I have an Advent 7039 with a QDI drive. The laptop is 3 months old and I have had enough of the CDRW/DVD drive not running properly.

It has major problems reading any new DVD inserted after 10 minutes of being on (overheats) it can only write 1 or just about 2 discs at 12x without problems, it whines (motor noise) when burning at 24x. If I put a DVD R/RW in it’s a lottery as to weather the drive will read it or not. The drive throws up data errors on the IDE cable that causes windows to keep re-setting the mode to PIO that really messes up DVD playback.

This is not good enough in my book so Ihave decided to order a DVD±RW Panasonic drive and rip my notebook apart and fit it.


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!!!


Visit the QSI website:


for firmware updates for QSI SBW-241 and QSI SBW-242


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 http://www.qsinc.com.tw/ 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.


Unfortunately, I too have a QSI CDRW/DVD SBW-241. The posts above were very helpful in getting me this far, so thanks to everyone involved.

I can not find how to update my CD/DVD drive (QSI CDRW/DVD SBW-241) with the latest firmware. The firmware for my drive needs a bootable floppy, but my laptop didn’t come with a floppy drive. I dont really want to go out and buy one just because the manufacturers of my DVD are morons. I need a firmware update equal to or greater than version VX11 WHICH CAN BE INSTALLED NORMALLY!

MY MISSION SO FAR (for those with similar trouble):
I have successfully ripped 3 DVDs (1 movie, 2 PS2 games) to my hard drive using DVD Shrink for the movie and DVD Decrypter for the games. No problem there. The same drive used to read the DVDs is the same drive I’m having trouble writing with.

After placing a blank DVD in the drive, DVD Decrypter gives me a little error at the bottom saying “Device Not Ready (Medium Not Present)”. I also tried Nero but that gave me an error “nero does is not bundled with your drive” (or words to that effect). After reading some forums about possible conflicts between different burning software programs I uninstalled Nero with ‘Nero 5.5 Clean’ (from www.nero.com). I also switched off XP’s CD/DVD burning software (right-click CD/DVD in Explorer>PROPERTIES>RECORDING tab > Uncheck ‘Enable CD recording on this drive’). Now my only DVD writing software is DVD Decrypter.

After reading a bunch of forums from people having the same issue, and there are endless issues with this drive, I believe the problem is with my DVD’s firmware. It’s the only thing I haven’t tried short of sending the DVD drive back to the shop. The manufacturers of the QSI CDRW/DVD SBW-241 don’t even support their own drive. See for yourself www.qsinc.com.tw :a

There are many different versions of the QSI CDRW/DVD SBW-241 and installing the wrong firmware can screw the drive completely. My current firmware is VX11. I found this by going to START>PROGRAMS>ACCESSORIES>SYSTEM TOOLS>SYSTEM INFORMATION then under COMPONENTS>CD-ROM>PNP DEVICE ID it has “VX11” between a bunch of underscores. I searched Google and was able to download the driver from http://etna.rpc1.org/qsi/index.html. The first 2 letters are what you need to confirm. If you have a VH##, get the highest number available. Same if you have VX##.

So, I have the correct firmware but no floppy drive to install it from.
If anyone has a solution or if the manufacturers decide to lift their game and create a reasonable way to upgrade the firmware, I will be impressed. Otherwise the drive will be returned because it’s only 5 months into the warranty. :stuck_out_tongue:


this drive “QSI CDRW/DVD SBW-241” is a DVD-ROM/CD-RW COMBO drive.
it is not DVD writer in any way.


Thanks for pointing that out. My sad excuse is that the description of the drive on the seller’s website must have confused me. :confused: “CDRW+DVD” Duh! Such a fuss over nothing. I’ll go and buy a DVD RW from the manufacturers I flamed. :o


I just got a laptop Compaq Presario 2170US with this combo drive.

Not the best around but does me fine, until…I wanted to install some software that came on a DVD.

I got three DVD’s (Pre-recorded and sold at a piarte shop in Asia) The office DVD worked just fine. I also got a collectors edition of Neverwinter Nights and it simply won’t read. The whole computer freezes. The third DVD also does not read.

I tried inserting these to discs into my standard DVD player at home to see if the shop ripped me off and gave me blank discs…strangely it read the two discs and showed that there was some data recorded on them.

It really would be nice to to get these two dvds working. Would I need some additional sofware???


To anyone with qsi sbw-241 problems

My name is Andrew Jayola, I’m an engineer at LG Electronics and was the one who posted previous threads at various sites under the name daEngineer.

This drive has caused people some considerable headaches due to its lack of out-of-the-box compatibility, but whether your using a sony, hp, or any other drive for that matter, updating the firmware to VH07 is the solution. This firmware update can be found at www.hp.com under support and drivers. Search VH07 or qsi sbw-241 from HP and download and install the firmware, it is guaranteed to work.

This can be done without a floppy drive. Your notebook company (sony, hp) are responsible for supplying you with the correct firmware as it is modified for your specific computer but in this case only HP’s firmware works and should be used for any computer you may have.

If you need to contact me by email my address is:

I will reply as soon as I can.

                                        Andrew Jayola (a.k.a daEngineer)
                                        Sr. Sys Engineer
                                        LG Electronics


Thanks Andrew ( daEngineer), I managed to get the download.


By the way, is QSI apart of LG?


I notice this post is several months old but, for what it’s worth, the firmware upgrade has worked for me… and to add to daEngineer’s posts:

My QSI SBW-241 combo drive is on a HP Pavilion laptop (ze4220). I could create and read multiple-session data DVDs (DVD+R format) on a Memorex external DVD-+R/RW drive. BUT I had trouble reading multiple session data DVDs (DVD+R) format on the QSI laptop combo drive - the QSI drive would only pick up the first session burned on the DVD.

I found a driver dowload link on HP’s support page for my specific model but the link itself wouldn’t work. I found the same driver version on HP’s US support website, (version VH07 0, 24 Sep 04) installed it, and voila: restarted my computer and the QSI combo drive reads my multi-session DVD+Rs without a glitch! No more funky whirling-weasle noises - no drive hickups.

And to think i threw away half a pack of DVD+Rs thinking they were all coasters when the new driver install did the trick.



I’ve tried the link (mentioned in the message below) and my CDRW/DVD QSI SBW-241 drive won’t work!
Specifically, all I’m trying to do is view DVD-R’s that I’ve recorded on a DVD video camera.
I’ve tried 3 different kinds of DVD-R’s (SONY, FujiFilm, and Dynex) and none will play. The DVD’s have been finalized.
I’m not a computer genius but can figure things out with instructions. I’ve googled this problem and found the link to the firmware mentioned a number of times. I downloaded it, but the drive still won’t read the DVD’s. Any suggestions?
Thanks. :confused:


I have fujitsu-seimens Amilo D 7820 laptop
with QSI SBW-241
it came with vx09
I upgraded to vx11 then to vy02 dated 24/3/2003
now I see the hp vh07 dated 24/9/2004
can I upgrade to it?

N.B. I tryed the sony vs04 but it says the drive is not Vaio and refuse to upgrade



Do not use VH07 with sony VS04 version, the drive will not work.

I’m now looking for a copy of the VS04 firmware, as I made the stupid mistake of NOT backing up my old firmware.

As one post points out, Sony upgrader will not accept to update VH07 to VS04.