Lite-On 812S - Any New Answers for Old Questions?

vbimport

#1

I’m posting in the newbie section because that’s what I am – at least to the wondrous yet frustrating world of DVD (I’m also pretty new at this posting thing - so let me know if this one is too long and boring).

I own a Lite-On SOHW-812S (Single Layer, FW level = US0F, which is how it came out of the box about 12 months ago).

The drive is externally housed in a generic brand 5.25” box and connected via firewire to a modestly equipped PC (P4-2.66GHz, 1GB, 2*80GB, XP/SP2).

The 812S works just fine – at least it does with 4x TDK and OPTIstorage branded discs (which DVD Identifier tells me are really RICOHJPN - Media Type ID R01 Product Revision 002).

Naturally I now have a few dumb questions:

  1. The firmware on the 812S is probably getting a bit long in the tooth. Is the latest upgrade (US0Q) “safe”? IE: given my setup what’s the recommendation about moving from US0F to US0Q? Yes, No, Maybe?
    I’ve never flashed anything in my life because I’ve heard so many horror stories about “bad flashes” that I’m very weary. There’s an old adage about not fix’n stuff which ain’t broke – but if that were true then it seems half this website wouldn’t exist ;-).

  2. Anyway, I’ve downloaded US0Q from liteon.com but have also discovered OmniPatcher. If I were to upgrade which one should I be using and why? I’ve read the OmniPatcher doco and a few of the threads but I’m afraid most of the concepts don’t mean much to me right now. Obviously OmniPatcher exists to satisfy the needs of advanced users, but what’s in it for a newbie?

  3. Irrespective of whether I go with the native, windows-based Lite-On flasher or OmniPatcher – will they work with a firewire connected 812S?

Finally, would it be really annoying to the DVD Gods if I raised the following ancient but apparently unresolved questions?

  1. Can the 812S be successfully upgraded to dual layer. I’ve read about the 832S and also the Sony DRU-700A (and even have the VS05 and VY05 firmware upgrades), but the Lite-On website driver page shows the 812S as “SOHW-812S ( 8x 4x / 8x 4x + 40x 24x 40x ) DVD Dual Firmware” which to my way of thinking suggests that the latest firmware provides support for dual layer (even though the spec doesn’t appear to include a write speed for +R9, if that’s the right lingo).
    Is it safe to attempt this upgrade, and is it sensible? Are there any downsides (apart from the cost of media?) If the answer is go for it – what firmware and installer should I be using?

  2. I know the price of 9GB media is dropping, but the only reason I want the extra space is that I’d like less compression and more content on my rips. Unfortunately that’s all a bit academic since my copy of DVD Shrink (v3.2) only seems to support single layer discs. Is there a freebie ripper out there that supports the new 9GB media?

  3. I live in Australia (RC4) and most of my original discs are local, but occasionally I need to import something from the US which I simply can’t buy in Oz.
    What’s the best, simplest, and safest way to get my Lite-On 812S Burner and also my DVD Reader (LG aka HL-DT-STDVD-ROM GDR 8161B) region free?

Looking forward in anticipation to a response that doesn’t tell me how to use the search function.


#2

Thier is always a risk of a bad firmware flash (if the power fails even momentarilly during the flash it will probably kill it) but the risk is pretty low. If your drive is still under waranty and a firmware flash using official liteon firmware kills it, it is covered by the waranty. Flashing with modified firmware is generally as safe as flashing with liteon firmware. Where you might run into problems is if the firmware wasn’t hacked properlly. The modified firmwares that you will find in the liteon forum have been used by many and the people that are modifying them really know what they are doing. As far as I am concerned they are as safe as liteon firmware. I have been running 851s@832s vsob firmware forever and never have problems. Thier may be some merit to the don’t fix it if it’s not broke thing (thats why I have been running that firmware for so long) but even I have seen some things that make me consider upgrading again. Thier are defanatlly some advantages to upgrading firmware. I would at least upgrade to newer liteon firmware. I think the advantages of modified firmware and omni patching are well worth it but it has to be up to you if you want to do something that will void your waranty. It is as safe as flashing liteon firmware and the risk is low.
As far as what in it for a newbie with omni patcher? It can greatlly imporve your burns with some media so it depends what media you use. If you only use ricohjpnr01 your burn quality is probably good (liteons love these disks). You can run kprobe to make sure (it will scan a burned disk for errors). If you omni patch your drive though, you can burn those ricohjpnr01 at 8x. MY experience with my drive and the firmware that I am using is that this media burns beter at 6x than at 4x and omni patcher will allow this. It burns as good at 8x as it does at 4x (so if you are in a hurry on a particular day, burn it at 8x).
I know that you don’t want to hear search but thier are so may options with liteon drives you really need to read through the liteon forums (which it sounds like you did at least some since you seem to be farmiliar with your option but may not understand them all).
Your 812 can be flashed to an 832 whcih will allow dual layer burning. I doubt that newer liton firmware would allow dual layer but I could be wrong (havent really checked into it since I used the hacked firmware). The risk is thier doing these things but it is pretty small. I think that the advantages are well worth the risks but thats a decision you will have to make yourself.
If you have any more specific questions I will try to help.


#3

Yo-

As a suggestion - you may want to temporarly move your 812 into your pc for the flash - comnnecting it to the secondary channel and letting XP recognize it - flash it (I would stick with the latest official LiteOn firmware) then move it back to the external enclosure-

Just my $.02-

Mike


#4

RPC1 for the LG is here:

http://tdb.rpc1.org/#GDR8161B

Liteon here:

http://forum.rpc1.org/dl_firmware.php?download_id=1818