LiteOn iHBS112/212/312 Crossflashing & Firmware: Looking for a few tips?

Howdy howdy. :slight_smile:

Even though LiteOn’s latest and greatest BD writer family seems to have disappeared – taking the clones of the drive with it – there are undoubtedly still going to be some people lucky enough to find an HP, Optiarc/Sony, TEAC, ASUS, or Plextor that happens to be a rebadge of an iHBS112, iHBS212, or iHBS312. And maybe LiteOn’s firmware is more up-to-date than whatever HP/Sony/Optiarc/TEAC/ASUS/Plextor provide. (Or you just want to try out the different firmware).

Before we continue: make sure you’re using a LiteOn iHBSx12 clone! (no ASUS-branded LG drives allowed here)

Since the process isn’t straightforward, it might be best that we collect a bit of the knowledge we have so anyone who wants to crossflash can narrow their search down to one thread. This can be considered a How-To, or a FAQ thread. :bigsmile:

Topics we will cover…[ol]
[li]backing up your drive
[/li]Your drive has firmware, and your drive has important calibration data stored in an EEPROM. You will want to back both the firmware and the EEPROM up before doing anything important. How will you do that? Well…we’ll talk about that soon enough.
[li]flashing…using extracted firmware
[/li]There may be something preventing you from using the LiteOn firmware update tool on your drive without some workaround or modification. (Trying to flash results in your drive not being detected by the flasher, even though every other piece of software sees your drive like normal).
[li]EEPROM modification
[/li]Once you get the new firmware on your drive, the drive may blink at you. Nonstop. And refuse to work. You’ll see the drive, and you’ll be able to flash firmware to it, but they won’t see your discs while the light keeps blinking. So…yeah. We’ll talk about that, too. (But you’ll have to have a backup of your EEPROM first).
[li]using your drive!
[/li]Different firmware brands support scanning in different applications.
[li]firmware files
[/li]binary firmware files you can use to flash
[li]firmware modification
[/li]I feel it only right to let you know: there are no firmware modifications available. What you get is what you get; the firmware is locked up with a checksum, and no tools exist to get around this limitation. There may also be a bit of encryption or scrambling within the firmware, preventing you from even analyzing media tables properly.

Note that tools mentioned are for Windows only. Figuring out how to run the tools in OS X or Linux is up to you.

[B]1.) [I]On the topic of backing up your current firmware and your EEPROM![/I][/B]

[B]First things first, the case where you have a first-generation drive:[/B] If you are lucky, you have a first generation drive. Why are you lucky? Well, you can back up your firmware using Flash Utility and grab your EEPROM using EEPROM Utility. You get to use some of the tools used with LiteOn drives, which are well-documented around here!

How will you know you have a first generation drive? Well, for retail LiteOn drives (and one Plextor model), this is easy:

[li]if your drive is an iHBS312, you don’t have a first generation drive. Sorry. The 312 is strictly a second-generation affair only, as is the Plextor PX-B950SA.
[/li][li]but if your drive is an iHBS112 with firmware CL0_, or if your drive is an iHBS212 with firmware 5L0_, you’re first gen, so you’re also probably to back up with Flash Utility.
[/li][li][PL0_ and HL0_ for the 112 and 212 are second generation, though, so…]

If your drive is a clone of the iHBSx12 line, and you are unsure of what generation your drive is, then you can probably check using a different method: Bus Encryption! DVDFab can check for this feature. ImgBurn can check for this feature. A few other tools might be able to check, but those are two tools guaranteed to do it. Each one supports the ability to list the capabilities of the drive, and you’ll find it listed there.

If your drive says something along the lines of “Bus Encryption: NO”, then your drive is a first generation drive. Or someone has put the wrong firmware on it. But most of the time, it’s just because you have a first generation drive, so you can use Firmware Utility with ease.

If your drive is listed as supporting Bus Encryption (and has never been flashed by you or by a previous owner): [B]You probably have a second generation drive[/B]. Congrats! Backing things up will still be easy, but you may have to use DOSFlash instead of Firmware Utility to get a proper readout of the firmware. (EEPROM Utility should still get your EEPROM).

Bonus tip: other drives with certain firmware revisions also easily tell you whether the drive is first generation or second generation. We’ll add that info in soon enough. But the above still applies.

