I use a "sharpie" on all of mine...never been a problem.
The firmware will be reported upon execution of "CD-DVDSpeed" - a free utility you can download, links can be found in the software forum (not handy to my right now...I'm a bit lazy tonight :bigsmile: )
Take care to update the firmware and give it a full chance; that can make quite a difference sometimes.
After that, if you're not happy - give BenQ (or whoever rebadged the drive) a chance to replace it with a good one - you ought to get what you paid for, after all.
All things in good form, the drive can do great work.