Will firmware upgrade reduce burn failures?

I hope this is the best place to ask this.

I think I understand how to flash my DVD burner, but before I go down that path, can you tell me if it will help my problem?

I have a 2 or 3 year old CompUSA LightScribe drive that seems to burn most CDs and DVDs fine. I recently bought a box of Imation DVD+R hub printables, not necessarily because they were cheaper but because they were water resistant unlike the TY or Verbatim +R hub printables. I didn’t expect 100% success, but so far, I’ve burned ONE DVD, made it part way (70-98%) through 4 others before the burn failed and had six more fail writing the lead-in. Could upgrading the firmware of the drive make any difference or am I spinning my wheels?

Nero reports the drive to be ATAPI with GCAB firmware. I think I can upgrade the firmware to BenQ B series, but don’t want to mess with a working drive unless it will help with these Imation discs.


A firmware update is useful only if the new version improves writing strategies or if new mediacodes was introduced to the table.

If your current firmware doesn’t contain the correct writing strategy for the Imation discs, then a firmware upgrade will certainly improve things. If not, the upgrade will be useless.

If you can afford it, I suggest to buy a new drive however, because 3 years is a lot of time for a drive (mostly if you burned a lot of discs)

Thanks, Geno. A new drive isn’t out of the question, although I doubt that I’ve burned 50 discs on it so far. I’m not at home to check this at the moment, but I’m sure that Nero or CDinfo can tell me the MID code of the media. How do I compare that to the drive to check the compatibility?

If the firmware upgrade is pointless, or just not necessary, I won’t do it. But if there’s a chance of getting more than 9% success with the remaining disks on the spindle, it’s worth a try.

My possibly flawed logic tells me that it must be a media problem since I’ve gotten as high as 98% before the process craps out. If it were an incompatibility, it wouldn’t even start the burn, would it?

Thanks again.


You’re welcome :slight_smile:

If you absolutely need to use these media (I actually suggest to get some better quality discs) then a firmware upgrade can be useful. Sorry, in my previous post I forgot to mention that even if a new firmware doesn’t add a new writing strategy to the drive, installing it in most of cases is not harmful so you can install it anyway. I usually don’t install a new firmware if I’m satisfied with the writing quality of media I use and if new writing strategies are not added (but this is only a matter of personal choice :flower:)

Maybe you can use MCSE to compare firmwares and see if there are new writing strategies mostly for the specific disc that you need to use.

I suppose I don’t HAVE to used those media, but I was hoping to get more than one DVD out of a $30 spindle. If upgrading the firmware would give me a shot at that, it’s worth a try. Here’s what DVD Identifier says about the discs in question:

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:CMC MAG-M01-000]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [Not Available]
Manufacturer Name : [CMC Magnetics Corp.]
Manufacturer ID : [CMC MAG]
Media Type ID : [M01]
Product Revision : [Not Specified]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4.70 GB (4.38 GiB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x-2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x , 6x-16x]

[ DVD Identifier V5.0.1 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

They’re Imation but evidently made by CMC. I can’t believe that all (save one) of these discs are bad or Imation and CMC wouldn’t be able to sell any discs.

DVD Identifier, Device Manager and Nero Info Tool only tell me that the drive is an ATAPI DVD LS 8X 16X8X16 with GCAB firmware. I THINK that’s BenQ OEM firmware, but can find nothing that tells me this a BenQ drive otherwise. From all that I’ve read, it seems I need to know the BenQ model number to get the upgrade firmware. There are 50+ possibilities. I can’t be sure this is a BenQ drive, let alone know what model. How do I know which BenQ (or other) drive this is equivelent to so I can download the right upgrade?

Which firmware should I try with this drive and where is the best place to download it from? I have BQ Flasher and teh Nero ASPI file, and I’m comfortable with teh flashing procedure if I only knew which firmware version to flash.

I’m going to remove the drive to see if there are any labels on it to point me in the right direction.


That was worthwhile. Turns out, it’s a BenQ DW1655. Says so right on the label. Flashed it to version BCIB firmware and I now have an official BenQ drive. :smiley:

Tried re-burning one of the failed disks (one that hadn’t even started to write last night). Same problem. Tried a virgin Imation disk. It worked fine and verified successfully. Was it because of the firmware update or would the next disk on the spindle have worked with the original firmware? I’ll probably never know. :confused:

At least I now know I have the latest firmware for the drive.


Get better media, like Verbatim.

With all due respect, that’s easy to say if you don’t care about the printed surface.

The Imations are

Does everyone only get 1 out of 11 (now 2 out of 12) Imation discs to work? If so, how does Imation and CMC Magnetics stay in business?

If TY or Verbatim made a hub printable water resistant +R disc, I’d be happy to buy them.



 Imation discs are junk (mostly the +-RW). 

You may get a few good burns, but you are more likely to get coaster after coaster (been there, done that).
Switching to quality media will make life more enjoyable. :clap:
I too have an older burner, when I use quality media I get nice burns.
When I use junk media I get coasters and migraines. :Z

Hope this helps…

Has anyone mentioned burn speed with those M01s (which arent the best CMC Magnetics discs ever made)?

Movies I’ve burned on discs with this code often have a fair amount of freezing (even burned at 8x), but burned at 8x for data purposes they might be OK.