2.) [I]On the topic of flashing firmware! (aka getting the LiteOn --or other OEM-branded-- firmware on your drive once you’ve backed everything up![/I]

If your goal is to use a .BIN file (such as ones that will soon be included in this thread):

[ul][li]Well… you can follow something similar to this guide: [unlocked flasher mirror:*]
[/li][li].BIN files are not directly from the manufacturer’s download pages but have been extracted from drives. These are the files that have traditionally been required for crossflashing, and the same applies here.
[/li][li]You may eventually find firmware files here, but for now, you can request them or search the forum (though you’ll likely encounter dead links).[/ul]
If your goal is to use an official .EXE update file (such as ones that only allow you to update a given drive, and are scrambled/not unlocked): [ul][li]For crossflashing: you can’t.
[/li][I]Outside of the unlocked iHAS324 B firmware update provided above, you cannot use an official firmware updater to crossflash. Firmware update files directly from the manufacturer are locked to a particular drive ID, and will only update to newer firmware.[/I]
[li]For updating: You can use these to go from an older firmware to a newer firmware once you successfully crossflash.
[/li][I]You still have to get the drive crossflashed before using these official updaters, though![/I][/ul]

[I]Hint:[/I] The above applies to crossflashing between drives from the same manufacturer (like iHBS112 to iHBS312), flashing to a newer generation (such as going from 1.66 to 2.63 firmware on a BWU-500S), or crossflashing to a different manufacturer (LiteOn to Plextor, Optiarc to LiteOn, etc).

[I]Bonus hint:[/I] if you flash, and your drive has begun to blink, you need to fix something that’s not especially broken.

3.) On the topic of getting the drive to STOP BLINKING! (It should also fail to recognize discs, but the blinking probably bothers you more.)

…you shall be editing your EEPROM. So go out, grab your favorite HEX editor (such as Frhed, or ask us for one we recommend), grab the EEPROM you backed up from your drive, CREATE A DUPLICATE AND EDIT THE DUPLICATE using this as an example: [QUOTE=anywhere;2713682]@ruokuo

Modify the EEPROM back up with Binary Editor by editing the original ‘BD’ to highlighted "B7’ and flash back the modified EEPROM to your Drive. The drive will become fully functional after a system power off.[/QUOTE]

(Taken from post 676 of this thread, courtesy of anywhere:

Note than instead of using B7, you may be using other values found in the EEPROM table below!

Once you edit the new EEPROM file [and have your original EEPROM file backed up somewhere safe], flash the edited file back to the drive using EEPROM Utility. (Or if it isn’t EEPROM Utility that’s required, we’ll point you in the right direction).

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4.) [i]On the topic of using the drive for scanning after you’ve done all that…[/i] (You should probably see if your drive detects discs period, then try to burn as necessary, since scanning is otherwise useless.)

Plextor firmware: Congrats, you can use PlexUTILITIES for scanning now! Other software is said to work with Bluray scanning only. Luckily, Plextor’s branded software is quite useful, so you’re not missing anything by using it.

LiteOn firmware: Congrats, you’re probably on a second-generation LiteOn firmware! To scan with ODC, you’re probably going to have to use this tip from the FAQ:



Q: Can my LiteOn iHBS112 2 (or iHBS212 …or iHBS312 …or comparable clone/rebadge) BDRE burner support BDR/BDRE scanning?
A: Yes, with Opti Drive Control, and possibly other tools. However, you may have to perform a little trick, as suggested in this post:
…Early generation iHBS112 2 and iHBS212 2 drives are fine. Late generation 112 and 212 models are likely to require this tweak. The iHBS312 2 is a newer version of the 112, and seems to universally require the trick. Unfortunately, there is no definitive way to tell whether your drive is a first generation or second generation. This is also the case for any rebadges of these drives. However, a general rule of thumb (not 100% verified):

[li]a drive made prior to June 2011 is likely an early generation;
[/li][li]a drive made past July 2011 is likely a late generation;
[/li][li]a drive made past November 2011 is nearly guaranteed to be a late generation.[/ul]
[/li]So if your drive does not scan past 6MB, or scans only at 0.01x or 0.02x, try the above first.


Other firmware: If first generation, scanning should be fine. If second generation, see the tip above.

small side note: If you insist upon using Nero DiscSpeed or CD-DVD Speed, be aware that Blu-ray support is nonexistant or is poor compared to ODC. Using it with DVD media is fine, and CD media is–as is the case with MediaTek drives–not perfect, but usable to identify the worst errors on the disc.

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[B]5.) On the topic of binary [.BIN] firmware files:[/B]

A sampling of firmware files, extracted from drives:
(credit to all who have contributed, and especially to cvs for collecting the majority of these files in one monolithic package)
[unlocked flasher mirror:***]

Internal Drives:

[li]BW-12B1[B]L[/B]T, 1st generation: 1.02 (“2010/10/15”)

[li]BW-12B1[B]S[/B]T, 1st generation: 1.02 (“2011-03-15”)
[/li][li]BW-12B1[B]S[/B]T, 2nd generation: 1.03 (“2011/04/18”)


[li]BD335i, 2nd generation: QH21 (“2011/05/26”)
LiteOn, OEM

[li]DH12B2SH, 2nd generation, OEM: “P” (ATAPI BD B DH12B2SH): PP55 (“2012/10/26”)
[/li][li]DH12B2SH, 2nd generation, OEM: “L” (PLDS BD DH12B2SH): 9L3A (“2011/10/12”)

LiteOn, retail

[li]iHBS112, 1st generation: CL0B (“2010/08/11”)
[/li][li]iHBS112, 2nd generation: PL01 (“2011/05/13”) ||| PL03 (“2012/01/06”) ||| PL06 (“2012/09/17”)

[li]iHBS212, 1st generation: 5L09 (“2011/02/23”)
[/li][li]iHBS212, 2nd generation: HL05 (“2012/09/17”)

[li]iHBS312, 2nd generation: PL15 (“2012/05/04”) ||| PL16 (“2012/09/17”) ||| PL17 (“2012/10/31”)


[li]MRX 800L v1 (iHBS212), 1st generation: 5M61 (“2010/08/06”)


[li]BD-5300S, 1st generation: 1.00 (“2010/09/23”) ||| 1.06 (“2012/02/07”)
[/li][li]BD-5300S, 2nd generation: 2.03 (“2012/02/07”)

[li]PX-B950SA, 2nd generation: 1.01 (“2011/11/15”) ||| 1.02 (“2012/03/08”) ||| 1.03 (“2012/05/10”) ||| 1.04 (“2012/10/30”)

[li]PX-LB950SA, 1st generation: 1.06 (“2011/03/24”)
[/li][li]PX-LB950SA, 2nd generation: 1.02 (“2012/03/08”) ||| 1.03 (“2012/05/10”) ||| 1.04 (“2012/10/30”)

[li]BWU-500S, 1st generation: 1.66 (“2012/02/07”)
[/li][li]BWU-500S, 2nd generation: 2.60 (“2011/07/20”) ||| 2.63 (“2012/02/07”)

[li]BD-W512GSA, 2nd generation: PT11 (“2012/12/05”)

External Drives:

[li]BD335e, 2nd generation: YH23 (“2011/09/09”)

[li]eHBU212, 2nd generation: ZL06 (“2012/11/05”)

[li]PX-B950UE, 2nd generation: 1.05 (“2012/10/30”)

[li]PX-LB950UE, 2nd generation 1.01 (“2010/11/29”) ||| 1.05 (“2012/10/30”)

SHA sums for the ZIP files (not the .bin files themselves!)
updated 14 March 2016

Here is an incomplete list of EEPROM codes for iHBS clones.

(image updated 30 January 2015, including additions/changes/suggestions & fixing typos made up to that point)

Just to emphasise something[B] Albert [/B]has already mentioned:

[U]Dumping Firmware[/U]

[B]Caution - Flash Utility cannot dump 2nd generation firmware correctly.[/B]

Flash Utility does not work correctly with drives running 2nd generation firmware. This includes 1st generation drives upgraded to 2nd generation firmware.

It will appear to read the firmware from the drive, but the resulting file will contain garbage and is unusable. (If in doubt, open the dumped firmware .bin with a hex editor. If the dump was successful the data should have a recognisable structure.)

To dump the firmware it is necessary to use DOSFlash.

[U]Flashing Firmware[/U]

If you are upgrading the firmware (same drive model) then the official firmware package with integrated flasher can be used.

If the drive currently uses 1st generation firmware then Flash Utility may be used.

If you have a 2nd generation drive (or 1st generation drive with 2nd generation firmware) then Flash Utility will not work. It is necessary to use the ‘Unlocked Flasher’ method described here and here.

For all crossflashing using the Unlocked Flasher method or Flash Utility, it is necessary to have a .bin firmware file. (The official firmware upgrade .exe files are normally scrambled and unusable for this purpose.)

Before attempting any crossflashing make sure you have backed up your drive’s EEPROM and existing firmware. The EEPROM is especially important as it contains [U]calibration data unique to each individual drive[/U]. If you are unable to dump the firmware from your drive, make sure you have a .bin copy of the same model & version. Keep these files safe, you will need them if the crossflash goes wrong.

[QUOTE=Ibex;2746122]Here is an incomplete list of EEPROM codes for iHBS clones I have compiled.

To complete the list a bit more, I can add or confirm the following codes:

iHBS212 = BE
iHBS312 = BD
BW-12B1ST = BD
BD335i = BC
PX-LB950SA = B7
PX-B950SA = B7
BD-5300S = BE

[QUOTE=Ibex;2746122]Here is an incomplete list of EEPROM codes for iHBS clones I have compiled.

Note: Drives marked with (?) are ones I have not tested myself.

eHBU212 = B6 (not BE)
PX-LB950UE = B8 (not B7)

Thank you [B]CVS[/B] & [B]anywhere[/B]. :flower::flower:

I have updated my list and will ask [B]Albert[/B] to update the post. <-- Done. -Albert

The Teac BD-W512GSA firmware is reported to have the most recent date. Do you know if it is actually newer than PL06 (or any other)?

Or does the date just reflect the fact the Teac was released later?
(i.e. It is more of less PL06 with a different name)

I have updated my list and will ask [B]Albert[/B] to update the post. <-- Done. -Albert

The Teac BD-W512GSA firmware is reported to have the most recent date. Do you know if it is actually newer than PL06 (or any other)?

Or does the date just reflect the fact the Teac was released later?
(i.e. It is more of less PL06 with a different name)[/QUOTE]

I spotted a typo in the new figure. BW-12B1ST is misspelled as BW-1281ST.

Regarding the BD-W512GSA firmware, it looks like it is some 2.5 months newer than PL06, based on the internal date, and for what is worth, at a first glance a 1:1 hex comparison shows a large amount of differences (which could in fact be just a compiler side effect), but I have no idea what changes, if any, that firmware has compared to PL06 (aside of the different drive ID strings and the newer internal release date). I doubt that there are any major changes between the two though, so if there are any differences, they are likely to be on the minor side I would guess.

[QUOTE=cvs;2746765]I spotted a typo in the new figure. BW-12B1ST is misspelled as BW-1281ST.[/QUOTE]

Fixing uploaded version now…
Edit: Done.

The Teac BD-W512GSA firmware is reported to have the most recent date. Do you know if it is actually newer than PL06 (or any other)?

Or does the date just reflect the fact the Teac was released later?
(i.e. It is more of less PL06 with a different name)[/QUOTE]

The major difference between Teac BD-W512GSA firmware and PL06 is PL06 supports read and write on DVD-RAM and Teac’s firmware doesn’t.

Very interesting thread!
And the EEPROM Codes table is quiet nice.
Wouldn’t it be nice to upload the bin-files here too for the drives mentioned in the EEPROM Codes table (including 1st and 2nd generations firmware)?
I still miss some.

Wouldn’t it be nice to upload the bin-files here too for the drives mentioned in the EEPROM Codes table (including 1st and 2nd generations firmware)?
I still miss some.[/QUOTE]
If possible/available, we will work on that soon. :slight_smile:

[B]f.) On the topic of questions, comments, and concerns:[/B]

Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, and concerns, as this is kind of a collaborative effort brought together by the trials of many wonderful members here. Please provide guidance on the above posts where you see information that is missing or inaccurate, and I will be happy to update it. :slight_smile:

If you know of links to the tools required in any of the steps above, please share. If you are someone who needs any of the tools listed above, please ask. If you need firmware or an EEPROM…we’ll see about getting you what we can. :wink:

Regarding the Sony drives (BWU-500S & BD-5300S):

There are separate firmwares for 1st and 2nd generation drives (easily identifiable as 1.xx & 2.xx).

Unlike the Lite-On firmwares, it is not possible to use 2nd generation Sony firmware on a 1st generation drive. (At least it did not work with my 1st generation BWU-500S.)

But the 1st generation firmwares were updated in parallel with the 2nd, so 1st generation drives shouldn’t be at a disadvantage. The final BWU-500S firmwares (1.66 & 2.63) have the same date - 21/03/2012.

I have a 1st generation BD-5300S. I could crossflash to 2nd Generation BWU-500S.
However, I noticed that the drive is more picky with the SATA-Controller than the Liteon iHBSxxx. With FlashUtility the dumped Firmware was just garbage. On an other PC the dumb was just fine.