|I bought a Dell laptop a few months ago, and despite a few initial teething troubles (several painful items of filthy software timed to explode a few months after purchase) I've been pretty happy with my purchase.
I popped into my local computer consumables shop to buy some blank DVD+R discs for my NEC ND-6100A 8X DVD+R/RW laptop DVD drive.
After my usual whinge about why I had to pick from the one grotty box of DVD+R media he had on the floor, rather than the vast selection of DVD-R discs, I happened to mention to him that I am still only getting 6x speed off the discs he sells me with a shiny 8x sticker on. He quickly responded that my DVD drive needed its firmware updating, and that Dell have a pretty good website for getting such firmware updates.
I trundled off back home dived straight onto the computer and popped up the dell website. After contorting myself underneath the laptop to get the service tag, I found that Dell thought I had a different DVD drive than the one I had. I put the subtle difference in numbering down to it possibly being some custom made hardware especially for Dell and thought nothing of it. I did however wonder why my laptop had been sold and shipped to me stating 8x DVD+R/RW when the firmware it had come to with was not setup to achieve such a speed. Then again, it’s not unheard of in the computing industry to sell someone something with the 'capacity' for doing something which it can't currently do!
As I wasn't 100% happy about apply a firmware update to my DVD drive which had a subtly different product number than the one being reported to me from the hardware itself, I decided to have a Google about and see if I could find the exact firmware for my drive.
After several ill fated attempts - I still can’t imagine why neither the DELL nor NEC websites had a clearly accessible firmware for my product - I came across the The Dangerous Brothers website which was quite a revelation. They seemed to be offering firmware updates to my DVD drive which would not only make it do write at the speed I was sold it as performing, but this firmware also made the DVD drive able to write DVD-R discs! After downloading the firmware and running the very user friendly app, I discovered I could now burn DVD-R discs in the same way as I had previously been burning DVD+R, and all nicely at the 8x promised.
So whilst I am very grateful I'm still left in bewilderment just why such a limitation has been applied to my hardware by the manufacturer, and what kind of place the world would be without such people as Vlad & Igor, The Dangerous Brothers.