HP replaced GSA-U10N with GSA-4083N

vbimport

#1

Hello All!

I have an HP Compaq 6910p notebook manufactured about June, 2008. The optical drive, a GSA-U10N just went bad. It was just dead - as if it were not getting power. HP sent, as a replacement, a GSA-4083N.

At first, I was irked :a simply because I noticed that, while the U10N was manufactured 2008-May, the 4083N replacement was manufactured 2007-Feb, 15 months earlier (older!).

My searching so far seems to indicate that the two models are the same, or nearly so. Otherwise, I’m just not familiar enough with optical drive technology to deduce any more.

First, I’m simply interested in the difference between the two models. Second, I’m particularly interested in a comparison of how the two models differ in their performance, writing and reading DVD-RAM since I use DVD-RAM whenever I can.

Any other commentary about what else I should be concerned about will be appreciated as well.

Thanks very much for any and all advice.

David


#2

Welcome to the forums djpogoff.

I’m going to move your question to the LG forum, where it should get more informed answers.


#3

It actually seems the U10N was reported as being unable to write DVD-RAM by whoever entered it into the VideoHelp database (typically helpful in determining specs on drives). If the drive did have it enabled, it was probably 5x max write speed.

Looking at that, and comparing it to the entry for the 4083N, your current drive has a slower write speed for +RW and -RW, as well as for +R DL and -R DL.

Whether this difference in speed should concern you is something entirely different. Unless you go out of your way, you will probably only find 4x +RW or -RW at the max. We wouldn’t recommend you use a slim drive to burn DL media, so the extra “slowness” there may never matter.

Using quality media, I’d say there’s no reason to be concerned or upset. You’re still getting a decent drive, capable of writing to RAM with the same reliability (albeit at 3x max, but that will not matter much unless your -RAM media is rated for faster than 3x & the U10N wrote faster than 3x, if at all).

I would just focus on testing the drive to ensure it meets your needs right now. If it works, don’t worry about it. If it fails to equal the U10N’s performance (fails to write on a favorite type of media, etc), ask HP to send another replacement of come here to try to find a fix/workaround. :slight_smile:


#4

[QUOTE=Albert;2476040]It actually seems the U10N was reported as being unable to write DVD-RAM by whoever entered it into the VideoHelp database[/QUOTE]Well, the database is wrong here. :wink:
95% of all slim drives are sold to computer manufacturers - with custom firmware.
The Dell version of the U10N does not support DVD-RAM: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/P158405/en/specs.htm
The Lenovo version does: http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=45374

Michael


#5

Michael,

Where is the most reliable data regarding the HP versions of both the [B]U10N[/B] and the [B]4083N[/B]?

More important is my initial interest in what appears to be some kind of “parity” between the U10N and the 4083N. Are they somehow intended to be “the same device” or is the similarity of spec’s between the two models just happenstance?

Thanks,

David


#6

[QUOTE=djpogoff;2476256]Michael,

Where is the most reliable data regarding the HP versions of both the [B]U10N[/B] and the [B]4083N[/B]?[/quote]The specs document on HP support website (in case such exists). But even then, these might not be correct. Example: The drive that came with my Dell laptop lacked DVD-RAM support initially. Quite normal for Dell OEM firmwares. Later, they published firmware updates that re-enabled DVD-RAM support for several drives. The drive’s manual on Dell support website still does not mention DVD-RAM at all, not even on the specs page.

More important is my initial interest in what appears to be some kind of “parity” between the U10N and the 4083N. Are they somehow intended to be “the same device” or is the similarity of spec’s between the two models just happenstance?
Unfortunately, specs as published are not really helpful for a comparision since there are only the different media varieties and supported speeds listed. These “speed” specs haven’t changed for years in the slim drive market. DVD speed is still 8x max, and CD speed is still 24x max. And this will probably not change in near future.

The U10N is without doubt the newer model. It might have better support for newer media than the older replacement drive, HP sent you.

Michael


#7

[QUOTE=mciahel;2476363]
The U10N is without doubt the newer model. It might have better support for newer media than the older replacement drive, HP sent you.
[/QUOTE]

That’s a very important point because the chance of getting a future firmware update for the GSA-4083N is very slim, while for the U10N there’s a better chance there will be some updates in the future (most likely not from HP though!).

Another important point is that while SONY and DELL release firmware updates quite frequently, HP is amongst the worst to release firmware updates (in particular for slim drives), which will in the end - if you want better media support - most likely force you to ‘crossflash’ to a newer firmware coming from a different OEM (assuming there will be one). Again, generally speaking, the chance of getting future updates for the 4083N is much slimmer than the chance of getting an update for the U10N I would say …


#8

[QUOTE=cvs;2477014]
Another important point is that while SONY and DELL release firmware updates quite frequently, HP is amongst the worst to release firmware updates (in particular for slim drives), [/QUOTE]They are easily beaten by Acer and Asus :bigsmile:


#9

Thanks to those who have helped me here.

For the most part, my questions are now moot. It turns out that there was nothing wrong with the original U10N. When I found that the replacement drive (4083N) is also “dead”, it becomes apparent that the notebook’s main board is bad. Since I paid for three years of on-site warranty repair, someone from HP will be out tomorrow or Tuesday to replace the main board.

As far as the drives are concerned, I plan to keep the U10N because, as at least one of you pointed out, it’s more likely to benefit from firmware updates since it was manufactured 15 months later.

BTW, when cross-flashing in order to obtain support for features that the machine’s manufacturer ignored, does one often encounter problems? Can I get “generic” firmware directly from LG?

In fact, why do the OEMs bother with their own proprietary firmware when they could simply distribute the machine with the firmware (in this case) provided by LG? I have to assume that LG’s firmware is more reliable since they manufactured the device. It just seems that HP has nothing to gain by modifying the firmware and everything to lose since it’s one more proprietary hardware/firmware combination to support. In the last analysis, it’s nicest when we all know that a GSA-U10N has only [B][I]one[/I][/B] source for firmware ([B][I]its[/I][/B] manufacturer) regardless of whose machine it’s in.


#10

The OEM firmwares are made by LG, not by HP. Typically LG (the OEM) restricts features for OEM customers (e.g. HP), like disabling DVD-RAM so save license costs or reducing the write or read speeds. Sometimes they change the bitsetting feature to what the OEM customer wants, e.g. for Buffalo. With notebook drives they also adjust the master/slave/cs feature for IDE drives so that the drive works in the notebook.


#11

ala42,

Thanks for your explanation. So, it sounds like the drive manufacturer’s firmware is stripped down and has the fewest features. Then, the integrators, like HP, Dell, Lenovo, expand upon that firmware to improve performance and add formats and features.

While Albert said:
“It actually seems the U10N was reported as being unable to write DVD-RAM by whoever entered it into the VideoHelp database,”

Michael replied:
“Well, the database is wrong here. 95% of all slim drives are sold to computer manufacturers - with custom firmware. The Dell version of the U10N does not support DVD-RAM: http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...5/en/specs.htm. The Lenovo version does: http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=45374”.

So, I wonder what problems I might find if I use the Lenovo firmware on a U10N in an HP notebook.

Thanks,

David