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DVD Firmware Upgrade

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I've got quite a few blank DVDs that I burn movies to and the burn is successful. I go to play them on my computer or a DVD player and it doesn't work; says DVD is empty. I've been asking around and people are saying 'firmware'. I have looked this up and some people say it has to be the correct one for the correct computer/model number and if it isn't you could mess up your computer. This worries me. Do you know anything about this and is there something I can download that'll make the DVDs work? My computer is: HP Pavilion dv6000. I think the DVD drive model is: TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L632N.Celeste Stewart

Firmware flashing requires exactness for the device and the operating system. One mistake and the device becomes a brick. However, before exploring firmware updates, let's examine some other possibilities.

Burning Movies

If you're burning copies of commercial movies on DVD, then there lies the problem as commercial DVDs have copy protection. Does the DVD burner successfully burn home movies or data?

Troubleshooting DVD Formats and Discs

If you're having trouble burning non-copy protected information, then let's move on. I assume that you're burning the movies in the HP's DVD drive and that you are using the correct type of disc for the formats that the drive can support such as DVD-R or DVD+R. Since the burn indicates success, I imagine that you're using the correct format. However, I've had to throw away many successfully burned CDs and DVDs that simply refused to play despite the "success" message. Most of them had to do with inferior CD or DVD products. Switching brands often led to success. If you haven't tried a premium brand, you might consider buying a few blank discs from different vendors.  

DVD Burn Speeds

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Another thing to try is using a slower burn speed. Even if your drive is capable of high speed burns, try burning a disc at the slowest setting - with nothing else going on in your computer. Close down all programs and dedicate all resources to a slow burn.

DVD Drive Device Drivers

Before considering a firmware upgrade, consider upgrading the DVD drive's device drivers. This can be done from the Windows Device Manager. The easiest way to do this is to go to Control Panel > System > Device Manager and find the CD/DVD drive in the list. Right click the drive and choose Uninstall. Next, reboot your computer and let Microsoft detect the drive and load the appropriate device drivers. If you're uncomfortable with this, right-click the device and choose Update Driver Software. Follow the prompts and choose the Automatic option. You will need to reboot.

Updated drivers may be enough to get your DVD drive to burn and playback discs properly. For example, if this problem is a known issue that HP has since solved, the update should take care of it.

DVD Drive Firmware

Firmware updates are more drastic than driver updates - and risky. Fortunately DVD burners aren't terribly expensive and relatively easy to install, so the worse case is that you fry the drive and need to replace it. We don't want that to happen though. HP's Web site lists several HP DV6000 models (DV6000, DV6000t, and DV6000z). I looked up the DV6000 and found that it comes in a variety of operating systems including Windows 2000, XP 32-bit, XP 64-bit, Vista 32-bit, and Vista 64-bit. Head to HP.com and look up your exact model and then click the Drivers and Downloads link. From there, choose your correct operating system. This will list all available drivers and downloads for your exact model and operating system. I checked a couple different operating systems and did not see any CD/DVD drive updates.    

TSSTcorp stands for Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation. I was unable to find firmware updates on either the TSSTorage.com or Toshiba.com websites.

Since neither HP or Toshiba appears to offer a firmware update, try a different brand of disc and different burn speeds. Also, make sure that the disc is "finalized" after the burn session as it may not playback until the session has been closed. Make sure that you choose the appropriate DVD type such as "movie disc" rather than data disc. Hopefully, it's a matter of a batch of bad discs and you'll soon be burning successfully.

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