Voiding warranty? Huh?



I’m confused. Everyone here discusses the downside of cross-flashing a PB DVD8631 to a BenQ DW1620 is loosing your warranty. Now…I just flashed up to a G7L9 FW, thought I made a mistake and used WinDWFlash to “back-flash” to the original BD10 FW that came with the Philips 8631.

Now…how would anyone know? If I need to return it because it fails later can’t I just go back to the BD10 release prior to my return? (Of course I know that would not be totally honest…“There’s no lying in cross-flashing!”)

I should say that I’m not interested in region-free. Pls help here.


if you toast the burner you will not be able to flash it back…that is the risk


At the same time, I’m not sure if anyone has an actual story of sending a drive back with flashed firmware and having them check it and voiding the RMA/warranty?
If so I’d be interested to hear it.
In fact, I never read my warranty. Does it explicitly says something about flashing to “unofficial” firmware?


Well I am the person having the point of view that:

If you crossflash to another fw with the same specifications and do not damage the writer by 1) the flashing and 2) the use of new writing strategies not suited for your original hardware, for me it is not really lying if your writer has a defect lets say with the laser or the spindle motor and you flash back and turn it it.

Some people here hold the opinion that whenever you choose to do a crossflash, your warranty is voided. I think this is true if e.g. there is a dvd writer like yours but with a stronger laser which can also burn vinyl singles, and you flash to that firmware and burn some singles and the laser breaks - you used the device out of it specs.

But example, Philips decides not to update firmware anymore and you go to BenQ firmware (when the hw is exactly identical, of course) and your writer goes defective and you flash back and turn it in - then IMHO you have the right to do that and in many other peoples opinion you have not.

Mainly I would say, whenever you have to use third party software for flashing, it will potentially void your warranty.

I emailed BenQ and asked them about that (example going G to B fw on DW1620 oem). They not even bothered to answer that part of my question! And regarding the question what going from DW1620 G7M9 firmware (latest on EU Benq site) to G7P9 or G7T9 (latest on global site) would mean for warranty, they did the same: Just dont answer.

My official answer is: Only update to the latest firmware on the localized website of your writers producer. That is the safe way.

My inofficial answer: As they are sometimes fsckin lazy or not caring to put up more recent firmware, do whatever you want but stay in the specs. If there is a problem and you CAN cross-flash back AND you are sure it was not the new firmware (like 4x DL writing instead of 2.4x - that already MAY be out of specs!), RMA - and good luck !!! This is possibly illegal and may even get you into court.


It’s more of a matter of being a grown-up and accepting that when you choose do unsupported flashing, you are voluntarily giving up your warranty rights. Returning drives that fail after such flashing is unfair to the drive maker, and the rest of us who wind up paying higher prices to cover the losses. Whether or not the drive failure is related to the flashing is not the issue. At least that’s the general idea. :wink:


Not explicitly, but:

“g) Versuch einer Person, die nicht von BenQ autorisiert wurde, das Produkt zu justieren, zu verändern, zu öffnen, aufzustellen oder Servicearbeiten daran durchzuführen.” (german)
means: “attempt of an unauthorized person to calibrate, modify, open, or setup the device or performing maintaining tasks on it”

Therefore I guess the usage of non-Benq-flashtools may be seen as included in this definition.

“Produkte, bei denen die Seriennummer beschädigt, verändert oder entfernt wurde, sind von der Garantie ausgeschlossen.”
means: “products which serial number was damaged, modified or removes are excluded from warranty”

So if they write the serial number into the flash prom and crossflashing overwrites that memory area, this also may be a reason for voiding warranty.


I do agree with you, of course - but after having seen so much low quality hardware in recent time, I have also to admit that my compassion with some drive makers already wore thin.

Combined with the bad support I have to say, warranty and updates are consumer rights - if there are no updates, get them on any other way - if it voids warranty for no other reason than that you wanted an update the manufacturer did not give you, it is not void for me.

I would prefer to pay $20 / 20 Euros more for a device and not being the manufacturer´s guinea pig “if it does not work, he will send it back”. My time is worth more than this!

But legally rdgrimes is right!!!

I would just prefer if the producer made a clear statement regarding this issue - and if the manufacturer makes bulk and retail and both are marketed as being Brand name drives, I think the consumer should have the right to change to Retail firmware - or the maker lose the right to stamp e.g. “BenQ” on a drive and sell it as “BenQ” if it is “ATAPI”… for me, this bulk=OEM policy equals deception…

So crossflashing really should be your last option - preferably when your device ran fine for a year (probability of failure is much lower then than in the first 90 days or so) or is out of warranty anyway.



Wow…I stirred up a pot here…all good input and comments. I suppose I’m on the fence. It depends upon the point of the x-flash. I really don’t care about going from 2.4x DL to 4.0x (which I agree would be out of spec and void). What I care about is making the drive burn what it was supposed to burn.

