What are the differences between the various BenQ Firmwares?

vbimport

#1

Hi all! My name is John and I live in Burlington, Ontario, Canada (Near Toronto)Although I’ve been a member for a month or so, this is my first post. I’ve spent my time reading numerous posts and threads but I haven’t been able to get a clear understanding of the differences between the numerous BenQ firmwares. I recently purchased a BenQ 1620 OEM, rewriter. My writer was made in Malaysia in Oct. 2004 and came with G7L9 firmware. There is only one firmware update listed on the U.S and Canadian BenQ sites and that one is G7K9.

  1. Is it correct to assume the that G7K9 is older than G7L9?
  2. Is it safe for me to flash to the latest version on the European site which is G7T9? (Does anyone know why this firmware isn’t listed on the Canadian and U.S. BenQ sites?)
  3. My understanding is that the OEM and Retail versions are identical drives. Is this correct? If so, why is there a different series of firmware for OEM and Retail?
  4. Can I safely cross flash to B7T or U9?
  5. What is the advantage in doing so?
    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
    A note to fellow Canadian readers…Future Shop has a $50.00 (Can.) rebate available for DW1620Pro drives which brings the price down to $89.99. I know I know, I hate Future Shop too but the price is pretty enticing! :smiley:

#2

You can use winflash to cross flash to retail firmware but this may void your warranty
personally the drives are cheap enough if it dies I would not rma warranty(too much wasted time) even if I had not done this…after flashing its on me not benQ

different fw will correct/update write strategies for various media

I have an OEM and flashed to modded U9 fw by ala42


#3

Hi. I bought the same/similer item from Newegg - BenQ DW1620 PRO (oem) which came with G7Z9 firmware. I spent several hours last night searching these forums as well as the forums on videohelp.com to find the answers. These topics have been discussed in extreme detail.

Let me just give you the benefit of my research in one quick fell swoop:

  1. make sure the burner works right first before flashing any other firmware.
  2. If you have a problem flash this firmware: G7T9
    Info from: http://www.benq-eu.com/ServiceAndSupport/downloads/downloads.cfm?product=647&type=B
    (the US/Canada sites are down or broken)
    G7T9.zip 933 KB Version: G7T9 3-11-2005
    Changes:
  1. Support Ricoh DVD+R DL [RICOHJPN D00] media.
  2. Modify the writing strategy for both DVD+R & DVD-R media.
  3. Support CCCD media playback.

This is the latest OEM firmware as far as I can tell.
I had to flash it to get mine to work right. It now works great.
If it aint broke dont fix it.
In other words, until you have over at least 50 burns that your drive works
fine and you wont have to have it returned or serviced under warranty,
do not flash with retail firmware. Doing so invalidates your warranty
and would cause problems if you try to return it. (You can flash back
to oem to return but thats another story.)

For my own purposes, until dual layer becomes affordable there is no need
for me to use retail firmware for an OEM drive if the OEM firmware has the
same/similer features and works fine. The only other caveat is if you need a firmware
version that supports the media you want to use and you are having
problems burning it. I’m using TDK 8x (CMC MAG E01) and its working
fine now. I bought this drive in anticipation of future DL use.
I’ll post my own drive impressions later in a few days.

Good luck!


#4

Thanks for all the help Cyberdave, however it invites more questions. Here is a portion of your reply:

{For my own purposes, until dual layer becomes affordable there is no need
for me to use retail firmware for an OEM drive if the OEM firmware has the
same/similer features and works fine. The only other caveat is if you need a firmware
version that supports the media you want to use and you are having
problems burning it.}

Are you saying that you need the retail firmware to burn DL? This was not my understanding at all. I thought I had read that I would need to upgrade to a more recent firmware to burn DL’s at 4X speed. I was actually hoping someone could tell me what firmware I need to burn DL’s at 4X. Although maybe I can already, I haven’t tried any yet. Like yourself, they’re too expensive at the time being.
As far as compatible media goes I’m using RiData 8X and so far so good.


#5

By the way Dave, both the U.S and Canadian BenQ sites are both back up and running.


#6

Laterst stock firmware can always be found at BenQ Global :wink:


#7

Even the Bulk BenQ can burn +R DL at 4x with the latest firmware from what i understand. The firmwares between the retail and OEM are exactly the same apart from the naming under windows.


#8

Don’t know about that.

But I know the new “funtoy” QSuite is not working with other 1620 firmwares then B7U9. :smiley:


#9

Its the naming of the Drive that affects it i guess the Qsuite isnt setup to work with Atapi 16x16x4x4 or whatever it is named under windows.


#10

So then maybe a new driver would get it to work?

As someone said I believe the current OEM firmware is the same as the retail and should burn 4x DL. The second letter tells that. So for example G7T9 is the same as B7T9. At the point the media is affordable the firmware will probably have undergone several upgrades! And may even burn at 6x! :bigsmile:


#11

unfortunately, it is not possible to burn 4x dl with the bulk firmware.


#12

Hmmm…I’m getting conflicting statements here. A brief summary of the threads thus far, and please correct me if I misquote anyone:

  1. Nealh says I can cross flash to retail FW, but is not specific about the new functionality.
  2. Cyberdave’s first post hints that retail FW may be required to burn DL at 4x
  3. Quakester2000 says OEM FW can burn at 4x from what he understands
  4. Pinto2 questions the above statement
  5. Cyberdave then says that OEM should burn at 4x.
  6. corsan says it is not possible to burn 4x using OEM FW

Thank you all for your efforts, but unfortunately, and I hate to say this, I’m right back where I started.

