Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x System
My Dual-867 (shipped last October) was ordered with the SuperDrive. The firmware in the drive is A227. This is, apparently, the firmware version to which DRV-104's shipped in earlier G4's are updated with the updater automatically available with Software Update.

The purpose of the updater is to permit the drive to recognize and deal with 4X media (burn 'em at 2X, of course). Without the update, 4X media inserted into the drive will kill the drive (burn it up). So the update is a good thing, right? Well, what it also does is prevent the drive from burning at 2X with 2X certified media! You're limited to 1X. Apple will be hearing from me tomorrow when I ask for a replacement drive.

[Editor's note: I'm publishing this hint in the hopes that others can confirm or deny these claims. The Apple store now only sells 2x or 4x DVD-R media, so I find it hard to believe these would be forced to burn at 1x after the update. I have an updated older SuperDrive, but I don't have any 2x discs on hand to test with. Can anyone confirm or deny this 1x burn limitation?]
  • Currently 1.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (1 vote cast)

DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x | 23 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
I don't think so....
Authored by: simX on Feb 14, '03 11:11:35AM

The SuperDrive update limits the burn speed to 1x when burning to _4X_ media, but not when burning to _2X_ media (this is detailed on this page: -- Apple says on that page that it is still beneficial to buy 2X media over 4X media if you have one of these SuperDrives that needed an update). I recently burned a DVD at maximum speed allowed in Disk Copy, and it took about 30 minutes to burn a DVD full of data on my iMac (with SuperDrive update), when I believe it should take 60 minutes to burn a full data DVD disk at 1x (can anybody correct me on this?).

[ Reply to This | # ]
A227 works OK on my iMac FP 17
Authored by: wpwily on Feb 14, '03 11:11:54AM

My FP iMac has firmware A227, and it definitely does 2x burns with Apple and TDK media. It also did a 2X burn on an Imation disk, which ended up being useless (no coasters after about 10 burns with the other media).

Note: This is one of the drives that shipped with A227 already on it. Don't know if that would make a difference.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Overheating Issue with Pioneer
Authored by: ALinecker on Feb 14, '03 11:12:11AM

If memory serves me correctly, Pioneer issued a firmware update for all DVDR drives (except maybe the 105) because there was an overheating issue when using 4X media. Apple incorporated this firmware update into the Superdrive Firmware update.

The update limits the drives to 1X burn when using 4X stock (to prevent overheating). It should still burn 2X stock at 2X.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: MrDelete on Feb 14, '03 11:15:29AM

I also expierence problems when trying to bun at 2X speed on apple`s own 2X media, burning them at 1X works flawless... but takes 1 hour !

[ Reply to This | # ]
My experience
Authored by: acalvet on Feb 14, '03 11:22:16AM

I've a G4/933 quicksilver with superdrive DVR-104, firmware A227. With Apple DVD-R media I can write at 2x, while I can only write at 1x with Imation DVD-R media. I've not tested any other.

[ Reply to This | # ]
This can happen
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Feb 14, '03 12:13:54PM

Firmware of optical drives knows about certain media-types and best way how to handle them. If one media provies to have problems with 2x it might be labeled 1x in the next firmware update.

Also DVD drives only burn media-brands they know 4x or 2x. If the media is unkown the default to 1x.

There are patches around to change this. But as I think the manufacturer of a DVD drives knows what he does he probably has a good reason.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Listen Up! He may be right!
Authored by: mm2270 on Feb 14, '03 12:42:41PM

The author may be right about this! I installed a DVR-105 Pioneer drive into my Quicksilver G4 several months ago. I've been using 4x rated DVD media now since I got the drive to make backups of files, etc. and everything has worked fine (ALWAYS wrote at 4x on said media). However, yesterday, as I was installing the 10.2.4 update from Apple, my Mac crashed (kernal panicked really) right in the middle of it.! Well, as you might have guessed, it HOSED my system so bad I had no choice but to reinstall Jaguar again, with an archive and install, to get up & running quickly.

