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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, Second Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Updating CD Writer Firmware

For most PC firmware, the cardinal rule is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It seldom makes sense, for example, to update your main PC BIOS unless you experience a BIOS-related problem or add new hardware that requires the BIOS update. But with CD writers, the rule is different: always install the latest available firmware for your CD writer.

Fortunately, updating CD writer firmware is usually remarkably trouble-free. If you screw up while updating your main system BIOS, you can render the system unusable. If you screw up while updating the firmware of your CD writer, you can simply run the firmware installation program again. We’ve updated many drives through many firmware revisions and have had very few problems doing so. There are two things to keep in mind, though:

Don’t judge solely by make/model

Relatively few companies actually manufacture CD writers. Most companies, including some surprisingly large ones like Hewlett-Packard, simply buy mechanisms from the actual maker and attach their name plates to the drives. Sometimes, companies sell different drives under the same model number. So if your friend has a Kamazuma CD-R8432 CD writer “just like” your Kamazuma CD-R8432, don’t assume that you can use the same firmware update he did. Your drive may require a completely different firmware update file. Sometimes the only way to tell which firmware update you need is by comparing the serial number of your drive against the table posted by the manufacturer. ...

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