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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 8x

Monday, April 26, 2004
BenQ DW800A Dual Recorder (update)

1. Introduction - Upgrade procedure

BenQ DW800A Dual Recorder - Page 1

Recently BenQ offered all BenQ DW800A users the chance to upgrade their drive(s) from single (+R/RW) to dual (±R/RW) format. BenQ charged users $10 for each drive they wanted to upgrade, mainly due to royalty fees. The initial firmware upgrade allowed 2X DVD-R and 1X DVD-RW recording, with some limitations of course... After a while, BenQ released a new firmware, increasing the DVD-R writing speed to 4X. Let's see how the drive performs at 4X with various DVD-R media.

- Upgrade procedure

Before upgrading your drive, you must visit the BenQ website and read the instructions carefully. After paying the $10 fee, an email confirmation includes all the necessary details (download link and serial number) to complete the procedure. Let's see this step by step. The details of the DW800A drive are available below:

After downloading the -RW firmware, the updater utility prompts us to enter our serial number before flashing the drive. Note that you must be connected to the internet in order to allow the flasher to check the validation of the serial number and proceed with the update process. This way, BenQ ensures that all users will pay to upgrade their drives...

Below is the flash tool's opening window:

As we mentioned, an internet connection is required here. Insert your serial and press the "FLASH" button. If the serial is valid, the process begins:

Once the flashing procedure has ended, you now need to reboot your PC in order for Windows to find the recorder's new ID.

Let's now see our "new" recorder. The drive is identified as "DVD DUAL 8X4X12" and supports DVD-R/-RW writing as DVDInfoPro and CDSpeed show.

Although the drive's ID remains the same, the firmware revision changed to the B3D7, which is final since no newer firmware should be expected in the near future, according to BenQ. For unknown reasons, the B3D7 firmware was removed from the BenQ website only a couple of days after its initiall availability. For all those who are interested, you can download it here.




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