Lite-On HD-A740GX Hard Disk Upgradable?

Hi all. I’m new to this forum. Found it by accident actually.

I’m buying my first DVD player/recorder. Yes, my first. My VCR has failed me a couple of years ago so I think it is time to get the latest and greatest DVD recorder with hard disk.

Costco has the latest Lite-On DVD recorder with a 160GB HD, the HD-A740GX, going for $299. The MSRP is $399. This recorder does 2nd layer recording too. Sounds too good to be true.

One question I have is whether this recorder and all DVD recorders in general are upgradeable to a larger hard disk. Don’t plan to replace the hard disk now but in the event it fails in the future. Thanks for your help.

Welcome to the forum Caesar! :slight_smile:

So far, I have only heard of one report where someone replaced the hard disk in an LVW-5045 with a 250GB drive (from what I recall), but the recorder only recognised a partition of 160GB. Besides this, I have not come across any other reports about hard disk upgrades being performed on a LVW-5045, as I’m fairly sure that if this could easliy be done, there would be guides posted all about the place on how to carry out this, like how one can easily find guides on how to replace the hard disc in a TiVo.

On the other hand, I’m not sure what upgradibility is like in the newer Lite-On series such as the GHC models with an internal HDD or this new model you have. One thing I can confirm is that the hard disks used in Lite-On’s are standard IDE drives. :wink:

I have read posts where people have upgraded their hard drives and it seems to boil down to this:

[li]If you upgrade the hard drive the player will only format it (using the Erase option) to the same size as the original drive.
[/li][li]You can put a new 160GB drive into a 160GB recorder and format it ready for use, then transfer it into an 80GB recorder and the full 160GB wil be seen. The same is true for a 250GB drive in a 160GB or 80GB recorder.
[/li][li]If you later use the Erase function to format the drive again it will revert to the same size as the original drive.
[/li][li]I have also seen where someone has taken a larger drive, formatted it as FAT32 on a PC, named the volume as LITEONFAT then copied over all of the files from the original drive. This is then recognised as its full capacity until the next full erase/format.
I certainly wouldn’t think of trying this until the warranty had expired.

Paul B

Thanks Sean and Paul for the reply.

So, it looks like the hard disks are using FAT32 format. I could easily do an upgrade using this method.

What I don’t understand is why the firmware cannot be made to support any disk capacity. Being an engineer, I know this can be done. What if my hard disk fails down the road, will I be left high and dry? Maybe the manufacturer will take this opportunity to exploit the situation and charge a high price for a replacement. Hmm… I have second thoughts about getting a DVD recorder with a hard disk.

BTW, any one know if these HDs are standard IED or the new serial IED?

Because if you need higher hard disk capacity, LiteOn will want you to buy another recorder with a bigger one, also if it fails, you’ll have to buy a new recorder.

If a hard drive fails you can replace it with a larger model and it will format at the same size as the original - at least you will have the equivalent of your original player back again. What people are wanting to do is upgrade to a larger hard drive - how many other pieces of home electronics can you upgrade?

I work on the design of a multi-billion GB pound military aircraft - the original hard drive we used is obsolete now so we use a larger drive but partitioned to the same size as the original. It’s a waste but at least it works and the new hard drives are cheaper than the original was!

Paul B

I hope i am not highjacking this forum?
What i would like to know can we install firmware on the hd-a760gx ? if so is there any bins i can add to copy dvd ?


Hi all,

I have upgraded my Liteon lvw-5045 to 400G successfully. Here is the instruction that I have posted on other forum:

I don’t have HD-A740Gx to verify it by myself. But, as long as the hd is FAT32 partition, I believe the method will work as well. Please give it a try and let us know what is the result…

Have fun…:slight_smile:

Hi [caesar148],

If you or anybody can provide 512byte information from sector 0 and sector 63 from the HD-A740GX HD, I can compare it with lvw-5045 and confirm they are sharing the same format or not. If they are same, it will be for sure the method will work for A740GX HD.

Until now, I have found the 160gig of my 5045 to be more than adequate.
However, I’m now on my third 5045 in a year!
I keep having a problem with the DVD not accepting/recognising blank/recordable media.
1st PVR lasted 6 months before I even bothered to transfer anything to DVD. Through Liteon’s incompetence, I ended up losing 5 day’s pay (over 3 weeks) waiting for the unit to be collected for repair. On the fifth occasion, Liteon agreed to upgrade the unit & drop off when they collected the faulty one.
After 4 months, had the same problem - DVD not accepting blank/recordeable media.
Lost 2 day’s pay for collection/return.
Now, 2 months later, the machine is doing the same thing.
Tried to upgrade the firmware but the machine doesn’t see the CD. No matter what type or make of DVD I insert, it isn’t seen.
So, I can’t upgrade the firmware. I’ve bunged my lens cleaner in a load of times, I have a hard drive full of films & the machine is 6 months old.
I’m seriously considering using a day’s pay to buy a DVD recorder to link to this machine.
My other alternative is to lose 2 day’s pay to send this away & wait for it to be dropped off.

Have I any other options?

mine is doing the same…can i link an external dvd recorder to it

[QUOTE=midnite469;1923704]mine is doing the same…can i link an external dvd recorder to it[/QUOTE]

Exactly what I ended up doing. I bought a standalone DVD recorder to save some of the stuff I recorded. i now use the standalone in another room linked to a freeview box & record films onto DVD-RWs.

