Gsa - Gwa Lg



I REALLY would like to know the diference between them…


Perry Adams


If I’m not mistaken, GSA models are normal production LG models whereas the GWA models are OEM LG ones. The OEM models have no support whatsoever from LG. They are intended to be sold to computer manufacturers for use in their systems (e.g. HP) so LG expects the computer manufacturers to provide the support. This means that LG does not provide any firmware updates for GWA models at all. If you see a GWA model on sale in a shop, it might be wise to steer clear of it as you won’t be able to find any firmware updates for it.

The other key difference is that GWA models do not have DVD-RAM support whereas GSA ones do.


You are correct about LG not supporting the GWA models and the official word I got from LG regarding my GWA-4161b was nebulous at best. I think LG is hiding behind some type of OEM mumbo jumbo and selling the drives on the open market anyway. It’s the best of both worlds for LG, 1) sell drives 2) don’t support them. That really helps with profit. As you stated karangguni, stay away from any GWA model because you will be screwed for support. The GWA line is Branded LG but not supported by them. I hope they stop this crap practice. Better yet get a drive from another manufacturer. I have even tried the GSA-4160b firmware for my drive it does not work.


I don’t think that is exactly what is going on. As I understand it, LG provides GWA drives to OEM companies for use as part of entire systems they sell. They then provide firmware updates to these OEM companies themselves. The OEM companies in turn, make the updates available to their customers. LG however, does not make firmware updates for these GWA drives available to customers directly because the drives were never intended to be used outside of the OEM systems. Some people with GWA drives that came shipped with their systems, have been able to get firmware updates from the companies they bought the systems from.

So the question is how those GWA drives ended up on the open market. From my own knowledge of other OEM parts that have turned up on the market, what happens is that OEM manufacturers sometimes end up with surplus parts. I’m not exactly sure why. I am guessing that they order extra in case of defective parts when assembling their systems. Anyway, when they are done if they find themselves with a surplus of certain parts, they just dump the parts on the open market. I myself have bought OEM sound cards and video cards that worked fine. So it is probably not LG’s fault at all that these GWA drives are on the market. The problem of course, is that unlike other computer parts, these GWA drives are not the same as the standard GSA ones on the market, so you can’t use the standard firmware and drivers.

LG’s support for GSA drive firmware is pretty good. I have a GSA-4163B and new version of firmware are available about every two months. You just have to stay away from GWA models. This is one case where buying OEM stuff is NOT a bargain.

What I don’t quite understand is why OEM companies can’t just buy normal GSA drives from LG. Perhaps they wanted the drives to be extra cheap, so they asked for custom non DVD-RAM versions.


You make some good points about OEMs possibly dumping drives on the market. I can’t believe how many are actually available on the market though. Some OEM purchasing agent must have really screwed up. :doh: I firmly believe if the drives were intended for OEM they should carry the OEM brand and not LG’s, it would clear up a lot of confusion. As it stands now, there is no support for most of the GWA models. I guess at the end of the day, consumers like myself need to look into purchases a litlle more carefully and manufacturers, OEMs and vendors need to clarify support issues.


Trade secrets as well. There are still a lot of AMD OEM CPUs on the retail market and nobody talks about where they got them from.

Though heavily globalized during the past few years, LG is still a South Korean company that survived and thrived under the military dictator regime that killed thousands of citizens just to get the dictator power and asked companies like LG and Samsung for millions to billions (in USDs) either for the dictator regime’s political campaigns or for their personal wealth (to be a friend of president is to be a near-billionaire.) Even in 2005, LG’s official remark on some “back-imported” LG drives is that they are “illegal” as if they had rights to tell the supreme court and national congress about what is legal and what is not. That kind of high-nose attitude towards consumers and lower-level companies and contractors continues because of the same authoritarian business culture in and out of the family Jaebol structure. Try to memorize textbooks 100% prepared by a military regime like Taliban’s or Kim-Jungil’s for 30 years and not thinking at all and you will become as rigid as any of them even if you work for a global company like LG.

Back to the original topic, it’s reasonable for LG to have “LG” sticker even for produced units meant for OEM shipping. Removing it would cause more confusion, not less. Perhaps in the coming years, LG will massively restructure their worldwide websites and contact points with end user consumers, but don’t expect LG (or Samsung for that matter) to behave like an average Western company until then. It’s much easier to find what is the newest firmware for a Lite-On or Plextor DVD writer even though LG is about 50 to 200 times as large. advertises as if LG supported some of those OEM drives. Not sure whether is irresponsibe or somebody else lied but clearly some consumers have been cheated.

You can’t read anything like this on any official introduction of LG group or LG Electronics but I can bet my life on that I speak truth and am balanced in that.