Why Is Updating Burner Firmware Important? -- Newer firmware for your drive means it can burn more brands of DVD-R, DVD+R or CD-R discs, more accurately, and usually faster. Once burned with this newer firmware, they will also play back with fewer errors on DVD players. DVD burners use special "write strategies" in their internal drive firmware to customize the way their laser works with each different brand of blank DVD. Each brand of DVD-R or DVD+R uses a different color of bottom dye, plastic composition and silver reflector density. This means the burner's laser must be adjusted for each different disc. From time to time, your drive's manufacturer tests more discs and develops new firmware versions to include those new disc brands and types into their drive's internal list of compatible blank DVDs, which is kept on a special "firmware chip". We maintain a current database of these updates from most manufacturers of DVD�RW Writers and burner drives. When you send your select your drive from the list above and enter your email address and your name, our system will search its DVD burner firmware update database and email you the latest download link so you can download it immediately from your manufacturer or another authoritative source. For more details, read our DVD Recordable FAQ Page.
How to Find Out Your DVD Burner Model Number
FREE Windows Software to Check Your Drive's Actual Manufacturer, Model Number and Current Firmware Level - You can verify your drive's ID string or "name" using Nero Infotool (shown and linked above). This program will also read out the firmware level for your drive, when you click on the "Drive" tab at the top. It is very helpful, easy to use FREE software, offering useful features to help obtain information about your drive. It can also give you information about the media you're using, by clicking on the "Disc" tab.
Nero Info Tool, Version 2.21
>> Download: NeroInfoTool_221.zip (212 KB)
Visit a Nero Infotool help page (provided by I/O Magic).
How to Check Your Burner's Firmware Level Using Your Operating System (for Windows and Mac) -- For Windows PCs -- use the Windows Device Manager -- Right click on My Computer, then click the Hardware tab, and press the Device Manager button. Double Click to expand the listing for your DVD drive. Then, right click on your DVD burner drive and select Properties. Note your detailed drive model number and firmware revision number, if shown. For Macs -- For MacOS 9.x the Apple System Profiler is located under the Apple Menu, while in MacOS 10.x it is located in the Finder/HD/Applications/Utilities/ folder. Open the Profiler, select the DEVICES AND VOLUMES, then the ATA or IDE BUS, then expand your drive and note its manufacturer, model number and firmware level.
How to Install Firmware -- Caution: Installing firmware is usually simple and generally only takes a few minutes. However, improper installation can damage your drive, so you should perform updates carefully. First understand that firmware upgrading is done at your own risk. If damaged due to a improper firmware upgrade installation, neither the manufacturer nor anyone else will repair or replace or repay you for the drive. If you're unsure about upgrading, please contact your drive manufacturer at their website support pages and seek their instructions or help. Upgades are usually permanent once performed and often cannot be undone, except in a few cases on some models. Newer firmware usually improves the drive's overall reliability and performance, making it more compatible with different brands of discs, and improving the playability of discs it successfully burns. See your manufacturer's tech support pages for firmware installation instructions, possible software conflicts and more cautions, then follow these suggestions... Basic Steps: (1) Download the firmware upgrade to your disc for your burner, linked below. (2) Remove any disc from the burner. (3) Reboot your computer, so that the memory will be as fresh as possible. (4) Quit any programs that may be running automatically, such as screen savers, virus checkers, instant messagers and so on. (5) Close any Internet connections if open. (6) Launch the upgrader program you downloaded. Follow its on-screen instructions as directed. (7) Do not turn off your computer or do any other activities during the upgrade process, until the upgrader program reports that the upgrade is complete. (8) When the upgrade is complete, you may Check your Firmware Level as described above and you should see the new upgraded level.
Some Helpful Official Manufacturer Upgrade Instruction Pages -- You may want to read some manufacturers' instructions about firmware upgrading before you proceed. These are helpful general tips, even if not for your specific brand or model drive. Here are links to Firmware Upgrade Instructions from Pioneer, Iomega, Dell, and Sony.
About DVD-RAM/-R DVD Recorders -- If you own a burner that can write to DVD-RAM discs as well as DVD-R discs, you will need to pay special attention to the compatibility of your DVD-R discs. This includes popular stand alone DVD Recorders by Panasonic, as well as many computer internal and external DVD burners made by LG, Matshita (Panasonic), Iomega, BTC, LaCie and so on. Your DVD-RAM capable drive will require DVD-R discs that have unusually high reflectivity. Only a few brands of blank DVD-R discs meet these requirements. Our 1x-2x Pro-Grade Stock Nos. 702757 Silver, 702740W Markable White, and White Inkjet Printable 702608 should work well with most of these picky DVD-RAM/-R Recorders. (TECH NOTE - DVD-RAM discs feature a metallic, magnetic/optical bottom recording surface that is highly refective. Those DVD-RAM capable lasers are desensitized to be able to handle those highly reflective discs. By contrast, DVD-R discs have a dyed plastic bottom recording layer that is designed to actually absorb laser light during the burning process. Lasers have to be very sensitive to read a DVD-R disc and less sensitive to read a DVD-RAM disc. Since these two disc types are so different, only the most reflective of DVD-R discs can be used with DVD-RAM Recorders. This is not always a matter of cost, or "quality" in other respects. Discs with thicker silver layers, more transparent dyes, and white top coatings tend to work better for your machines. This really a matter of design, not quality or cost. Sometimes very expensive DVD-R discs may not be designed to work with DVD-RAM recorders.)