Since my earlier post, the unit went tits up AGAIN - this time, it refused to do anything at all. As it happened, I was on leave & using the time to decorate at home so was able to have the unit collected & dropped off - they installed a new DVD drive and upgraded the firmware.
The van driver from DHL is on my Xmas card list - we’re almost best buddies.

Hi guys, this is what I did to upgrade 4 ILO HD04 (little brother of the older Liteon 5045, 80GB and less features). Some of the info is thanks to totoro168’s research, here are the steps I take;

4 ILO HD04s (2 x 250GB, 1 200GB and 1 160GB)

  1. to extract the system files off of the current HDD onto your PC.
  • Back-up all your recordings you want to keep on disc.
  • Do a full erase of your HDD while still in the recorder
  • Remove HDD and plug into your PC and copy the system folder most likely called LITEONFAT, it’s around 5 GB in size, give or take.
  1. to format new HDD
  • Plug new HDD in PC and run FDISK to the largest size, set it “active” and unformated.
  • Download fat32format from
  • Unzip and save .exe file on your c drive.
  • Click Start->Run and enter cmd. CD to where you extracted the fat32format.exe file, e.g. by typing CD /D c:\
  • In DOS Prompt, type (respect the spaces) this for 64k cluster size, fat32format -c128 f: (replace f: with your appropriate drive letter) You’ll get a warning notice saying “Warning ALL data on drive ‘f’ will be lost irretrievably, are you sure (y/n)” answer yes (y) and in a flash you will see results similar to these,

[I]Size : 250GB 488392002 sectors
512 Bytes Per Sector, Cluster size bytes (65xxx for 64k cluster)
Volume ID is 1bdb:2c1d
32 Reserved Sectors, 59604 Sectors per FAT, 2 fats
7629261 Total clusters
7629260 Free Clusters
Formatting drive f:…
Clearing out 119304 sectors for Reserved sectors, fats and root cluster…
Wrote 61083648 bytes in 0.988463 seconds, 61796609.106193 bytes/sec
Initialising reserved sectors and FATs…
3- Copy LITEONFAT file onto new HDD and install in the recorder.

Now some more info, because your Liteon is a 160GB recorder, if ever you do a full erase with the larger HDD, it will only reformat 160GB, if that happens you would need to go over this process to get the full size again. That means from now on, erase individual titles and not the whole HDD.

You need to format at the 64K cluster size, if left at the 32K cluster size, the next time that the HDD scans after a power failure, all recordings after the 1GB point will crap out, not playable, this would be at about 15 min. 20 on HQ, 30 min. on SP, 45 min. on LP etc.

If ever in the future, by some sheer bad luck, your HDD completely fails and you have no back-up files, do step 2 (without LITEONFAT) and install in your recorder, do a full erase, this will write the LITEONFAT file on the HDD (but only to 160 GB) but at least you can backup the system files and then repeat steps 2 and 3 to get the full size of your HDD.

Hope this helps.

Hi crazycanuck/ Very interesting how do you hook up your hard drive to the computer. Do you have to open your computer up to do this and if you do where do you plug it in. Should a novice try this

USB is fine or bring the HDD to the PC internally on the slave connector of your IDE cable, the jumper set at CS (cable select) and it’s pretty straight forward from there, no expertise required, anyone can do this, just take your time, follow the steps and you should be fine. I’ve broken them into three stages, accomplish one stage at a time, if a step is errored or missed, nothing to worry about other than having to start over again.

It doesn’t have to be a new drive, I’ve actually pulled my 200GB out of my PC, erase it and reformatted it and now is in one of my ILOs. Any questions or need assistance just come back and asked, we’ll figure it out. As I mentioned, these are the steps that work for the older 5045s and ILOHD04s, not sure about the 740 but worth a try.

There are not many brands where one can upgrade their HDDs, I’ve read that some Pioneers can be upgraded but major hoops and bounds, a little too much for my taste but can be done with some models. The older LG 780 is another one, this is one of the easiest, I’ve read that you just need to slap in a bigger HDD and it recognizes the whole capacity, just not sure about their newer model though, you would need to research that. Liteons and Liteon clones have been fairly easy to upgrade.

CrazyCanuck it’s me again It sounds easier with a USB however, not to sound to dence how and where would you hook up a usb cable on a hard drive? Is there some kink of adapter???

You would need a IDE to USB cable with power adapter, plenty of them in your favorite computer store, got mine on ebay, bought a IDE/SATA to USB cable kit for around $17 (with shipping).

CrazyCanuck Great!!! one more question and I will leave you alone. Does this cable need a sepatate power supply or do they come with them?

It’s a kit that contains all the cables, power cable and adaptors you need to connect a disc drive or a hardrive externally. The USB cable by itself does not carry enough power to operate a HDD or disc drive so you need to bring additional power.

Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.

Hi guys I’m wondering if anyone can help. I got my Lite-On HD-A740GX last xmas, it’s been fine and still is fine, except that it won’t play divx films with up to date codecs. It just says does not recognise audio / video codec - skip file.Does anyone know if the codecs can be upgraded for this model, I’ve tried finding out myself but have had no luck so far.Appreciate any response.ThanksS