Mini-FAQ for Samsung DVD writers

This little FAQ is about the newer Samsung 16x, 18x and faster series drives
(Ver. 0.2.0). It is an addition to the general FAQ for PC DVD Writers

Table of Contents

[ol][li] Samsung DVD writer families this FAQ is about[/li]

[li] What is TSSTCorp?[/li][li] Samsung DVD writers families[/li][/ul]

[li] Special Features[/li]

  • Quality scanning[/li][li] Is the Samsung a reliable DVD scanner?[/li][li] Is the Samsung a reliable CD scanner?[/li][li] Bitsetting

[li] Firmware[/li]

  • Where to get[/li][li] What does this OEM code mean?[/li][li] How to update firmware[/li][li] RPC1 firmwares[/li][li] Other patched firmwares[/li][li] Crossflashing

[li] Unwanted Features[/li]
[ul][li] Can’t update firmware [/li][li] Can’t change boooktype to DVD-ROM with DVD+R/+RW media (SATA drives)[/li][li] DVD-R Lead-In issues (SH-S18x series)[/li][li] Glitches[/li][/ul][/ol]

Also read these essential articles:

Please discuss this article here:


Q: My Samsung drive is shown as TSSTCorp … :confused:

A: TSSTCorp is the abbreviation of Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation. A joint venture of Samsung and Toshiba, see corporate website. TSST is the manufacturer of your Samsung drive.

Q: Where can I find a manual for my drive?

A: For Samsung branded drives, look here:
For OEM drives, you may additionally check the support website of your computers manufacturer.

Q: What do all these numbers and letters in the drive name mean? Is a SH-S223F the same as a SH-S223B?

A: Deciphering TSST drive names

Retail drives:
The drive names (example: SH-S203B) have a structure like this:

[li]TT: Type; SH = Half Height (Desktop), SE = external drive, SN = Slim[/li][li]V: Variant; S = Tray Loading writer, T = Slot Loading writer, B = BluRay, D = DVD-ROM[/li][li]ss: speed index; maximum marketing DVD speed.[/li][li]i: Interface; 2 = PATA, 3 = SATA, 4 = USB[/li][li]M: Model. This is the most imported part of the drive’s name. A different letter here does mean different hardware! And this tiny letter is very often omitted by vendors, computer magazines and others.[/li][/ul]
So, the SH-S203B is a HalfHeight desktop drive with tray mechanism, Sata interface and capable to burn certain media at 20x DVD speed. The final letter “B” helps telling this drive apart from a 203D which was released later.

OEM drives:
The drive names (example: TS-H653B) have a structure like this:

[li]TS: Abbreviation for TSST. Nothing else.[/li][li]F: Form factor; H = Half Height; U, L or T = Slim[/li][li]nn: number describing the form factor, capabilities and generation; 55, 65 or 66 = Half Height DVD writer, 53 or 63 = Slim DVD writer, 35 = Half Height DVD-ROM, 33= DVD-ROM slim[/li][li]i: Interface; 2 = PATA, 3 = SATA,[/li][li]M: Model. This is the most imported part of the drive’s name. Even more important as with the retail drives. And very often, Retail and OEM drives with the same model code (plus interface plus other features like speed) are the same drive hardware.[/ul][/li]

Note: this naming convention does not apply to the new SH-222AL, SH-222AB series which are SATA drives!

Q: And what about this 4-letter code (BEBE or whatever) that is often mentioned as appendix to the drive name?

A: Basically, this is package information only.
Retail drive, bare drive (different frontplates) with and without software, i hope you get the idea.
Most important: The drive hardware is always the same.

Samsung DVD writers families

These are the interesting drive families:
S*-W16x series: 16x, Mediatek chipset, no DVD-RAM support

  • [li]SH-W162: Internal P-ATA[/li][li]SH-W163: Internal S-ATA[/li][li]SE-W164: External USB

S*-S16x series: 16x, several chipsets, with DVD-RAM support

  • [li]SH-S162: Internal P-ATA[/li]There is no S-ATA or external version.

