Lite-On LH-18A1P Can't Detect Blank Verbatim +R DL Disc

[qanda]This thread is about the Lite-On 18x 8x 8x /18x 8x 6x /12x /16x + 48x 32x 48x E-IDE DVD-Dual Super AllWrite. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]It seems my Lite-On has problems with detecting DVD discs. It is trouble-free with certain discs and for some discs it just can’t detect it at all. Quality of the disc is not the factor. This is no problem for burning movies as I just buy the cheaper discs which my Lite-On likes.

But I only use Verbatim +R DL discs to burn XBox game backups. I can’t use the Lite-On to burn the backups as it can’t detect the blank disc. So I use the burner in my son’s computer. The funny thing is that the Lite-On can read the disc after the disc has been burned.

The Lite-On is over a year old and not used heavily. It already had problems reading certain discs a while back but I just ignored it as I just stuck to the cheaper discs that it liked. I’ve just recently bought an XBox and started to do game backups.

I’ve tried cleaning the DVD lens with a lens cleaner disc. Didn’t help.

Can my Lite-On problem be fixed? If not I’ll just use it to burn movies. But I’d like to try to fix it if possible. Thanks for any suggestions. :bow:

Guess it just means I have a bad drive. Doubt it can be fixed. I can live with that.

Possibly disc recognizance trouble is out of date onboard disc type catalog in the firmware. The latest firmware that works with that hardware is: "20A4P.9P59A.patched-fbl-eos-eoht.exe"
Its on this thread:
For that particular hardware. . .
backup using the eeprom utility
backup using the flash utility
flash using the flash utility
convert using the eeprom utility
clear learn media using the eeprom utility
options (options tab) all to “on” with the eeprom utility
bit settings at your option
restart computer
Presto! A 20A4P! :wink:

@daniel: thank you for your response. I’ve tried what you said but the outcome remains the same. I even tried the LH-20A4H (QP5B FB FBL EOS EOHT 6 *DUAL) FW out of desperation. I think it’s more a hardware problem. The laser head must be misaligned or something. Thanks just the same.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t run the “H” (litescribe) firmware on the “P” drive.

I have one 20A1P that behaves like yours and here is its story. . .

After struggling with it for some time, I have . . . 20A1P-KLOP-PATCHED-FBL-EOS-EOHT running on it now.
On the eeprom tools options screen, both Smartburn and Overspeed are shut off. The other options are on.
This stopped the coaster issue.

The drive recognizance issue was finally stopped with a cleaner CD.

caution A normal flash will end with the led off.
After flashing, take notice of the blinking led light on the front of the drive. If it continues to blink after flashing, then flash it again right away (without restarting the computer).

cautionA “cleaner CD” isn’t a normal part of maintenance for a DVD writer because it can harm some DVD writers; however, cleaner CD’s can help stop disc recognizance issues–and its worth the risk only for DVD writers with issues.

If this doesn’t fix it, well, try different media.

At first I tried these 2 FW: LH-20A4P (9P59 A/S FB FBL EOS EOHT 6) and LH-20A4P (9P59 FB FBL EOS EOHT 6 *DUAL). They didn’t work. That’s why I went ahead and tried the H as well. It didn’t work too. Now I’m back to crossflashed 20AP1 KLOP.

Actually, I’ve tried almost every FW available and it’s the same. Maybe I’m trying to subconciously brick my drive so that I have an excuse to get a new one lol. I’m just unlucky with my first Lite-On as I’m well aware it’s one of the best drives to play mediocre (and almost any) brand media.

But frankly I don’t need another drive even though I can afford it as they are so cheap now. I use my 18A1P to burn movies, Wii and PS2 backups (ie. single layer discs) but for XBox backups I use my son’s Philips SPD2517T, which is a fantastic drive, to burn DL media. I suspect the Philips is a rebranded Lite-On.

I’ve tried getting my 18A1P to work the way it should for a couple of months now. I think it’s time I give up and accept it for what it is.

Thank you daniel. :slight_smile:

PS I’ve also used the cleaner CD/DVD. No luck as well. But I’m not too eager to open up the drive to try cleaning the head with a cotton swab and alcohol. I’d rather save the trouble and buy a new drive, hahaha.

Well, 20A1P KLOP FBL EOS EHOT should be fine for firmware. There are also BenQ firmwares available for this drive. DW1800 / DW2000, non-litescribe version and CodeKing also made some Fast Burn Lite firmware for those. :wink:

There’s other, more simple, possibilities.

The computer’s power supply may experience a rail sag or it may be outputting noisy power.

The drive may dislike its IDE ribbon cable. This is especially true of round cables.

Most DVD writers dislike the “cable select” position, but some prefer it, and when they do that, it can indicate that the IDE cable is poor.

Cable, jumper, and power supply are all possible causes of disc recognizance issues.

The drive has a power circuit, but so does the computer and a problem could be at either end.
The drive has a controller, but so does the computer and a problem could be at either end.
There’s also the cables in between.

After this post, I’m “out of ammo” :wink:
The “P” model is a stripped version of the “H” model; and, apparently, this was not done with grace. The power circuit aboard the “P” model is lesser. The “P” is more touchy for both voltage and temperature. Given that, it is also more easily “irked” by the quality of its “IDE” cable. My own example is prone to reading poorly when it gets warm, but its litescribe cousins don’t do any of that.

In this example is a 50/50 chance that the drive is giving an accurate warning about the power supply and/or the temperature inside your computer.

So, you have the right firmware, but it could be good to inspect the drive’s operating environment. Fixing a flaw there could impact all aspects of your computer or perhaps only its longevity.

Somehow I managed to fix my 20A1P. It still won’t read well when its warm.
Of course its not impossible that firmware is related to this problem, yet not the cause of the problem.
As an example of that. . . My old 1693s won’t read Verbatim +R if it attempts to do so at a higher speed than 8x. Fortunately media type for it also had a read speed control selection via software, and using the 8x dvd rom setting for DVD+R plus bitsetting DVD+R to DVD ROM, in combination, also caused all of its reading difficulties to vanish. This only worked with one of the many possible firmware selections. Although its a “touchy” drive, one (only one) firmware selection did increase environmental tolerances and that drive still works just fine today, after many years of service. Unfortunately, I cannot upgrade the firmware without returning its former “touchy” behaviors. Likewise, for the 18A1P/20A1P, perhaps the related BenQ firmware is worth exploration. I don’t know.

That’s it. I’m out of ideas. :wink:

@daniel: you’ve got me itching again, lol. Didn’t realize I still had so many options to try out. Will give all your suggestions a go when I have the time later today. Thanks. :wink:

OK, I’ve tried (or not tried) the following:

  1. Couldn’t find it on CodeKing’s website so I downloaded the BenQ DW2000 FW from BenQ’s website. Crossflashed it to my 18A1P. It didn’t brick the drive (unfortunately) but it didn’t help much either. In fact it made the drive a bit sluggish it seemed. So I reverted back to LH-20A4P (9P59 FB FBL EOS EOHT 6 *DUAL) FW.

  2. I wanted to change the IDE cable but I had to remove 2 hard disk drives first to unplug the cable from the motherboard. So I passed on that. The 18A1P was transferred from my old computer to this new computer which is only 6 months old. The 18A1P was already buggy when in my old computer and when I transferred it to the new computer I had already changed the IDE cable with the new one that came with the MB (an ASUS M3A78-EM).

  3. Don’t know how to check whether it’s a problem with the computer’s power supply but I’m confident it shouldn’t be as I have a new Antec 550 watts PSU which should be more than sufficient for a regular home computer.

  4. Computer temperature - my computer chassis has 2 large fans, one in front and one in the rear. The cpu is an AMD Athlon 64 X 2 5400+. All in all my computer doesn’t get too warm. I’ve used ASUS PCProbe to check the temperature and it’s consistently on the low end.

Nothing has changed but the funny thing is when I put in a cheapie -R disk (CMC MAG, AM3) it detects it in an instant and the burns are excellent. But it has problems detecting blank Verbatim +R DL and Verbatim -RW disks. Yet it has no problem reading them after I have burned the disks using my son’s Philips drive.

Thanks again daniel. Waiting now to get a Blue-Ray drive when it becomes more mainstream. :slight_smile:

Most new dvd writers will make coasters if asked to burn past 4.2gb at 16x, on commonly available medias; and, that is expected average performance for a random choice of new dvd writers. I have tested many while making up refurbished computers.

Because of the better than average performance of your drive on such difficult media as the cmc mag am3, then I’d like to suggest that you use up the remaining life of the drive by feeding it media that works well with it.

Technology is rarely perfect, but yours can do at least one valuable task.
Replacement cost for a drive able to “turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse” at top speed, like 16x burns on cmc mag am3, data safe, edge to edge. . . is a higher than average price tag for a dvd writer to do the exact same job that yours is doing now, because doing better than “really good” is a tall order indeed.

Benq dw1800/dw2000 firmwares, scans and discussion is here:
Possibly, there is some additional discussion on Verbatim DVD +R Dual Layer difficulties on the Benq thread, the 20a1p thread or the 20a4p thread.

I’ve tried all the BenQ firmwares available on the cdfreaks site you pointed me to. There was not much difference and I have now settled on the DW2050 (9B3A FB FBL ESB 6) FW. I know, it might not be compatible with the 18A1P but it works and it was able to burn on a media I used to have problems with before. I think I’ll try it out for a few days to see if there are other advantages to it. If not I’ll revert back to Lite-On FW.

And yes, as you suggested, I plan to utilize the 18A1P until it drops. It does has its merits as it burns excellent Wii and PS2 backups on cheapie -R disks.


Can you supply the MID on the verbatims?

Not sure what MID is but I’d guess it is the maufacturer’s ID.

Verbatim DVD+R DL : MKM-003-00

Verbatim DVD-RW : MCC 01RW4X


[QUOTE=7-11;2447084]I’ve tried all the BenQ firmwares available on the cdfreaks site you pointed me to. There was not much difference and I have now settled on the DW2050 (9B3A FB FBL ESB 6) FW. I know, it might not be compatible with the 18A1P but it works and it was able to burn on a media I used to have problems with before. I think I’ll try it out for a few days to see if there are other advantages to it. If not I’ll revert back to Lite-On FW.
. . .

That 18a1p@dw2050 is about the same as 18a1p@20a4p, except that the Benq firmware uses “Benq Qsuite 2.1” to set your options.

I tested out 20a1p@dw2050 and it coastered cmc.mag.am3 once past 4.2gb (“edge coasters”).
Except for the “edge coasters” thing, the dw2050 (20a4p circa 2008) firmware made a prettier burn (0gb to 4.2gb). Basically, it did 98% quality and then kerblooie, a coaster.

The only data safe results that I’ve gotten on my 20a1P is from 20a1p KLOP, codeking’s FBL (fast burn lite) and with both smartburn and overspeed switched off. So far, I’ve tested two examples of this drive and they’re the same.

However, I did get my 18a1H to run 20a4p firmware with all of the options switched on. Nice!

And, the 20a1H liked 20a4H primary firmware (codeking’s fast burn lite with all options on), while the hp dvd1040e (once pried out of the external case) liked 20a4H secondary firmware (codeking’s fast burn lite with all options on).

Sorry that I wasn’t able to test the exact same model 18a1P. But, I think that you need to scan your cmc.mag.am3 with Nero CDspeed (create disc, scan disc) quality control.
I have my options set to allow 20x burning and I do create the discs at top speed. For scanning, that’s usually 4x, although you could scan at 8x if you’re just out to detect possible coaster issues.

There are many reports of dvd writers failing to recognize Verbatim +R dual later and RW discs. Its not impossible that this is a difficult media.

Where electronic/electrical products are concerned I believe it all boils down to luck. I once bought a Mitsubishi air-con and it died on me a little after a year (just out of warranty). I replaced it with a cheap (almost half the price of the Mitsubishi) Chinese brand and the air-con is still running strong and cool after 5 years.

I think I was just unlucky with my Lite-On. There must be a hardware glitch that cannot be remedied with firmware. There is nothing I can do now. It was fun trying to brick it with all kinds of firmware, lol. But it’s one tough drive.


I have two of 20a1p that behave exactly like your 18a1p.
But, its not exactly unlucky. . .
I think “unlucky” would be more like a brand new Samsung or LG. :wink:

As far as what might be lucky, I’ve personal experience with a variety of Pioneer, much prefer Lite-on 20a1H@20a4H to anything else, had good luck with hp dvd940e/18a1H@20a4P, and then there’s news that real NEC’s (724x) are back:

But, really, I think that you just need to go buy some other brand of dual layer disc. :smiley:

I’ll experiment with other dual layer discs when I use up the pack of Verbatims. In the end it might just boil down to finding the right brand discs for the 18A1P. Thanks.

Just curious. Do you mean Samsung and LG are not that good? I thought they made pretty good drives and I might have gotten either one if I was able to brick my Lite-On.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

LG abandons their products, and so your LG firmware update is probably the price of a replacement drive. Individual models may work well on a careful selection of medias.

Also, I have a brand new Samsung 223 sata model. You know that cmc mag am3? Coasters all. The red hp discs can make festive Christmas ornaments. However, the Samsung can write MCC 003, perfectly well at 12x. That’s an 8x disc burned at 12x with 98% nero score.
So, yes it can be a good drive if you feed it media that it likes. Otherwise its awful.
This wouldn’t be an upgrade.

See, its quite common for DVD writers to goof on some discs, yet do other discs well.
Individual models, regardless of brand, are rarely produced fully data safe–“does everything” is rare.

The point is. . .
Well, now you know what all the posted scans are for.
You use the scans, like this:
If you have this firmware, as posted with the scan,
And, if you can find these discs, as posted with the scan,
Then purchase those discs to use.

Therefore, giving your dvd writer incompatible discs, is operator error.

It appears my LH-181P isn’t too bad after all. :slight_smile:

Thanks for everything. :bow:

Oh, sure! It was very nice talking with you.

Its just difficult to replace a dvd writer that’s already doing a good job. However, adding an additional drive. . . now there’s a good option. :wink:

As far as using dual layer discs, the data integrity is lower. In case you’d like to use compression to single layer discs instead, really good quality is possible, but takes a longer time.
For fast compression despite quality settings all the way up, check out “Intel E5200” “BSEL Mod” and “Tom’s Hardware Budget Gamer” buzzwords. Tom’s goes a bit far into overclocking; however, an E5200 can run happily at 1066MHz front side bus speed (up from 800), that makes G31/G41 motherboards run much faster, and its still energy efficient because most can do it easily on stock voltage, thus knocking a good chunk of change off your power bill (similar to switching to a tankless water heater). :wink: So, if you’d like less-expensive way for the speed to compress quickly to single layer DVD, then that ought to do it.