Alarming hard drive behavior with LTD 165H

If this is a dumb question, I apologize, but it’s something I’ve never come across before, and it’s a bit scary.

I’ve recently installed, on a system with Win98SE and an Abit BX board, a LiteOn LTD 165H DVD-ROM (firmware CHOJ), and haven’t yet updated the firmware or made the drive region-free. Often, but not always (maybe once every three times), when I use a CD in the drive, after ejecting the disk and closing the tray, the red light indicating hard drive activity, instead of (as is usual) flickering briefly and then going out, stays on, and on, and on – there’s no flickering, so it looks like the drive is somehow ‘fully engaged’ in activity. Only rebooting gets things back to normal, but I worry about what’s happening with the hard drive when its led indicator is, as it seems, ‘stuck in overdrive’.

The hard drive is a Seagate 'Cuda ATA IV, and is really quiet, silent actually – if it did make any sound, it couldn’t be heard above the fairly tranquil sound of my 5 fans. So all I know of the hard drive activity is through the behavior of the red light of the drive’s actvity led.

What I’d like to know is what’s happening, is it potentially damaging to the hard drive, and what, if anything, to do about it. I’d much appreaciate any advice.

i had the same problems, the hard drive activity light stays on all the time…

all you have to do is just update the firmware to the latest…CH0Q or later…and it should solve the problem…but remember…updating the firware will change your drive from liteon to JLMS…

Thanks, boomboomroom. I was going to update to the latest firmware sometime but had been putting it off (mostly out of laziness) – now there’s a good reason to do it immediately.

I had the same problem after installing my 165H (98SE, Epox m/b). I run 3 partitions, each with 98SE. Partition 1, the drive led stayed on all the time, part.2 it worked normally most of the time, part.3 normal. (Hmm, sounds like the three bears story…). I ignored it, because everything worked ok, and now part.1 is behaving itself most of the time.

Unsure why it’s happening, but may be a timing issue? Checking a couple of other forums indicates others are having this problem in varying degrees, so you’re definitely not alone! One suggestion was that the led is showing additional activity on the bus, but why the DVD drive should cause this I don’t know. I’ve installed the region-free proggy, courtesy Mango’s wonderful site, just have to install region-killer.

I love my 165H:D

Another question that I really should know the answer to already:

“updating the firmware will change your drive from liteon to JLMS”

Does this ‘change’ to JLMS constitute something substantial (ie. does it limit things in some way, for example), or is it just that utilities that provide drive info use this different name for the drive? And if the name change does have substantial consequences, it would (possibly) be good to know what they were before experiencing them.

I’m thinking of unfanning the machine briefly (except for the CPU and PSU fans), and using Seagate’s or IBM’s utility to disable the AAM so I can actually hear the hard drive, and then try to see if, when the drive’s led is ‘stuck’ on ‘on’, it’s because the drive is actually fanatically doing something. Just for the knowledge.

The name change is harmless, it’s just different letters.
The firmware did the usual, match more media.

Thanks for the information.
One last (I hope) thing: I’ve never flashed any firmware or BIOS from within Windows, but I gather LiteOn expects firmware updates to be done that way (or at least the files they provide all are for using within Windows). I have both the Windows and .bin files to update the 165H’s firmware to CHOQ (the latest). Is there any danger (or any particular advantage) in flashing from within Windows?

If you lurk around a little you can see that some people have had trouble with LiteOn’s windows flasher and 163D…
I myself have always updated my 165H in windows without a hitch.

If you want to be extra careful you can turn DMA off before you flash, but it’s not neccessary.

I’m having exactly the same problem (HDD LED always on) with my Liteon LTD-165h drive, justsatorn. I emailed Liteon’s tech support about it but haven’t yet received any reply.

Did upgrading the firmware solve the problem? I would appreciate it if you could keep me updated of the results.

@rabies
I haven’t upgraded the firmware yet. (I today received an email from a friend/website-collaborator of 5 years to let me know that he has terminal cancer – he’s only 26, less than half my age: so I don’t feel all that energized for computer adventures right now.)

