Upgrading firmware for optical drives

I did a search and looked through the stickie threads but couldn’t find anything relevant in regards to the questions that I want answering.

Is there a high chance of rendering a drive unusable when upgrading the firmware of an optical drive? And by upgrading I mean carrying out the upgrade via the use of official firmware downloaded from the company’s official support website.

I’m only asking because I’ve heard that flashing to the newer firmware in Windows can kill the drive if there are too many programs running in the background.

I’ve never flashed any of my optical drives to a newer firmware before because I’m concerned that something might go wrong during the upgrade procedure. I mean, my PCs are full of programs that run in the background. I usually have Internet Security software, UDF writing software, Printer software, Bluetooth software just to name a few running in the background.

Am I expected to kill these applications in order to flash the firmware correctly? Isn’t there any other way? Like flashing the firmware in Windows Safe Mode or DOS?

Your input would be much appreciated.

Hi,

Yes, there is alway a chance, but I won’t think, that this is high. Also it depends on the method used for upgrading by the manufacturers.

I’m only asking because I’ve heard that flashing to the newer firmware in Windows can kill the drive if there are too many programs running in the background.
It is always a good idea to not have running any application in the background, as this minimizes the risk of errors. Think about a virus scanner that thinks “there is something attacking the hardware” during the flash operation… Also, software that directly accesses your drives like InCD might cause a firmware flash failure. I have read somewhere, that uninstalling such software before firmware updates is recommended.

Am I expected to kill these applications in order to flash the firmware correctly?
It would be a good idea to terminate that “security” software and the UDF software at least.
Isn’t there any other way? Like flashing the firmware in Windows Safe Mode or DOS?
Sometimes flashing in Safe Mode is recommended, depending on the drive. Flashing on DOS (plain DOS, not the command prompt on Windows) requires a DOS flasher, that is rare nowadays. And such wouldn’t work with drives, that are connected to PCI IDE adapters or via USB/Firewire.

Your input would be much appreciated.

You should not flash your firmware if

  • your Windows does not run rock solid
  • your drive does not work perfectly under normal operation
    In either case the issues must be resolved before installing newer firmware.

Michael

My usual method is to flash in Safe Mode, with no disc in the drive being flashed.

Thanks for your replies.

I’ll follow your advice and flash the new firmware in Safe Mode.

I still have a couple of questions though.

Is it possible to downgrade the firmware version after upgrading to a newer firmware? I may want to do this if I encounter problems with the new firmware.

And also, is the flashing method the same for both Benq and LG drives? Because these are the two brands of drives I was looking at upgrading.

They both have different looking official flashers, but basically it’s run the EXE, follow the instructions and in about 2 minutes when it’s done it will prompt to restart the computer … and voila - done. If it doesn’t get that far, you got problems :(.

I don’t flash it in safe mode myself, because I find it’s stable enough for me to keep playing with it even with stuff running in the background - so you can appreciate the risk isn’t that high [or else manufacturers won’t trust us to do it ourselves]. Other problems which could render the drive useless = power disturbance/outages when you flash [which should be very rare] or reboots …

Whether you can downgrade? Well, there’s always a way to do it - even if it’s not manufacturer approved - but I know there’s a way for the BenQ [even if you need to use BQFlasher … but I think the normal utility allows that] but I’m not sure for the LG because it’s been a while since i’ve used it.

Upgraded firmware from BCDC to BCHC in Windows Safe Mode for my Benq DW1650 drive.

It worked like a charm. :bigsmile:

I think I might try this more often with my other drives if I happen to experience any readability problems. :wink:

Exactly so, tht is the good path. :wink:

Firstly I have to agree with above posters and recommendations.

But, looking at software you listed as “running in the background”, none will interfere with your drive. Even UDF software doesn’t interact with your drive before it’s actually started with command -burn-.

With more then 1k flashes of optical drives in last three years I still have to encounter a bad flash related to flashing with “original” firmwares/flashers.
Yeah, I’ve killed a few drives but those errors were all related to “mad” flasher .

Safe Mode? Never heard about it…(joke). :bigsmile:
DOS environment is my favorite when it comes to “questionable” flashes. (All mobos except for latest Intel’s still carry an good old IDE channel).