After the install, I went thru the customary SW Update process to install all the updates since 10.2 was released. One of them was the SuperDrive update, which was selected by default. I wasn't paying close attention and let the SUCP download and install this, even though I didn't need it. After the restart, and checking that all was well again, I attempted to write a DVD on some 4x media via Toast, and the only option I got was 1x speed!! Now, it's possible that something was wrong with this media, so it dropped it down to 1x, but I didn't have time then to test this out thoroughly. But I have some 4x media (different brand) at work that I'm taking home tonight to test. If I get 1x speed only, I'm going to be ROYALLY PISSED!!

Apple had better address this with a new update if this in fact turns out to be a bug in the firmware. Since I've been happily burning DVDs at 4x with this drive for some time now, I would have to assume it's NOT the drive, but is in fact the firmware!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Apple's SuperDrive update
Authored by: rpaul on Feb 14, '03 12:55:59PM

I can confirm this. I have an older 103 at work (Apple) and a 104 at home.
I ran the updater on the 103 and not on the 104.
The 104 will burn no-name 2x media no problem, but the updated 103
will only burn the same media at 1x.

I assume the 103 will burn Apple media at 2x....

[ Reply to This | # ]
No problems here...
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 14, '03 07:06:30PM

Dual 1 GHz G4 with DVR-104 and no problems buring at 2x speeds with Apple media. Only time I encountered problems was with SmartDisk media which only burned at 1x speeds and produced quite a few coaster. Stick with the Apple media for best results....

[ Reply to This | # ]
Definitive Answer!
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Feb 14, '03 09:12:18PM

I spoke with Apple second level tech support and was told that the firmware update "made the drive look harder at the media" (that's a quote). In so doing, media which may have worked in the past (like Ritek 2X) will not longer work at 2X. I received some Apple 2X media and, sure enough, it does burn at 2X in both iDVD and Toast.

Now, a more interesting detail has emerged. When I returned the now-not 2x-media to the mail order vendor, he said that Pioneer's firmware updater for Windows -will- permit the Ritek 2X media to burn at 2X but Apple's version of the firmware update will not. I was able to trade the Ritek media for another "true 2x" brand that, allegedly, will work fine. The more interesting detail, of course, is that Apple's firmware updater makes the drive not work with media that works fine (at 2x) in a PC. You can decide for yourself if Apple is doing you a favor by forcing you to buy better media or if Steve is behaving like Bill.

Thanks to the users who posted their findings. This was a problem that got me quite hot under the collar when I thought that Apple's firmware updater had crippled my drive down to 1X for DVD-R!

Regards to all!

[ Reply to This | # ]
DVD-R Writing Speed
Authored by: Gottesfreunde on Feb 14, '03 09:22:12PM

i have an MDD Dual 1Ghz Mac with the 104 superdrive. In Toast i have observed that i have only the 1x speed option. i purchased this computer in October 2002.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Definitive Answer!
Authored by: tdang on Sep 04, '03 03:05:10PM

Has there been anymore word on an additional firmware update to allow 4x media to be burned at 2x speeds? My boss is worried that 2x media will become obsolete and we will be forced to buy replacement drives or just burn everything veeeerrryy slowly at 1x.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Now you know how i feel..
Authored by: cynikal on Feb 15, '03 03:04:18PM
..having a powerbook w/ a superdrive, that apple only allows to write at 1x from the factory. Forget about the fact that the manufacterer rates our UJ-815 superdrive as 2x dvd-r capable. I've been looking/hoping for months for firmware to correct the crippled drive, or at very least a logical reason for this injustice. Best of luck to you w/ your superdrive. I'm sure you'll get yours to burn 2x faster than I. So far my only hope is that someone gets the firmware from the MCE superdrive upgrade drives (same model, but non-crippled). p.s.. did I mention apple totally disabled DVD-RW on the powerbook superdrive? >:-

[ Reply to This | # ]
Confusing Ain't It?
Authored by: ScottAronian on Feb 15, '03 08:24:35PM

I know this thread refers to Apple Superdrives, but I believe the same holds true for Pioneer's OEM DVD-R hardware. I have a Pioneer DVR-A03 in an external FireWire case and applied several firmware updates.

