LH-20A1L vs LH-20A1S vs DL media



I’ve seen more than a few posts that seem to indicate that the LH-20A1S is more tolerant of non-Verbatim DL media than most of the other current drives (particularly the Samsung), but how about the LH-20A1L?

All things equal, I’d rather get the ‘L’ so I can have Lightscribe… but if it meant the difference between successful burns and coasters with Ritek DL discs, I could live without Lightscribe.

If the “L” is just a “S” with optical encoder added to the spindle and plugged into what would otherwise be the same controller board running the same firmware, I’d expect them to basically be the same… but it’s equally possible that the “L” is completely different from the “S” and has nothing in common with it besides the first few characters in its model number…


The L is for LightScribe. That is the only difference between the two.


Is there any physical difference between the drives, or are they LITERALLY chip-for-chip identical, and differ only in the “L” having LightScribe capabilities added to the firmware?

Put another way, has anyone successfully added LightScribe capabilities to a “S” by cross-flashing it? Or, alternatively, if the “S” someday had slightly more recent firmware that was better-able to burn specific disc types, could a “L” be cross-flashed with “S” firmware (sacrificing Lightscribe for better burn quality) as a stopgap measure until the L’s firmware officially caught up?


The S and L should match chip-for-chip, except for the fact that the L has the extra sensor and other hardware to do LightScribe, and the S doesn’t. You can interchange the FW, but you can’t gain LightScribe ability. [You can, however, temporarily lose it by flashing the non-LS firmware].

I don’t think there’s been a LiteOn drive yet that had the LightScribe hardware, but came as a non-LightScribe drive, so your chances there are pretty slim to nil. :wink:


That’s ok… I actually bought the 20A1L… I just wanted to make sure they really, REALLY were identical down to the hardware, controller board, and firmware not related to Lightscribe itself before breaking the seal and subjecting myself to a 15% restocking fee for returning it. I would have been hating life if I blew $40 ($55, factoring in sales tax and molex-to-SATA power adapter I ended up having to buy) only to discover that I’d accidentally bought a drive that hates non-Verbatim media as badly as the Samsung 203 apparently does :wink: