Most of you, when you first read this, are probably thinking, “What? I thought that it was settled long ago that this wasn’t possible! Is this a joke of some sort?” Hehe, well, this is for real, and here it is, 51S@832S!
How do I do this?
With [THREAD=97590]OmniPatcher[/THREAD] version 1.3.14 and newer, the procedure for 451S@832S and 851S@832S is identical to the 812S@832S procedure. Detailed instructions can be found here. You can directly flash from a 51S drive–there is no need to first flash to a 812S. There is also no modification required to the EEPROM (we’ll go into more detail about this later on).
Please note that, as with the use of any unofficial firmware, you are taking a risk by using this. Please be aware that you will be voiding your warranty by using this unofficial firmware. Also, you should be prepared to accept responsibility for any consequences that may arise from the use of such an unofficial firmware.
(If you really want +R DL, buying a real SOHW-832S is really the most honest and fair way to go about it.)
Q: What about 8x -R?
A: 8x -R, unfortunately, is not possible on the 51S series because the hardware just can’t do it (see the “Technical Stuff” below for more details). There’s nothing that we could do, and believe me, we’ve tried. So -R writing speeds are limited to 4x (we modified the firmware so that it won’t even allow 8x -R). However, as a bonus, 4x -RW does work.
Q: Does +R DL (double-layer) work?
A: Yes, it works. This has been tested by multiple people. Every attempt (there have been at least 4) has been successful with the exception of one (but that was because computer crashed during the burn as the result a software failure, so it wasn’t the drive’s fault).
Q: And what about regular single-layer?
A: C0deKing and I actually do not own 812S drives. We have both been using various 812S and 832S firmwares on our 451S drives for our regular day-to-day burns for over two months now. We have not encountered any problems during this time, and we have both been getting excellent results. Any 812S/832S scans that we have posted throughout the forum have actually been burned with our 451S drives.
Q: Do I need to worry about the EEPROM?
A: This upgrade does not require any modification of the EEPROM, to work. There has been speculations floating around that perhaps the 812S EEPROMs (and thus the 51S EEPROMs) are missing calibration data for +R DL. We have considered this possibility, and we now believe that this is not the case, and that no corrections of any sort are needed. The fact that +R DL is implemented as just regular +R burning (see the “Technical Stuff” below for more details) means that the calibration for regular +R is all that is needed, and there should be no need for any extra calibration data. In addition, the (virtually perfect) quality of our +R DL burns further suggests that there is most likely no need for any sort of adjustment. However, it is good practise to make a backup of your EEPROM, especially before crossflashing, and should your burn quality be poorer than you would expect after flashing, then you might consider doing a EEPROM reset learn, which may correct the problem. Note that after a reset learn, it may take up to four burns before the quality is restored. See the [thread=112103]EEPROM Utility thread[/thread] for more information about backup and reset learn.
Q: Is there any reason to keep using the old 451S or 851S firmwares?
A: Even if you don’t need DL, you might as well flash to the 832S firmwares just for the improved single-layer support and write quality! I have been using @832S for all my regular day-to-day burns simply because I get better write quality this way. Flashing to the 832S firmware will give you these things: +R DL, 4x -RW, support for instant +RW bitsetting, and last, but not least, (hopefully) improved write quality.
Q: And the old 11S series?
A: Sorry, there’s nothing that we could do for them. While the 51S and 2S share much in common, the 11S and 51S/2S are two rather different drive families.
Q: Why the wait?
A: We wanted to wait for the 832S drive to mature a bit and for DL media to become more readily available before doing this. After a bit of consideration, we decided last night that VS08’s release was our cue to go ahead.
The truth is, the 51S series is virtually identical to the 2S series. They have the same motor, same laser unit, same controller chipset, etc. The only difference between the 51S and the 2S, that we are aware of, is that the 2S has a newer revision of the analog signal processor. And the difference between these two analog signal processors? The one for the 2S is capable of processing the wobble used for 8x -R. If you read Michael Spath’s wonderful article about the technical differences between -R and +R, you’ll notice that it’s not enough to just have a laser and motor capable of 8x. +R and -R use different wobbles for tracking and addressing, and in order to process the wobble for 8x -R, a newer analog signal processor was needed. And that’s it! The drives are otherwise identical. This is why the GS0K and US0N firmwares are virtually identical to each other, and this is also why 51S firmwares work just fine when loaded onto a 2S drive (which many people did a while ago to get bitsetting support for their 2S drives). This is also why 8x -R is not possible–not because of different hardware controls in the firmware, which was the theory that someone had put forth several months ago, but because the analog filter simply can’t support it.
As for double-layer, it really isn’t anything very special. In LiteOn drives, +R DL is implemented as an extension of regular +R burning. It uses pretty much the same writing functions as regular single-layer +R. The +R DL write strategies are actually implemented as just two standard +R write strategies, one for each layer! In fact, in some of the early firmwares (like US05), LiteOn had placed the +R DL media codes and write strategies right in the middle of the regular +R media and strategy tables! So in a LiteOn drive, +R DL is nothing more than the drive writing one layer as a regular +R disc, refocusing the laser, and writing the second layer as just another regular +R disc. Thus, all you need is chipset support for 2.4x +R (no special support for +R DL needed!), a laser that’s powerful enough, and a laser that can refocus (needed to read pressed DVD9 discs anyway), and that’s it–nothing special to it! Now how’s that for deflating the glamor of +R DL? BTW, there were little remnants of +R DL code in the old GS0F firmware for the 851S that LiteOn had forgotten to clean up completely. Hehe.