Solution to QSI SBW-241 burn problem



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.


Does this apply to QSI SBW-242 too?


I have a Sony VAIO notebook, model PCG-FRV26 which has the SBW-241 combo drive and appreciate your posting as it has solved my CD burning issues. However, I bought the machine to burn DVD’s and have tried several manufacturer’s DVD-R platters and none are recognized by XP-Pro or various burning software I’ve purchased. Does this drive burn DVD’s, or only CD-R’s? I’ve gotten conflicting answers from Sony’s help desk folks. Sorry for such a basic question but this has been a real show stopper for me to date.

Todd McDaniel


SBW-241 write CD-R and CD-RW discs only.


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 QSI website:

for firmware updates.


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.



I have a question for you. You mentioned that the reason there are some compatibility issues with the SBW-241 is because Quanta Storage didn’t purchase some sort of “cd-r” license. I checked with Philips and QSI shows as being a licensee of the CD-RW logo.

I have this piece of junk drive, and would like to avoid purchasing ones like it. If there are some websites I can go to, to research prospective purchases, this would be greatly appreciated!

On a related note, I found the following sites: (CD, CDRW, CDR logo) (DVD logo)




I have had problems with this drive as well. I have a Compaq Presario 2500 with VH07 firmware. Recently I tried writing to HP brand CD-R discs and got many errors. I have had the best luck with Sony CD-R discs, writing at 8x. I use Nero to burn the discs, and have it verify the data after burning. With these discs and settings, Nero generally shows that the data was written successfully.