Old 15-08-2007   #1
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should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

I just bought and installed a new 20x LG drive. Here's the link to newegg where I bought it, so you can see the full description, name, and specs. They call it a "GSA-H55NK" OEM model.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827136117

My question concerns the name of the drive and the significance of all those extra cryptic/unknown characters in the name. That's apparently crucial, because LG reportedly released a 1.02 firmware update in July 2007 for their "LG GSA-H55N" drive, with no further information that I can find. That's all of the characters they give in the name for this firmware update, which is available at...
http://drivers.softpedia.com/progDow...oad-36336.html

Reading the readme text instructions for the firmware update, it cautions against trying to install it on an "OEM" drive. The advertisement at the above newegg link says it's an "OEM" drive, but is it really?

When I look at the drive through my computer's Device Manager, it says the model is "HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GSA-H55N". That differs from what I ordered, which was supposedly a "GSA-H55NK". So what happened to the "K" at the end, and is it important? Also what does the "HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM" prefix mean, and why isn't it mentioned in the newegg advertisement and specifications? Is it important?

Can anybody clarify this nomenclature confusion for me? I need to know if I should install the firmware 1.02 update on this drive, or not?
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Old 15-08-2007   #2
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Re: should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

I answered your post over at Videohelp before I saw this one. Here is my take on the situation:

1. You do have an LG GSA H55N. The K following the N in the Newegg description means it has a black faceplate and is not a retail category drive (no retail Manufacturer packaging, software, cables, screws, etc). These are often referred to as bulk or oem drives.

2. The term oem is a confusing situation because it means one thing to Newegg and another thing on the LG website. Newegg's oem drive is the same thing hardware-wise as the retail model. I explained in item 1 above how it differs. LG's oem term refers to drives manufactured explicitly for a computer maker like Gateway, Dell, etc. These drives identify differently if you look closely. They will normally be a GCA, GMA or GWA instead of the GSA model prefix. These are the ones they warn about flashing firmware as the computer maker is responsible for firmware updates on these models.

3. In regards your Device Manager question. I don't remember all specifics but here is a rough description from memory. HL designates the Hitachi-LG alliance. DT-ST I think means digital technology storage division. DVD-RAM means it will read and write DVD-RAM media.

4. The firmware for the GSA H55N (v1.02) is and can be flashed to your drive. (IMO)

I'm sure other forum members will clarify/correct my explanations further.
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Old 16-08-2007   #3
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Re: should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

I have the same unit blackcolor. It says GSA-H55N and it matches the box description.

I have also flashed v1.02 rom - but did not notice any improvement - perhaps I have not encountered the bugs in v1.01 or v1.0.

Reason I flashed was hoping that LG allowed bitsetting - but it didnt. The firmware also does not allow bitsetting.
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Old 17-08-2007   #4
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Re: should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

Thanks for your help, OneSickPup. I risked it and the 1.02 firmware update seemed to go OK. I've used the new drive to burn 9-10 DVD movies with ImgBurn since then, and that went OK, except... it's painfully slow.

Burn+verify DVD movies with the LG GSA H55N takes a significantly longer time than with my older LG GSA 4167B. For example burning a 4.7G movie onto a 16x single layer Taiyo Yuden disc at 8x-speed takes about 22 minutes with the H55N, versus about 15 minutes with my older 4167B model drive. I also tried burning a 4.7G movie to a 16x single layer Playo DVD disc and it behaved the same.

Most of the slowdown is extra verify time. The H55N begins the verify stage very slowly, at about 2.6x, then increases very slowly, only achieving a maximum reading speed of about 6x near the end. That's pitiful(!) considering that I'm using discs which should be capable of a 16x read. The verify procedure takes about 13 minutes total with the H22N, but only about 7 minutes with the 4167B drive.

Even though 8x burn speed was selected, the H55N insisted upon starting the burn at 4x for the first 15% of the burn, then switched to 8x speed for the remainder. So the burn with the H55N takes about 9 minutes, versus about 7 minutes with the 4167B.

There is also some slowdown with the H55N when burning a 8.5G movie to a DL Verbatim disc at 4.0x speed. The burn speed is the same as with the 4167B drive, but the verify speed is significantly slower. Again the verify stage starts very slowly at about 2.6x then builds up very slowly, gradually, reaching a maximum of only about 5x reading speed. I also note that these DL Verbatim discs should be able to be burnt at 2.4x, 4.0x, or 6.0x, however only 4.0x speed was offered when using the H55N drive.

In short, the H55N works OK, but it's slow. I'm disappointed because I was hoping for some increased speed when burning DVD movies, however my older 4167B is significantly faster.

As for ripping speed, I didn't notice a big difference so didn't bother to time it with my stopwatch. I suspect that the ripping speed is about the same with the H55N versus 4167B, but I don't know.

I think I'll stash this new GSA H55N drive in a drawer somewhere for future backup, in case my GSA 4167B goes belly-up, otherwise I'll stick with the latter. In the meantime, I'm probably going to order one of the new 20x read Lite-On models to compare. I've heard they're a lot faster than the LG brand for ripping.

It doesn't look like LG is really interested in making their drives faster, and the 20x advertisement for their new drive models is mostly just hype. As for their new Secure Disc feature with the H55 models, I have no use for it. It requires using Nero software, which I don't use anyway.
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Old 17-08-2007   #5
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Re: should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

@JohnnyBob1

Keep in mind that LG drives come in two families; those based on the Renesas chipset (like your 4167B) and those based on the Panasonic/Matsushita chipset (like your H55N). You are going to find that the 4167B will always be faster on equal speed burns (8x vs 8x or 12 vs 12). Can't speak to 18x or 20x as I do not have a H55N and of course the 4167B has a maximum of 16x. The only Panasonic based LG I own is a H22N and for the most part I prefer the Renesas chipped drives. Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 10-02-2008   #6
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Re: should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

Hello guys, i just bought a computer and i'm having problems with this LG drive. First of all, it burns very very slowly, like 40 minutes for a 4.7 G DVD. Worst of all, sometimes when i'm burning my windows xp crashes and reboot...

Any ideas? When i bought the desktop it came with windows vista, and i replaced it with XP, could that be the cause of the problems? (i didn't try to burn with the vista...). So, maybe bad drivers?
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Old 11-02-2008   #7
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Re: should I install LG GSA-H55N firmware update 1.02 (July 2007)?

You changed out the OS !! Yes you could have changed critical settings like DMA. Most of the severe speed problems are related to DMA settings. Very poor communication between your RAM and the IDE and Disc. You want maximum DMA or better still UDMA 4 for your H55. 80 cable too.

The LG firmware has a lock on ripping Video. You can't expect any more than 5 or 6X. You have to modify the firmware to get rid of the riplock and good luck on that cause a number of people have had trouble flashing LG drives including myself.
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