Let me ask you all this: What is BenQ like for support? If I e-mailed them and asked about the various FW’s, would they be likely to get back to me?


#13

This is a quite bad example, G7T9 and B7T9 differ alot. The P firmwares differ in just the id strings.


#14

So ala, will G7T9 burn at 4x for dual layer? Another question is, why aren’t the “P” firm wares available at the BenQ sites anymore? What about cross flashing to the retail B series…is it safe? Is it worthwhile? What new functionality will I recieve?


#15

Let me ask you all this: What is BenQ like for support? If I e-mailed them and asked about the various FW’s, would they be likely to get back to me?

BENQ has good support. Ask Ma_Jie he had to RMA one of his BENQ 1620’s :wink:

  1. cross flashing a OEM drive is so the drive can become 4X DL DVD+R capable.
    some say using the “B” firmware is better than “G” firmware but they are the
    same. as someone pointed out the id strings are different but they are the
    same.
  2. if you’re very concerned about flashing the drive and unsure then get the
    RETAIL VERSION of the drive. that way you can just use the original
    firmware from BENQ site.

From what I’ve read BENQ’s support has been good. Take the plunge and purchase your BENQ 1620. :slight_smile:


#16

Hi John,

I thought I’d throw my opinions into the mix :bigsmile: !

  1. Is it correct to assume the that G7K9 is older than G7L9?

Yes! Higher letters in here represent newer versions. It’s usually best to go with one of the very latest versions since the firmware evolves over time. An exception seems to be G7Z9 - it would appear to be an older firmware. Users report that G7T9 is not the same as B7T9, and that it perhaps does not allow for proper CDSpeed scanning so beware!

  1. Is it safe for me to flash to the latest version on the European site which is G7T9? (Does anyone know why this firmware isn’t listed on the Canadian and U.S. BenQ sites?)

Yes, it would be safe to do so - but you may have issues since it’s not the same as B7T9 as mentioned above. You can go back and forth between older and newer versions of firmware for the same family (either the “G” or the “B” families), so it’s not a big deal to try out different firmwares.

  1. My understanding is that the OEM and Retail versions are identical drives. Is this correct? If so, why is there a different series of firmware for OEM and Retail?

I believe this is a marketing decision that was put in place to allow BenQ to differentiate their drives. I think the idea was to allow for more advanced features in the “B” (BenQ) family over the “G” (Generic) family. Although there weren’t any in the early firmwares, G7T9 appears to be perhaps walking this road.

I strongly recommend you crossflash and walk with the “B” family of firmwares. For me, it doesn’t sense to stay with a second-rate Generic firmware when a top-rated one is freely available.

Yes, you can argue that there might be warranty issues, but it’s very easy to just crossflash back to the “G” family should something happen. And these drives are so cheap right now that they are easily replacable - even without the warranty.

I have crossflashed my own drive. Everything you need is located here:
http://dvdpro.club.st/firmware/BENQ_FW.htm

  1. Can I safely cross flash to B7T or U9?

Absolutely! Highly recommended!

  1. What is the advantage in doing so?

Always have access to the latest firmware since the “B” family is updated first. Always have access to the latest features for the same reason.

Finally, don’t forget to apply the MediaCodeSpeedEdit speed patch http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=124905
This patch will allow you to double your read speed from the (mostly) standard 8X to a full 16X and turn your BenQ into one of the fastest rippers going!

A note to fellow Canadian readers…Future Shop has a $50.00 (Can.) rebate available for DW1620Pro drives which brings the price down to $89.99. I know I know, I hate Future Shop too but the price is pretty enticing! :smiley:
Another choice that allows you to avoid the whole rebate issue: http://www.canadacomputers.com/cc/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=005599&cid=CR.184 Note that this is in Canadian dollars.


#17

Ok if that is the case I stand corrected.
However everything I had read on these and other forums before all stated
that if the 3rd letter was the same then the versions were the same.
If there are differences and/or problems, I and I’m sure others would like to
know what they are. Once I’m satisfied my drive is fine I’ll probably flash B7T9.

I think all this different information floating around in so many different posts
and the same questions being asked over and over calls for a specific sticky
FAQ post which talks about these specific firmware issues and gives definitive answers with details!!!


#18

Well… ala42 is the author of a firmware editor program. If he says they are different, they are. :slight_smile:

I heard that the later version (such as T9) of G series firmware can’t do proper quality scan while B series works fine. At least it is a difference. I don’t know much about the other differences. IMO there’s almost no reason to stick to G series, so I flashed mine to B, then forgot all about the rumors of G. :slight_smile:


#19

I have bought Benq 800a with B2M7 firmware. Flashed it up to B3LC, and now the DVD drive is identified as a ATAPI DVD DUAL 8x4x12. Is this right and what kind of disks should I use. I get all the time Power Calibration Error both with DVD+R and DVD-R. While I used B4N7 it worked fine. Maybe I shouldn’t go up to B3LC. Any suggestions, please?
ianko@gyuvetch.bg


#20

Thanks to all who! Special Thanks to Spartane who broke my questions down 1 by 1 and gave a concise, brief and understandable answer for each! :bow:
I’m going to run a few more discs off and do some speed tests, then make the plunge and cross flash up to B7T9. I’ll post back here and let you know what happens. Worse comes to worse there is a $50.00 rebate being offered by Future Shop… :bigsmile: