How to Update DVD Writer Firmware
By Joel Douglas
A DVD writer lets you burn video, music and data to 4.7- and 8.5-gigabyte recordable DVDs. You can permanently save data to a DVD-R disc or use a rewritable DVD-RW to temporarily store files. Every DVD recorder doubles as CD burner, and many also feature advanced features such as disc labeling and buffer underrun prevention. A software program known as "firmware" provides burning instructions from the computer's operating system. You can update the firmware to repair a drive or fix a compatibility issue.
Identify the manufacturer and model number of the DVD writer. Every burner uses different firmware, so you need the information for your drive. You can locate this information by clicking the Windows "Start" menu, selecting "Control Panel" and opening "Device Manager." Select "DVD/CD-Rom Drives" from the device list and write down the make and model.
Visit the manufacturer's website. Download the firmware for your DVD writer by selecting the correct model number from the list of available firmware updates. Carefully review any instructions the manufacturer provides with the firmware.
Close all applications on your computer. Run the firmware update program downloaded from the manufacturer's website. Select your DVD writer when asked what drive you want to upgrade. Do not use your computer until the upgrade completes. Restart the computer when prompted.
Verify that the firmware updated successfully. Download and install the free DVD drive utility program Nero InfoTool (see Resources). Open the program and click the "Drive" tab. Compare the firmware version number listed in Nero InfoTool to the firmware number for the upgrade from the manufacturer's website.
- Do not turn off the computer during the firmware upgrade. Cutting power to the drive before the upgrade completes could potentially damage it.
- Only update the firmware if absolutely necessary. According to I/O Magic, firmware upgrades "should be a last resort type of fix" because of the risk involved.
Joel Douglas has been writing professionally since 2004. In addition to running a music website for several years he also has copy-edited books on social philosophy and produced training materials for a public library. Douglas has a Master of Arts in English.