John, have never lost audio, but will try and help, you have to be frustrated at this point...Could you specify:
you say "two" firmware updates - should have been just one, and then maybe the drive update you mention.....
your connections, what inputs used on 5005
speed selected and 5005, and length of recording
media, dvd - r, dvd +r, ect.
is your dvd player known to be capable of the media you recorded on?
Also important is, did you at least initally monitor the source signal before recording, i.e., you saw the source video, heard the audio, ect?
Did you finalize recording, and more importantly was there enough space left on recording to do so (no specs from liteon, but I leave at least a couple of minutes space, regardless of recording speed (sp,lp..ect.)
If some of these seem basic questions, no offense, just trying to help...
depending on when you respond, may not be able to review until 03/09 after 0700 us eastern time....larry