S*-S18x series: 18x, Mediatek chipset, with DVD-RAM support

[ul][li]SH-S182F: Internal P-ATA (OEM: TS-H652F) [/li][li]SH-S182D/M: Internal P-ATA (OEM: TS-H652D/M); [/li]D=no Lightscribe, M=with Lightscribe
[li]SH-S183A/L: Internal S-ATA (OEM: TS-H653A/L)[/li]A=no Lightscribe, L=with Lightscribe
[li]SE-S184M: External USB (in fact a SH-S182M in external enclosure)[/li]Also, some Philips and Sony drives are based on SH-S18* family[/ul]

S*-S20x series: 20x, Mediatek chipset, with DVD-RAM support
See also attached specs document below

[ul][li]SH-S202H/J/G/N: Internal P-ATA (OEM: TS-H652H/J/G/N)[/li]N=with Lightscribe
[li]SH-S203B/N/D/P/S: Internal S-ATA (OEM: TS-H653B/N/D/P)[/li]N and P=with Lightscribe
[li]SE-S204N/S: External USB [/li]with Lightscribe, S with “TruDirect” support additionally[/ul]

S*-S22x series: 22x, Mediatek chipset, with DVD-RAM support

  • 1st generation
    [li]SH-S222A/L: Internal P-ATA[/li][li]SH-S223F/Q: Internal S-ATA [/li][li]SE-S224Q: external USB, with Lightscribe[/li]2nd generation:
    [li]SH-S223B/L: Internal S-ATA [/li]3rd generation
  • SH-S223C: Internal S-ATA <- This drive has no mediatek chipset!

S*-S24x series: 24x, Mediatek chipset, with DVD-RAM support

[li]SH-S243D/N: Internal S-ATA [/li][/ul]


20x-specs.pdf (29.8 KB)

Special Features

Disc Quality Scanning

Q: Can I use Samsung drives for disc quality scanning?

A: Samsung drives that are equipped with Mediatek chipsets, are able to report errors back to the application. Kprobe - designed for Liteon drives - should work out of the box. If Nero CD/DVD Speed is preferred, some modifications to the registry has to be done before:

32 bit Windows (Windows 2000 or XP at least):

CD/DVD Speed:

Version and newer:

[li]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Ahead\Nero Toolkit\CD Speed\CD Quality[/li][/ul]
Older Versions:

[li]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Ahead\Nero Toolkit\CD Speed\CD Quality[/li][/ul]

DiscSpeed (comes with Nero 8, but can also be installed separately):

[li]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Nero\Nero 8\Nero Toolkit\DiscSpeed\CD Quality[/li][/ul]

Vista 64 bit:

[li]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ahead\Nero Toolkit\CD Speed\CD Quality[/li][/ul]
Nero 9 on Windows 7 64 bit:

[li]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Nero\Nero 9\Nero Toolkit\Nero DiscSpeed\CD Quality[/li][/ul]
There you’ll find an entry named “Blocked” that contains a couple of strings like “PLEXTOR, HL-DT-ST, TSST, Samsung”. This has to be edited in order to remove the references to Samsung and TSST. Just delete anything but PLEXTOR and HL-DT-ST and you are done. Do not delete the whole “Blocked” key.

If the registry modifications above do not work, then have a look at this registry key (CD/DVD Speed):

[li]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Ahead\Nero Toolkit\CD Speed[/li]or
[li]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Ahead\Nero Toolkit\CD Speed[/li][/ul]
If there is an entry named “Disable Disc Quality Test”, then set its value to “0” (zero)
For “Disc Speed” that comes with Nero 8, similar might apply (not yet verified)

[li]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Nero\Nero 8\Nero Toolkit\DiscSpeed[/li][/ul](You might also check the HKEY_CURRENT_USER tree for later versions)

  1. [li]The “Blocked” entry is created after your first attempt to scan a disc.[/li][li]If Nero is not installed, Nero’s wnaspi32.dll has to be downloaded from and copied into the directory CD/DVD Speed or DiscSpeed is installed.

Please see also this thread:

Q: Is the Samsung a reliable DVD scanner?

A: This depends on your individual drive. Some drives give good results (comparable to other well-known scanning drives), some others are questionable. So take the scans with a grain of salt unless you were able to verify them with another drive like a Liteon or Benq DVDRW.

Q: I can’t get Jitter readings or even an error message when trying to scan a DVD

A: Samsung drives don’t support jitter scanning, so you will get an error message (like this –>) in case you have enabled Jitter scanning in CD/DVD Speed or Disc Speed.

Q: Is the Samsung a reliable CD scanner?

A: Not at all. The drive does not report back all C2 errors to the application (CD/DVD Speed or Kprobe), also the reported C1 errors are way too low to believe them. So just forget it. Or the other way: If there are C2 errors, then the disc is really bad.

Q: I can’t scan with my SH-S223C

A: This drive doesn’t have a Mediatek chipset.

Q: Does the drive support bitsetting?

A: Samsung S*-W16x, S*-S18x and later series drives support bitsetting for DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL, at least with applications like Nero or ImgBurn.
Bitsetting capabilities of Samsung 20x drives (including Sony rebadges) can be tweaked using the Patch Utility :wink:

Note: Some OEM firmwares don’t support bitsetting at all.

[B]Firmware[/B][B]Q: [/B] [I]Where can I get newer firmware from?[/I]

[B]A: [/B] For retail drives, just have a look at the official Samsung websites:

[li] (English)
[/li][li] (Korean)
[/li][li] (Russian)
For OEM drives (TS-H series and others), please check the support area of your computer manufacturer at first. Samsung Korea provides some OEM firmwares (intended for asian markets) also.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]How can I find out the firmware on my drive?[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Get Samsung’s WinInquiry from here and run it. It will show you any necessary information, including the OEM code (see below).

[B]Q: [/B] [I]What does this OEM code mean?[/I]

[B]A: [/B] Samsung sells their drives to different customer goups (end users or computer manufacturers) and in different regions of our planet. Depending on the customer group and region, they might offer different firmware releases. So they added an additional code - OEM code - to the firmware version in order to make sure, that the firmwares cannot be interchanged. That means, you cannot flash a firmware that is targeted to drives with “SB” OEM code to a drive that might have “TS” OEM code.
[I]If you like the risk, then see the crossflashing chapter below how to force flashing a firmware.[/I]

[B]Q: [/B] [I]How do I update my firmware?[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Updating the firmware is rather straightforward.
If you got the firmware as .bin file, you also need the flasher tool. You should get it from the same place from you got the firmware. Newer firmwares are released as “One-Click”-firmware, that is firmware and flasher together in one file.
Log on with administrative permissions and run the flasher. Select the correct drive and load the firmware (.bin) file. Then press the button to load the firmware into your drive. Reboot your computer if the process is done and you are prompted to.

Please read also this article:

Official Samsung documents:

[li]Firmware Upgrade method
[/li][li]One Click Firmware Upgrade Method

[B]Important:[/B] Do not klick on “ok” if you are prompted to reboot now if the progress bar is not at 100%! Especially if there is a “update failed” message. Such might happen with no-so-compatible controllers. Wait until the progress bar is at its right end.

If something goes wrong, then the drive is recognised as something with “BOOT” in the name after rebooting the computer. This means, the drive is stuck in a kind of safe mode giving you another chance to flash the firmware again.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]How do I update my firmware if I don’t have Windows?[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Fortunately there are DOS flashers available. An ancient version of SFDNDOS can be found on Samsung’s website, newer versions are distributed by some OEMs like Dell: Simply search Dell Support website for SFDNDOS or TSDNDOS. These flashers are part of firmware updates for several optical drives. Basic instructions on the usage are given also if you follow the search results. For newer drive models, TSDNDOS should be preferred.

For Apple users, SamsungODD has released TSDNMAC, see this thread for details.

Please read also [I]Where can I find the firmware as .bin file?[/I] at the end of this chapter.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Can I revert to older firmware if I am not happy with the new version?[/I]

[B]A: [/B] Yes. You can get all firmware releases for your drive from Samsung support website. It is a good idea to have them in your personal archive just in case.
The flash tool will submit a warning that you are trying to flash an older firmware. Just klick “OK” and continue.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Can I backup my existing firmware?[/I]

[B]A: [/B] Unfortunately there is no publicly available tool to retrieve the firmware from a Samsung based drive.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Is there any region free firmware?[/I]

[B]A: [/B] Yes there is. For most newer drives you can use either [B]MCSE [/B] or try C0deKing’s [B]Patch Utility[/B] in order to patch stock firmware to RPC1. The Patch Utiliy does not support slim drives, so you need to use MCSE.

Some RPC1 patched firmwares can be found on
For older drives, please check

Please note, at the moment, [B]SH-S223C cannot be patched[/B] since it has a different chipset which is not supported by MCSE and the Patch Utility. [B]The new generation drives from SH-222xy & SH-224xy aren’t supported either.[/B]

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Are there other patched firmwares increasing read speed or supporting additional media?[/I]

[li]The new Patch Utility allows firmware tweaks like 18x read speed, faster 12x burn or bitsetting options. The latest version also has a RPC1 patch option. So you can customize your firmware yourself. Most newer desktop drives including Sony and OEM drives are supported.
[/li][li]Recent versions of MCSE ( support a couple of Samsung drives, so you are able to edit the “table of supported media” of your drive.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Can I crossflash my drive to another firmware?[/I]

[B]A: [/B] There is a command line switch, that has to be used in order to circumvent the hardware check performed by the flash utility. For the people who know what they are doing:
run sfdnwin -NOCHECK from the command line.
Newer versions of sfndwin are CASE SENSITIVE, so the -NOCHECK switch does work, -nocheck does not.
This also applies to Samsung’s new flash utility TSDNWIN, which is delivered with most newer Samsung firmwares. TSDNWIN is recommended for users of Vista/Win7 and owners of newer drives.

