Well, let me tell you about a similar experience of my own, regarding firmware and DVD burners.
My first DVD burner was the Pioneer 103 drive, it ran about $800. Back then, Pioneer sold the drive for $999.95 in a Pioneer branded box bought from them or one of their few distributors.
My drive was a Pioneer 103 that Compaq bought and put into their computers, for the added cost of $800. And the firmware read as "Compaq 103" drive. At the time, HP, Sony and Apple did the same. It was an "OEM" drive that they bought direct and put in their own special firmware, and installed in their pre-made computers.
Now that sucked, because it did not take more than 6 months for the computer people to stop giving out new firmware. On the other hand, Pioneer kept adding firmware for about two years. There was a HUGE PROBLEM in that the Pioneer firmware did not see the OEM drives, so we had to hack them. I ended up editing and writing my own Compaq 103 firmware with a backdoor, so that I could then use a normal Pioneer firmware and update the drive. That drive is now on Pioneer firmware. I did the same for a friend with an Apple and a Sony, hacked their 103 and 104 drives.
This kind of stupid crap doesn't happen anymore (well, Dell still does it on their Philips/BenQ drives). And in fact we can now buy the OEM drives ourselves from places like newegg.com
, no longer have to buy them retail.
Whether or not any of this is related to your situation, I don't know, but it might.
Also remember to never update firmware unless you need it for a special reason. Like new discs not burning well, not being seen at the full speed, or not being seen at all.