Lg gt33n



Just a heads up about this particular model.

This drive came out of a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge (Can’t remember exact model), because it couldn’t read any discs at all. I thought I would update the firmware in an attempt to repair it. I didn’t succeed in the end, but I thought I’d recount a few things you might like to know.

The drive is detected as a GT33N, but the bottom left corner of the label reads “LGE-DMGT31N (B)”. The model on the label reads “GT33N”, F/W revision “LE02” and H/W revision “B”.

First I tried flashing the drive with Lenovo’s firmware included in the FWSB11 package, that flash utility detected the drive and flashed it with the LT23 firmware. This didn’t brick the drive, but it didn’t solve the problem of the failure to read discs either. I then rebooted and flashed again, and this time the utility updated it to LT31. After this flash, the drive immediately started making loud grinding noises after a power cycle and when the tray was closed, but the noise stopped after a few seconds.

Noticing that Lenovo was using the “LE” prefix for the GT30N but “LT” for the GT33N, I hypothesized that the Revision B of the GT33N was in fact a GT30N or a GT31N, and that the real GT33N was either a completely different chipset revision, or a different chipset altogether (Perhaps Renesas?)

Now, the problem was that LG’s utility wouldn’t allow me to flash to the “LE” firmware of the GT30N because of a “Model Mismatch”, and I couldn’t find any official GT33N firmware that had the “LE” prefix (And I didn’t back up LE02 - but even if I did go back to LE02, I still wouldn’t be able to try LE13 because just as the utility would not allow flashing from a GT33N to a GT30N, I’m sure it wouldn’t allow the reverse either). I looked around and found a few posts in the MCSE thread about this, but there weren’t any useful answers. Luckily, I managed to find a thread over at RPC1, and someone posted a link to a hacked version of the LG Standalone Flasher.

After that, I managed to flash firmware LE13 without a problem. Unfortunately, the drive still isn’t spinning up at all, so I’m pretty sure that either the drive has a mechanical issue, or that maybe the logic board is shot (I may address this in a future post, I suspect a certain replaceable component on the logic board). I’ve ordered an LG GTA0N drive as a replacement.

There is no “-nocheck” switch like there is for TSDNWIN or SFDNWIN, so you have to use this utility. The only other way I can think of to force flash an LG Panasonic-based drive is to boot from DOS via a USB CDROM or Flash stick, and flash it from there (Don’t know exactly which utility, but I’m almost certain there’s one available). I’m not sure how this method differs from MCSE’s crossflashing method, but MCSE doesn’t offer this option other than on drives which are deemed “capable” of crossflashing, but the “Crossflashing” option didn’t show up for my drive’s firmware, because the author of MCSE only includes this option for models that he has tested himself, and only then when there is an actual upgrade that is being gained, not like in our case where firmware is mistakenly issued for the wrong drive.

If anyone wants to mirror the modified utility for posterity’s sake, feel free to do so. Remember, if you decide to crossflash in this manner, you do so at your own risk. Please post results if you do.


Received the GTA0N today. For those who are interested, attached are some pictures. Notice the very small PCB. No flash chip. They may have integrated the flash into the Panasonic chip (It’s a Panasonic drive, not Renesas). Either that, or this drive is unflashable.