I recently bough a LiteOn drive, mostly because of the nice things people kept saying about them on these forums, but I also wanted a drive that could test the quality of media among other things.
I got this drive (SHW-160P6S; it's a DVD writer) yesterday and started to play around with it. KProbe was working and everything so that was good. I decided to upgrade the firmware. The drive came with firmware PS01 and the latest revision on LiteOn's site was PS09. This is where I ran into my first problem. It's not possible to download any of the firmware images "normally" (by using the links on the firmware page), since clicking on anything takes you back to the same page without downloading anything. So after a bit of searching, I was able to guess the address of the image that I was trying to get, and it worked.
Now I have firmware image PS09. Before flashing, I went and backed up the firmware that was currently on the drive using LtnFW. That seemed good, so I flashed the PS09 firmware and rebooted.
The drive still works after the firmware update (which is always good), so I go and see how everything's doing. I discovered that KProbe has suddenly stopped working. When scanning for errors on the CDs that I had used when I first tested the drive, with firmware PS09, after KProbe finishes its initial spinning, it immediately stops and gives a report with all zeroes. This, of course, did not make me very happy. I decided to revert to the backup of the firmware that I had made.
I tried to use LtnFW to restore the backup. The progress indicator reached 100% very quickly and it froze saying that it was programming the device. I tried this several times, waiting for a good amount of time each attempt, but it never did anything. Every time too, I was forced to cut the power to the system, because the system wouldn't reboot, and the drive seemed totally unaffected, so I'm guessing that LtnFW wasn't actually doing anything to change the firmware.
Now I decide to use mtkflash to try and resotre the backup. After I found a usable floppy from my enormous pile of disks (scandisk helps with errors), I boot into DOS and try to use this utility. When attempting to just check the drive, both version 1.80 and 1.83c of mtkflash would hang after printing out a line or so of information. The drive light would stay on until the system was rebooted. I tried the same thing after hooking the drive up to a different (and older) system and the same thing happened. Mtkflash doesn't work.
After some more searching, I finally decide to check the Code Guy's firmware page to see if they had an image I could use. Fortunately, they did (version PS08.) So I downloaded it and ran the included program. I used the regular unpatched version of the flasher and it worked just fine. The image that the XFlash utility extracts from this firmware update is 2MiB in size instead of the 1MiB images that LntFW saves. LtnFW also refuses to use the extracted image because it's too large. I don't know if the large (2MiB) image file was an error of the utility or if it's the actual image size.
In any case, the drive now has version PS08 of the firmware and KProbe, and now even Nero CD-DVD speed, are working with the error tests again. I still have yet to burn a CD or DVD but I imagine that I won't have any problems.
This is the last firmware update that this drive will see ever again.