How do I get my burnt DVDs to read faster?
What is this all about?
Burnt DVD discs (+R/-R/+RW/-RW) are generally read at a slower speed than most other discs. There is a good reason for this, as drives tend to have a harder time reading these discs. However, just because there are a number of burned discs that can't be read well at the full speed doesn't mean that all burned discs can't be read well at full speed. The truth is, if good media is used and well-burned, it can read just as smoothly at 16x CAV as a pressed disc. There is something similar that goes on with writing speed. While most drives will not allow you to burn 8x on 4x-certified media, as many people are quite well aware, there are many pieces of 4x-certified media out there that burns just fine when oversped to 8x. Understandably, from the manufacturer's perspective, it's better to play things conservatively. Better to reduce performance than to increase performance and have people complain that the performance increase isn't as smooth as they'd want. Anyway, with the use of hacked firmwares, it's now possible to bypass these stringent limitations. Although reading at the full 16x CAV may cause problems in many cases, it's also possible to balance stability and speed by choosing an intermediate speed such as 12x CAV or 14x CAV. This post contains a collection of patched firmwares that you can use to unlock your LiteOn drive's full reading capabilities.
Note that these firmwares can also work for rebadged (rebranded) LiteOn drives such as Sonys. See the FAQ below for more details.
• LTD-/XJ-HD163: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download)
• LTD-/XJ-HD163D: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download)
• LTD-/XJ-HD165H: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download) ([THREAD=94400]discussion[/THREAD])
• LTD-/XJ-HD166S: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download) ([THREAD=94148]discussion[/THREAD])
• SOHD-167T: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download)
Except for the prefixes in their names, the XJ-HD drives are identical to the LTD drives, so their firmwares should be interchangeable.
• LTC-48161H: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download) ([THREAD=94177]discussion[/THREAD])
• SOHC-5232K: 8x->12x/14x/16x (download) ([THREAD=94416]discussion[/THREAD])
• Autopatcher for LDW-401S/411S/811S/451S/851S: ([THREAD=97590]download and discussion[/THREAD])
• LDW-401S: 6x->8x (no prepatched firmware; use the [THREAD=97590]autopatcher[/THREAD])
• LDW-411S: 6x->8x (download) ([THREAD=93171]discussion[/THREAD]) (C0deKing)
• LDW-811S: 6x->8x (download) ([THREAD=93171]discussion[/THREAD]) (C0deKing)
• LDW-451S: 6x->8x (download)
• LDW-851S: 6x->8x (download) ([THREAD=93168]discussion[/THREAD]) (C0deKing)
• SOHW-812S: official firmware is already at 8x
• SOHW-832S: 6x->8x (only for DL; SL media is already at 8x) (no prepatched firmware; use the [THREAD=97590]autopatcher[/THREAD])
If a prepatched version of your favorite DVD-burner firmware does not exist, you could use the autopatcher. Or you could use the autopatcher even if a prepatched version does exist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will this damage my drive in any way?
A: No. The only reason why it slows down for burned media is because lower reflectivity makes it harder to read the burned marks on the disc. Running a disc at 16x will not damage the drive, as the drive was designed to run at 16x (or 12x in the case of the DVD-burners) (if you feed it a pressed single-layer DVD-ROM, it would go that fast with the official firmware). Of course, running your drive at its design limit might cause it to wear out a bit faster, but this is no different than if you feed your drive a lot of fast-reading single-layer pressed DVD-ROM discs.
Q: What about non-LiteOn drives?
A: There are similar patched firmwares for some of the other drives, but this is a LiteOn collection. However, you can use what you find here on OEM-rebadged LiteOn drives. For example, the Sony DDU1612 is just a LiteOn XJ-HD166S drive with the Sony label slapped on. Thus, you can flash your Sony DDU1612 with the XJ-HD166S firmware found here and get faster reading speeds. As LiteOn is a huge manufacturer, there are many drives out there that are rebadged LiteOn drives. Unfortunately, I do not have a list of all of them, but there are resources in this forum and on the Internet that can help you identify whether or not your drive is a LiteOn rebadge. For a start, see the links section below. Finally, as requested, there are patched versions of some of the rebadged firmwares available, if you don't wish to use a real LiteOn firmware.
Q: The 166S patched firmware by TDB comes with a region-free variety. Will you patch any of the other firmwares to be region-free as well?
A: No. The reason is that it's already extremely easy to make a LiteOn drive region-free. If you're using a LiteOn DVD burner, a LiteOn combo drive, or one of the newer LiteOn DVD drives, use LtnRPC, which is a small, free tool that can make your LiteOn drive region-free quickly and painlessly, without the need to muck around with your firmware. If you're using an older LiteOn DVD drive (163/163D), RPCDE2 is a free tool that can make your older LiteOn drive region-free (though you should not use RPCDE2 on the newer drives; use LtnRPC instead for those).
Q: What about dual-layer media? Can I get DVD9 discs to read faster?
A: No. These speeds are capped at 8x CAV, and for a good reason. If you have a good disc, you might be able to manage 10x, but even that's pushing it. Reading dual-layer media faster than 8x CAV produces unstable results, which is why none of these patched firmwares adjust the reading speed for that media type.
• Digi's Site - Great resource site for LiteOn DVD-ROM drives. You can use this site to find out what some of the rebadged LiteOn DVD-ROM drives are.
• Dave's Site - Great resource site for all other LiteOn drives. You can use this site to find out what some of the rebadged LiteOn drives are.
• [THREAD=83441]LiteOn Tools Collection[/THREAD] - A collection of LiteOn tools that can come in handy, including LtnRPC.
Many thanks to C0deKing and The Dangerous Brothers for their contributions here and also for providing me with helpful resources.
Thanks also go out to dhc014 and digi for maintaining their wonderful firmware collections.