Firmware Upgrade for Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-5170S - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

Firmware Upgrade for Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-5170S

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Firmware Upgrade for Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-5170S

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Hello.  I'm having big media compatibility problems with my DVD +-RW drive, and I think upgrading the firmware may help.  I currently run v. 101B, and Sony-Optiarc's web site offers v. 113.  Unfortunately, the firmware upgrade from the Sony-Optiarc web site won't install on OEM drives like mine.  Dell's support page doesn't offer me a firmware upgrade for my drive.  Anybody know where I can get a firmware upgrade for the OEM drive's firmware?  Thanks for any help.

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  • Hi, jdcrutch:

    Some brands will take third-party firmware and some do not. It's a bit hit and miss, I'm afraid. But Google your model and you can see what's out there, keeping in mind that you assume the risk.

    Ok, so tell me a bit more about your media issue. Are you talking DVD or CD media? If you click Osprey's Toolbox (link below), you'll find links to DVD and CD media quality guides. Take a look at those and you may find your compatibility issues are not unique to you. I personally use Japanese-manufactured Verbatim DVD+R media exclusively, and only better CD-R brands like HP, TY and Sony. My drives are older but I have yet to experience a problem with unrecognized media.

  • Thanks, Osprey.

    I'm not all that excited about using third-party firmware.  When a manufacturer puts out firmware upgrades, Dell ought to put out a compatible version for its OEM components.  Optiarc has upgraded its version of the firmware for this drive several times, apparently (since their current version is 135 and I have 101B), and the current one is dated 4/15/2008, so Dell has certainly had time to catch up.

    I'm talking about DVD media.  I've had the same problem with several brands, but the latest is Sony.  Here's what DVD Identifier (thanks for the link!) tells me about the disks I'm trying to use:

    Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-R:SONY16D1]
    Disc & Book Type :       [DVD-R] - [DVD-R]
    Manufacturer Name :      [Sony Recording Media Co.]
    Manufacturer ID :        [SONY16D1]
    Blank Disc Capacity :    [2,298,496 Sectors = 4.71 GB (4.38 GiB)]
    [ DVD Identifier V5.2.0 - ]

    The DVD quality guide you link to likes Sony disks if they're made in Taiwan, which it says these (SONY16D1) are.

    The errors I'm getting are with ImgBurn.  Sometimes it hangs and reports "Program Memory Area Update Failure".  I gather from ImgBurn's forum that this error usually indicates incompatible or defective media.  I've coastered several disks from this spindle, so I don't think the media are defective (unless the whole batch is bad).

    Other times it gives me "Power calibration area error", which the ImgBurn forum also attributes to incompatible media.

    When I try Windows Vista's native DVD-writing tools, I get "Could not finish formatting disk" or something like that.

    Any other info I can give you?

    Thanks again.

  • Ok, here is the skinny on those discs. You'll see several people rate burn reliability as mixed

    Here's my take. Media compatibility is hit and miss with the best of drives. I have two older Pioneer drives, which are famous for compatibility and reliability. However, certain brands--Sony being one of them--just don't work well. So I avoid that brand. I tend to stick to Verbatim DVD+R, since these have been the best overall. The good news with Verbatim is they're pretty easy to find on sale at Best Buy or online.

    My other rule is don't buy a big spindle of anything until you've tried it out.