Sony DRU-120A Firmware Upgrade on Windows XP

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Burning has been pretty unreliable with my own Sony DRU-120A drive and I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to upgrade the firmware. Here is what you need to do:
# Download the firmware update that is latest for the DRU-120A from the Sony site. The location keeps changing, so I’m not going to hard link to it. Google search for Sony and goto support.
# Remove the ASPI drivers from the machine. Apparently, if there are ASPI drivers that get installed by say Nero, this really confuses the RWFlash utility. I actually had to go in and manually remove the WNASPI and other DLLs. If you do this, then RWFlash is smart enough to find the drive, otherwise it complains about ASPI Manager not present.
# Flip the Sony DRU-120A into PIO Mode. This is not mentioned on the support web site, but is something that you need to do. Otherwise, the firmware flash says it can’t read things.
# Run the firmware upgrader and then make sure that when you reboot, you flip the machine back to DMA if available mode. See the entry on the DRU-510A upgrade on how to do this flip with Windows XP. It is amazingly complicated.
The firmware the drive had was 1.13 and the latest as of today was 1.51. Now lets see if the DVD+RW creation doesn’t have stutters and other flaws.

13 Replies to “Sony DRU-120A Firmware Upgrade on Windows XP”

  1. Thanks for the advice. This was a nightmare, as most firmware updates are for some reason. When I saw the error “Not found ASPI Manager” I downloaded Roxio’s ASPI installer, ran it, and then the firmware update ran, but wouldn’t list my DVD drive correctly. When I tried to run it anyway (after setting a restore point) it said could not change drive to UP MODE. That led me here. I moved ASPI32.SYS, WOWPOST.EXE, WINASPI.DLL, and WNASPI32.DLL to a temp folder(They are variously in System32, System32\Drivers, and the System folders). Then I ran the firmware update flash utility and everything worked! 1 1/2 hours later, firmware is update… 🙂 Hope this helps someone else.

  2. I have a problem with my ASPI dat on my computer. its seems to be corrupted and i tried to update them with no luck.I tried to upgrade because i have a cd writer and it does not work in windows XP with the current ASPI settings. I need to know how restore my old settings or ugrade them and get my burner working can you help me plaese

  3. Hmmm. Depends quite a bit on where you got your ASPI drivers. There seem to be literally dozens of releases running around.
    Here is what I would do:
    1. First of all remove all evidence of ASPI from your system. These are the ASPI32.SYS, WOWPOST.EXE, WINASPI.DLL, and WNASPI32.DLL to a temp folder(They are variously in System32, System32\Drivers, and the System folders) that Kelly mentions.
    2. Try to run your CD drive without any ASPI drivers at all. On XP, with modern CD drives I’ve often found it doesn’t need ASPI at all. That is, the native XP drivers don’t use ASPI and in fact confuse it. This is what happened with my DRU-120A.
    3. If that doesn’t work, there are literally a zillion ASPI drivers around. Most don’t seem to work at all. So, I would try to find the original driver disk that came with your CD and try to install those.

  4. I broght a laptop on sony this year around June but I was suprised that some people can actually tap into my laptop and changed all my system setting and no matter how I reload it, it always alert him and is juz like systematic predownload no matter how many times I reload it till now I lost my modern driver.
    And is not working at all, I would appreciate your immediate attention and cordial support pertaining to this matter.
    Thank in anticipation,
    Best regards,

  5. I ran across this thread through google. I didn’t have any problems upgrading the firmware from 1.13 to 1.51 on my Sony DRU 120A. However, after I did that, neither of the 2 DVD drives that I have in my Dell Dimension 8200 will read DVDs, either ones I have just burned with my Sony DRU-120A, or even commercial DVDs. I checked the Driver File Details (drilling down through the Device Manager), and there were 6 or 7 different files. The file that had the latest timestamp was a file called C:\windows\System32\storprop.dll. I also noticed that both drives use the same set of driver files.
    Has anyone seen this kind of problem, and any suggestions on how to get this fixed?
    By the way, the DVDs that I am burning with the DRU-120A (even after the firmware update) can be read on other computer DVD drives, as well as DVD players. I only upgraded the firmware because I thought I needed to in order to burn the newer 4x DVD media, although I never had problems with writing (or readving) DVDs before the update.
    Thanks in advance…

  6. Sad to say I found the same thing. Upgrading to 1.51 destroys the drives ability to read the so called DVD-9 (these are 9GB dual density) which is what most commercial DVDs are. There is no fix from Sony since the drive is dead.
    Also it make reading and writing very unreliable. The only sure fix I know is to fool the drive into becoming a Ricoh 5125. That is, there is a trick to use the original Ricoh firmware (the Sony is really a Ricoh rebadged). If you search for Ricoh on this site, you’ll find the instructions.

  7. Last note is that there is no fix to the Sony DRU-120A drive to read and write 4x. It is stuck at 2.4x. So, the other thing you can do is to go back to the old firmware.

  8. Is it true that this model doesn’t have Dolby Digital 5.1 and that I need to download it seperately? Also, where do I download it from?

  9. Hmm. I’m not sure what you mean exactly. This is a PC DVD drive, so it can read the Dolby 5.1 that is encoded on DVDs. Then, it goes to your computer. If you have a computer with a Dolby 5.1 decoder *and* you have 5.1 speakers connected, everything should work fine.
    So, there is nothing special you need from the Sony. I’m guessing that your computer doesn’t have an audio card that supports Dolby 5.1. Most of the motherboards in the last two years have a sound chip on the board and connectors for this on the back (e.g., lots of speaker outputs or maybe an optical output for a real stereo system). If you don’t have this, you need to go out and buy a late model Creative Labs or similar soundcard with Dolby 5.1 on it.

  10. I have a sony DRU-120A I updated the firware to ver 1.51 and now the drive won’t write pass 889mb stops!. it reads just fine no problem at all. I’ve done everything that is listed to do on here. I even moved to drive to this other computer and still have the same problems!.

  11. Not super surprising. I’m just amazed that you got it working at all the best piece of advice is to reflash the thing to become a Ricoh 5125 again. That fixed most problem. Directions on this site if you run search or do a google. The Sony is actually a rebadged Ricoh and the firmware upgrades. See https://www.tongfamily.com/guide_to_pcs/001022.html for more details.

  12. Hey… I put the new firmware (because 90% of my DVDs cannot be write) with WinXP, with ASPI drivers and NOT IN PIO MODE (UDMA mode)
    So why all this amazing things and not try to have a good hardware system???!?!?!?
    Now I can burn anything (from 2.4x to 8x , ofcourse at 2.4X), it’s a pleasure for my movies!
    Thanx

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