The first updated, 1.90 added 4X media recognition and bug fix for high-speed media. However the drive would now only burn certain media at 2X and it burned Pioneer 4X media at only 1X.

The latest update, 2.00 added support for 2x recording speed on High Speed (4X) media.

The problem is that Apple hasn't yet released the equivalent update for the Superdrive. For the Pioneer DVR-103/A03 this is version 2.00. For the Pioneer DVR-104/A04 this is version 1.4

All the updates are at and they only work on an internal IDE connection. I had to take my drive out of the FireWire case for updating. There is also one more catch. The latest firmware is only available as a Windows installer. However you can extract the firmware file from the Windows update package on a PC or Virtual PC and then use the Mac updater application, which is available with the older firmware, to apply the new firmware file.

Thank you Apple and Pioneer for making this so damn complicated.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Alas, it's true.
Authored by: holyzoo on Apr 25, '03 04:41:04PM

I'd like to add to the validity of the claim that the firmware update for the Superdrive disables compatibility for cheaper DVD-Rs. The update has rendered the Ritex 2X DVD-Rs as 1X only using Toast Titanium 5.2. Off to buy Apple media. Weeeeeeee.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Alas, it's true.
Authored by: holyzoo on Apr 25, '03 04:44:57PM

I'd like to add to the validity of the claim that the firmware update for the Superdrive disables compatibility for cheaper DVD-Rs. The update has rendered the Ritex 2X DVD-Rs as 1X only using Toast Titanium 5.2. Off to buy Apple media. Weeeeeeee.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Alas, it's true.
Authored by: Levon River on Jun 29, '03 08:27:13PM

I was burning data DVDs at 2x on non-Apple DVD-Rs with no trouble at all before the gypware--I mean, firmware--update, and now I get media errors from Toast before it writes the disk and have to drop down to 1x. Here's my fix: sprinkle sawdust all around your desk and drape a gaily-striped banner across its front. Then you'll feel right at home in a rigged game.


[ Reply to This | # ]
DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x
Authored by: Levon River on Nov 03, '03 02:06:56PM

Although I posted my "me too" on this issue some months ago, I have renewed interest in it since I posted about this on Apple's discussion board, and my message was deleted! I have since reposted it there, and am posting more information here in hopes of bringing some focus and awareness to this for those who have been bitten by it. It's not just the imagination of people who have been so bot.

The problem in my case is on a Quicksilver 867 G4 with SuperDrive--PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-103.

Prior to succumbing to Apple's semi-hysterical warnings to update the firmware (to prevent the drive being fried with too-fast media), my SuperDrive uniformly wrote DVDs at 2x speed. I never even had to resort to paying for Apple's gouge-ware media: any 2x DVDs by any reputable manufacturer worked without incident.

Then, some many months ago, I saw the dire warnings, and--against my better judgement--downloaded the update and allowed it to be installed.

Ever since then, my SuperDrive will NOT write a DVD at 2x. Every attempt results in an error, usually (in Toast, at least) referring to something related to "underrun." Finally, in utter frustration, I broke down and paid for one box of Apple's overpriced discs (off-white, with a silver Apple logo), which claims to be "Certified for use with Apple DVD-R drives, 2x." On my very first attempt, with Toast set to 2x, I got the exact same error message.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that this change in performance began after installing the update, just as has been the case with others posting in this thread.

Yet there seems to be absolutely no address to this in the Apple Knowledge Base.

I'd like to know how and why this pathetic and unconscionable situation came about, and what can be done about it.

Levon River

[ Reply to This | # ]
DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x
Authored by: wantmore on Dec 28, '03 06:47:41PM


I bought some media and experience the problem described at This involves rebooting and SCRAPPING a dvd-r disc. I believe SCRAP is unacceptable.

