after some search around, It turns out I used dvdshrink and auto burn with nero 8, and these two are not compatible. That explains the first question I had - burned dvd doesn't play right in dvd player.
However, I am still not sure why the firmware update can't proceed. I ran the wininquiry as suggested. It says
Model Name: SATA TssTcorpCDDVDW S
firmware version of SB02. ...
OEM code SB
thanks for help