Despite Airhead’s reassurance, which I trust, I’m so used to Win98 freezing or blue screening that I feel I have to study up on mktflash and then use it to back up the current firmware (as a ‘rescue disk’) before I update the firmware (either in Windows if I feel confident or with mktflash in DOS if that feels safer).

I’ll let you know how things turn out once I’ve flashed to the latest firmware – either on Thursday (tomorrow) or Friday, depending on when there aren’t any thunderstorms.

Since quite a few people have the same behaviour with their HDD led, if LiteOn tech support give you an answer, maybe you could post it on the forum.

Ok, rabies, I flashed from the ch0j firmware to the new ch0q firmware (in DOS with mtkflash), and the problem with the HDD LED staying on has disappeared – I’ve used over a dozen CDs and VCDs and DVDs, and all is normal. (I also used Rpcde to switch to RPC1 – it’s a real convenience being able to do it in Windows.)

So I recommend that if you also have ch0j firmware, that you give a try too. It’s the first time I’ve used mtkflash, but it’s easy if you follow the directions in the Guide (Sticky) – having mtkflash.exe and ch0q.bin on the hard drive makes it a very fast process too.

Thanks for the update, justsatorn. sorry to hear about your friend :frowning:

I just received an email from Liteon. It goes:

“Dear Sir
We suggest you to go website " www.jlms.com.tw”, to find the model:
XJ-HD165H ( 16X / 48X ) DVD-ROM
download F/W and updrage to fix the issues you find.

Yours Sincerely

===================================================
Customer Service Dept.
Lite-On IT Corp.
Email : AP_Service@liteonit.com
Tel : 886-3-578-7722
Fax : 886-3-579-7673
Add : 5F, No.12, Li-Shin Rd., Science Based Industrial Park,
Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, R.O.C. Consignee : Customer Service Dept."

I’ll try upgrading my firmware using the Windows version they posted on their site. Wish me luck!

By the way, is it just me or does the the LTD-165h make a whizzing sound for a few milliseconds after it ejects the cd? It seems like the drive keeps spinning even without a disc inside. This is my first Liteon drive.

Here’s an update.

I just upgraded the firmware of my Liteon LTD-165H from ch0j to ch0q and I now have a JLMS LTD-165H. Everything seems fine, and my computer’s hard disk LED no longer stays on.

However, my bios now detects the Liteon dvd drive as “UDMA 49” during the boot process. What’s “UDMA 49”? I’ve never heard of it before.

Good news, rabies. And good that LiteOn tech support answers --that’s becoming less common, it seems.

I don’t notice a “whizzing sound for a few milliseconds after it ejects the cd”, and I tried to listen closely. But I have a noisy computer (lots of fans, in a hot country). If it’s of interest or concern to you, maybe start a separate thread on the topic.

“However, my bios now detects the Liteon dvd drive as “UDMA 49” during the boot process” – I have an old mobo, and maybe that’s why I get UDMA 33. Others have been getting DMA 3, which may be actually what it is. Never heard of UDMA 49 – again, a new thread on the topic will get you expert advice very quickly.

Hi guys, thought I might as well add my bit. In light (should that be lite? sorry) of what’s been said in this thread, thought I’d flash my 165H to QHOQ. I used the “Windows” flasher and it worked like a dream, just made sure nothing was running in the background. Mind you, I had the .bin file ready, just in case!

Yep, I’ve noticed mine makes a hissing-type sound for a few secs. after ejection. Just another idiosyncrasy of the drive, I guess. I’ve also noticed that those with the led problem seem to be running CHOJ f/w?

will upping the firmware to a JLMS title one affect the warranty at all??

ive got the hdd light problem with my CHOE f/w - as well as a udma problem (wont go higher then udma0 :frowning: )

can someone clarify for me what the buffer size is for the 165h…

The buffer size of the 165H is 512KB.

Upgrading to the ch0q firmware should fix the hdd led problem – it seems to have worked for everyone else.

Dunno about ‘udma0’ – maybe just a misidentification/BIOS glitch?

As regards the warranty, since you’re flashing the product with the manufacturer-provided firmware, it shouldn’t affect the warranty. Of course, that depends on where you happen to live --ie. who is actually responsible for the warranty. (Here in Thailand, warranties are the responsibility of the component’s distributor, some of whom are more helpful than others.)