First of all you need to download a version of Binflash that matches your Operating System. At the moment there are GUI versions for Windows 32 Bit and 64 Bit available. You should ensure that you are always using the latest version, in case some important bugs have been fixed.
The file you downloaded is compressed, so you need to uncompress it with a zip-compatible program before usage.
Start the executable file by double clicking on it. Almost immediately you should see Binflash's main window.
If you want to see less details of what Binflash does, you should click on the Details button to get a compact view.
If you unplug a drive or attach a new drive while Binflash is running, you should click on the Scan button to refresh the drive list. If you have more than one NEC DVD burner, you should now select a drive from the dropdown list.
Dump current firmware
Before installing a new firmware on your drive, you should backup your current firmware by pressing the Dump button. You will see a dialog window that allows you to save the old firmware of your drive.
After confirmation you will have to wait a few seconds for this procedure to finish. The progress is shown by the bar at the bottom of the window.
Flash new firmware
Now that you hopefully backed up your old firmware, it is time to flash a new firmware. After pressing the Flash button you can select the firmware file that you want to flash. Binflash accepts binary firmwares (hence the program name) and most executables that combine the firmware and a flashing program. Binflash does not supoprt compressed firmwares however. If you download firmwares in RAR or ZIP archives, you will have to uncompress them before they can be used. Now a confirmation dialog will appear and you can check if this really is the firmware that you want to flash.
After confirming this dialog you will have to wait for a few seconds while the new firmware is flashed. The progress is shown at the bottom of the main window. Once the flashing procedure finished, a window will recommend to reboot your PC.
Usually rebooting should not be necessary, but it might be needed in case of problems.
If one of the command fails and you cannot see the reason for this, you should first check if you are already using the latest Binflash version. The current version is shown at the top of the main window.
Several reasons are currently known that might prevent you from accessing the firmware of your drive. First of all several external USB or Firewire enclosures do not pass the necessary commands to the drive. The only way to get around this is to take your drive out of the enclosure and directly attach it to an IDE port. Unfortunately the only way to find out whether your enclosure is supported or not is by acutally trying to flash.
Dumping or flashing may also fail due to insufficient rights. If your user does not have administrative rights on your PC, try logging in with an administrator user.
Flashing may also fail due to a chipset specific IDE driver. There were several reports from people who installed nVidia nForce drivers and were unable to flash their drives. Neither Binflash nor the official flashing software from NEC will work. In this case try to remove these drivers and install the Microsoft drivers that came with your Windows installation.
Some Dual Athlon boards will not work with the Windows versions of Binflash either. The reason for this is unclear and the only solution here is to use DOS or Linux for flashing.
Flashing Optiarc burners may abort with an "Error submitting checksum" message, if the drive is set to UDMA4 mode. In this case please switch the drive to PIO mode.