Last night I received a replacement 8631 from Dell (that, of course, should burn -R disks)…installed…burned…won’t play in my Sammy STB (which should play -R)…basically a coaster. I flash to a DW1620…bingo…it works!

Basically, the resources here on this forum have solved a problem with the Philips drives that Philips/Dell haven’t been able to fix (OK, big companies move slow). But I don’t like being on the receiving end! Also, I got what I paid for…a drive that did what it was supposed to do! To me, this is not voiding the warranty. It was defective to begin with. (In fact it helps Dell…they don’t have to fight with me about getting my money back!)


I agree with you that you made a Beta (or Alpha?) hardware work the way it is supposed to. So IMO, you have not lost your warranty. Dell would say something different. Your example is the classical case I meant in one of my previous posts:

a) They sell you crap
b) You make the crap work because you dont want to waste time&money with RMA (or already did many times) and they are not able or willing to do it and maybe ignore your support calls and emails
c) They void your warranty because of b)

c) may be not fair - but legally it is probably ok.


Why do you think DELL continue to post huge profits? By selling B or C grade products at near A grade prices. DELL has a habit of installing add-on software that don’t work properly right out of the box. Why? Cause the software was never tested in that particular system. With patience, you may be able to alter some settings to fix the problem, but the DARN thing should work properly, right out of the box!

Testing for compatibility cost time and $. That’s why DELL customers are unofficial BETA testers.


Yeah … one can only hope in the long run it wont pay off … to ruin his (once good) reputation that way. Even stockholders should know that!

I think most ppl here build their pcs themselves, though it may be more expensive and time-consuming at the beginning, but surely saves time, money and hassles after a while.

“Buy cheap, buy twice” one could say I guess


:iagree: I couldn’t agree more.
Dude I’m not getting Dell, Dell Sucks!!! :bigsmile:


Believe me, I’m no big Dell cheerleader, buuuuuuut I ordered a Dell Dimension 4600i in January 2004. Part of my package deal was a DVD burner (which I knew little about at the time). The burner that came with the 'puter was a TEAC DV-W58E running firmware D.0C. And I gotta say…this little drive has been simply awesome. I recently bought a BenQ DW1620 and that has been a nightmare.


And how much did you paid for the 4600? With patience, one can build a much better system (larger case, more powerful powersupply, faster CPU, 5 yr warranty on hard drive, etc…) for $450 to $500.

I also purchased a bad BenQ due to all the good reviews. It was not in the same league as my Plextor 712. Got my $ back. Waited one month, then jumped on an NEC 3500 deal. I ordered the NEC over the internet because the total delivered price was only $31, and that includes a 50 pack of 8X DVD-R Fuji media.

The Plextor is now sitting on the shelf.


I bought my 4600 for $349 back in Nov with spec P4 3Ghz 800FSB, 512MB, 80GB, CDRW, onboard video etc. I add a $50 dual video nvidia GeForce 5500 and added more HDD, 1620a and 712a from my older system.


I get self built pcs from a shop I deal with for $475. and they even have the OS installed so all I have to do is put the numbers in:
2800 AMD 64 bit processor($30 more for 3000),Asus MB K8V (Socket 754), 80GB, 512MB DDR 3200 Kingston Mem, Lite-on CDRW, Lite-on DVD-rom, GefoForce4 Ti 4200 128 MB video card and a 4 bay case with a 400 watt ps. Also Keyboard, mouse, speakers and a floppy drive.
I just called him and I can also get which I may do:
AMD 3000 64 Bit, Asus MB A8V Deluxe (Socket 939), 512 DDR400 Kingston and 4 bay 400 watt case $425.
So to each there own but for me I would rather buy a pc that has quality name brand parts in side then just a pc with a name on it with questionable parts inside. :bigsmile:


Sure, I’ve built my own computer in the past, but wasn’t quite in the mood at this point. I’ve found that the fans on the one I built were a bit loud. And at the time, I didn’t understand the importance of having a motherboard with a good amount of L2 cache. I regret that mistake (made it a bad gaming computer). It’s still a good computer tho…my wife uses it everyday :slight_smile:

If you care, details (and cost) on my 4600 can be found <a href=“http://www.banchy.net/misc/cdfreaks/20050216/”>here</a>.


Wow :eek: all I can say is I sell pcs to cheep. :eek:


AMD 3000 64 Bit, Asus MB A8V Deluxe (Socket 939), 512 DDR400 Kingston and 4 bay 400 watt case $425.

With OS seems too cheap … I assume a hard drive and optical drive comes with it too.


Ya, FWIW…I bought it over a year ago. Base price was, I think…US $699.00