Flashing My DVD Drive

Shooting in RAW on my shiny new Canon EOS400D has many advantages, but the obvious disadvantage is the increase in storage requirements - the average shot I took on Boxing Day was around 8.5 Mb, and they all need storing somewhere. So, on our last trip to the supermarket I bought myself a spindle-full of TDK DVD-R discs, with the intention of backing up all my RAW "negatives" to disc.

Incidentally, if you've upgraded to Vista you may be frustrated that some old favourite disc-burning software such as Nero no longer works properly. There are alternatives - I've been using a trial version of SwiftDisc for the past few days, which works just fine, and is super-easy to use.

Anyway, I was surprised to discover that my TDK discs were unrecognised by my DVD drive, which is a Sony DVD RW DW-D22A, dating from Autumn 2004. Some cheaper "Mr DVD" brand discs, bought some time ago, worked just fine. The solution?  I needed to upgrade my drive's firmware, from "BYS1" (06 Aug 2004) to "BYS3" (17 Nov 2004).

If, like me, you've never messed about with upgrading firmware, you might be surprised to discover just how easy it is. There's a great collection of firmware at this site, which also provides a page explaining how to go about the process. I used the Windows-based LtnFW software, which allowed me to backup my existing firmware and overwrite it within a few minutes. Now I'm able to make use of my shiny new spindle of discs, and preserve this Christmas's photographic memories for many years to come.