My drive runs under version 1.20 (I have Superdrive update 1.0 installed) and Pioneer says this should be updated. My question: what is Apple waiting for? I want the same latest greatest firmware on my drive that Pioneer makes available for free for pc users!

[ Reply to This | # ]
I've found the solution, if anyone is still interested.
Authored by: Bengt77 on Oct 12, '05 01:39:13AM

Download the firmware patch for your dvd-rw drive from this page. It's a self-executable zip-file. When double clicked, the file will expand itself. Alas, this only works on Windows, but with Virtual PC it will work like a charm. And else, do it on any PC you have access to. When opened, a command will open that gives you an error message saying the target drive could not be found. Ignore it and close the Command Prompt window. Look for the expanded folder/files. Notice the file that has a *.141 extension. Rename it to 1.41.

Now, download the right Pioneer firmware flasher for your drive from this page. Open the disk image, copy it as a folder and replace the firmware file (it should be called 1.40) file with the file you've renamed to 1.41 earlier.

Then comes the tricky part. Open the Terminal Command file (with the *.command extension) in TextEdit and replace all the references to the old firmware number (1.40) with the new number (1.41). Then double click the Terminal Command file and follow the steps. If the patching fails, just restart your Mac and try again. I had to restart too, and after that it worked beautifully. After the patch, restart again and check System Profiler. It will now list 1.41 as the revision number for your DVR-104 drive.

I've tested this method personally, yesterday. Works like a charm, with any media (even the really cheap ones, yes). Had to do a lot of dvd burning lately, and wish I'd found this hack earlier. But well, better late than never, right? So, for anyone still interested in giving your good old Pioneer DVR-104 drive 2x burning capabilities again, go ahead and do the trick...

[ Reply to This | # ]
I got Bengt77's solution to work, eventually...
Authored by: rdaveh on Jan 21, '06 08:19:45PM

Thank you Bengt77 for this solution! For what it's worth, I couldn't get it to work under OSX 10.3.9. The Terminal Command file would get to a point where it would ask me if I wanted to continue, and would abort no matter how I responded to the question. On a hunch, I booted with an OSX 10.2.8 disk that I still have, and the process ran with no problem. I'm happy to report that my DVR-104 now burns at 2X! (NOTE: I only had to boot into 10.2.8 to run the updater; 10.3.9 recognized the drive's new firmware after the update)

[ Reply to This | # ]
DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x
Authored by: shmerls on Nov 22, '07 08:09:47AM

it's Thanksgiving 2007, and in addition to wishing all a happy one, it's been a year since the last post here so I'm wondering about doing the upgrade, if it applies.

I'm having an issue where a DVD 16x won't mount and my DVD-104 (firmware A227) tray eventually opens automatically, thus rejecting the DVD.

The same disc mounts quickly on my Wallstreet laptop. Both computers are running Tiger. On the 104 in question, it is 10.4.11

I'm also seeing other DVDs and CDs taking awhile to mount. I'm not sure if the problem is my DVR-104 drive or fixable by the 141 firmware hack, mentioned here.

I've also had a lot of rejected burns at the end of the burn I get messages about the burn not being able to be completed due to a media issue.

It is mentioned here a lot about 4x media, but I have an Apple 2x DVD-R that is a dupe backup of my Tiger 10.4 disc (my original is in the office, really, I own it) and this takes a long time to mount, but eventually does.

But, the media is rejected at the end of the verification process before doing an install, thus the media is useless.

So I'm wondering, if it's my drive or a 140 firmware issue. Or both?

The drive is original on my Quicksilver G4 867, 1.5GM RAM

Thanks, Steven

[ Reply to This | # ]
DVR-104 Firmware may restrict burning speed to 1x
Authored by: shmerls on Nov 22, '07 08:14:42AM
Oops. Also the 2nd listed link for the Pioneer 140 firmware is no longer working. Anyone have a new link or copy of the firmware file?

[ Reply to This | # ]