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Mac DVD Drives Require Firmware Update

Pioneer says new discs could damage units By Dave Nagel
Pioneer says that new standards that are being adopted for DVD-R and DVD-RW devices could cause damage to its drives and media. Affected drives include those built into Apple Macintosh G4 models, known as the SuperDrive. The company is providing a free firmware update for these units.

According to Pioneer, all users must run the firmware update before using any new media developed for the new standards, which will be available on the market soon. The new standards boost record speeds to 4x for DVD-R and 2x for DVD-RW. Says Pioneer: "Various media manufacturers have begun production of these discs that will soon be available in the marketplace. The source of the problem is a firmware bug in certain Pioneer DVD-R/RW recorders and drives, and not with the high-speed media itself. As a result, use of the new high-speed discs for recording on these particular Pioneer products may cause damage to both the loaded disc and to the drive/recorder."

The following drives are affected:

  • Pioneer DVR-7000 DVD recorder
  • Pioneer PRV-9000 Professional DVD recorder
  • Pioneer DVR-A03 computer drive
  • Pioneer DVR-103 computer drive
  • Pioneer DVR-A04 computer drive
  • Pioneer DVR-104 computer drive

The DVR-103 and DVR-104 are also known as the "SuperDrive" and have come preinstalled in Macintosh computers since the first G4 733 MHz machine, introduced in January 2001. They are also used in external configurations, including FireWire models. Pioneer is offering a free Web download for the firmware update available at

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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