Pros Originally, it was working fine.
Cons The drivers began to fail. The updates are unattainable unless you pay for them.
Summary I spent several days looking for driver updates only to be frustrated with unwanted adds for several driver update services. Cannot find the driver at Sony. It is unsupported. Cannot find the firmware at LiteOn where it is manufactured for Sony. Ergo, the driver updating services have it and won't release it without paying for their subscriptions. Bummer!
Pros Fast, Reliable, Native support in Windows XP
Cons No technical support available, unsupported firmware upgrades required for some media, no software included.
Summary I have been happily using this CD-DVD RW for several months now, burning DVD's at 8x. However, I recently got a pack of 100 Verbatim 16X DVD-R's from Sams, and this drive didn't recognize them (My burning software didn't think there was a blank disc in the drive).
After a bit of research, I discovered that this is not a Sony drive at all, but a REBADGED version of a LiteOn SOHW-1633S! (See http://codeguys.rpc1.org/dvdrw_overview.html for details) Sony apparently provides NO SUPPORT for this drive...a search for DW-22A on the Sony website turns up nothing.
To get the drive to recognize the new media, I had to update the firmware in the drive to the latest version, BYS3. This is apparently Sony firmware; you cannot use a LiteOn update because the flasher utilities on the LiteOn website will not recognize this drive! After performing the firmware update, the drive recognized the new Verbatim media, and successfully burned a DVD at 8x (This drive requires DVD+R to burn at 16x, NOT DVD-R).
For those of you who are adventurous, the new firmware is available at: http://dhc014.rpc1.org/indexOEM.htm#DW-D22A. Get the BYS3 version. You also need the LtnFW Utility to perform the firmware update, available at http://upload.cdfreaks.com/ftools/LtnFW.zip.
You should be careful when attempting any kind of firmware update. It is possible to fry your drive if you perform a firmware update incorrectly, although I had no problems once I knew what to do.
This is an OEM drive, meaning that it typically does not come with any software (mine didn't). However, Windows XP recognizes the drive just fine, so drivers are not a problem, and if you have your own burning software you are good to go.
Bottom Line: while I have been pretty satisfied by this product so far, and was happy that I could solve my media problem, I am ticked that the drive is not really a Sony drive, nor does Sony support it. I bought the drive in large part because it had the name Sony on it. Had I known it was really a LiteOn, I might have chosen something else. I gave the drive four stars because it IS a good drive, and because I WAS able to solve my media problem (no thanks to Sony).
Cons Does not last.....do your research if you must purchase
Summary I bought one of these drives on 25 May 2005 and did not use it fully until August 2005. By 29 August 2005 the drive stopped working. The warranty was for a period of three months (I should have known something was up) but the store I bought it from played hard ball and told me that the item was now out of warranty and that they could not help me. When I checked the net, this drive is known for this type of problem. My advice to anyone thinking about it is not to buy it. Its not worth it!