In case the DOS flashers SFDNDOS or TSDNDOS are used, add -n to the command in order to override the hardware check:
sfdndos firmware.bin SM -n

[B]Important:[/B] As any firmware can be flashed then, the risk of killing the drive is rather high. Please note, that OEM and retail firmwares for the basically same drive are often different in size.
Of course, any warranty is void after a crossflash. Don’t blame anyone if you turned your drive into a doorstop. You have been warned. And do not even think of RMAing a dead flashed drive.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Can I crossflash my drive to Lightscribe version?[/I]

[B]A: [/B]You can flash the firmware of the Lightscribe enabled twin of your drive. But you won’t get Lightscribe support since some additional hardware is required which is not present in non-LS drives.

[B]Q: [/B][I]I can’t load the firmware into the patching or flash tool[/I]

[B]A: [/B]The patching tools (MCSE and the Patch Utility) and also the flash tool need the naked firmware as .bin file. Feeding the tool with the .exe firmware package from Samsung website does not work.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Where can I find the firmware .bin file?[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Samsung has changed their way to provide firmware updates. Formerly, the plain firmware file and the flash tool had to be downloaded separately. Now, they have put both components together into a self extracting archive file. You can use the free 7-zip to extract the archive and to get both parts, the flash tool and the firmware file separately. Mac users should try Stuffit Expander for that job.

[B]Unwanted Features[/B]

[B]Controller related issues[/B]

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Can’t update firmware[/I]

[B]A: [/B]There is a compatibility issue with VIA based SATA controllers. Affected are at the moment all Samsung SATA DVD writers (SH-W163A, SH-183 and SH-S203 series) connected to either VT8235, VT8237 (including A or R) southbridge or VT6420/6421A based SATA add-on-cards. The inability of upgrading firmware is well documented for the SH-W163A/VT8237 and VT8235 combination, according to a (slightly dated) document on Samsung website (PDF).
Newer VIA southbridges starting from the improved VT8237[B]R+[/B] seem to be not affected.

What happens exactly: Since there is something wrong in the communication between drive and controller, the OEM code of the drive isn’t reported properly (Check with WinInquiry). This will cause the firmware flasher to refuse any work.
Solution: none, unless you have the opportunity to flash the drive in another computer.

Similar might also happen with other controllers, for example Jmicron. Also affected are some of the new 6.0 GB/s Sata controllers, like Marvell 9128
The firmware update won’t start if the drive is not detected properly.

Threads about this issue:[ul]
[li] (VIA)[/li][li] (VIA)[/li][li] (VIA)[/li][li] (Jmicron)[/li][li] (Marvell 9128)[/li][/ul]

[B]Q: [/B] [I]Can’t change boooktype to DVD-ROM with DVD+R/+RW media[/I]

[B]A: [/B]This seems to be another compatibility issue with VIA based SATA controllers and Samsung DVD writers.
It was reported for a SH-S183 drive here:
Similar might also occur with other imperfect controllers like Jmicron etc.

If you have an OEM drive that came preinstalled with a brand name computer (Dell, HP, Acer etc.), bitsetting might not work at all. This feature is very often disabled in the OEM firmware of such drives.

Nero CD/DVD Speed and possibly DiscSpeed also will not be able to change the booktype, if a registry key “Disable_Bitsetting” is present in

[li][B]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Ahead\Nero Toolkit\CD Speed[/B] (CD/DVD Speed)[/li]or
[li][B]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Nero\Nero 8\Nero Toolkit\DiscSpeed[/B] (DiscSpeed)[/li][/ul]and has a value of “1”. Change to “0” (zero)

[B]Q: [/B] [I]DVD playback is distorted (Promise SATA controllers)[/I]

[B]A: [/B]There seems to be a compatibility issue with Promise SATA controllers and some Samsung DVD writers. Anything works good apart from DVD playback, which delivers distorted audio and video.
Reported here for SH-S203:
[I]Not affected:[/I] Promise PDC 20579 (SATA II 150) controller, that can be found on some mainboards.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]My drive does not work properly (Promise PATA controllers)[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Promise PATA controllers are optimised for harddiscs and often fail with optical drives.

Generic solution for controller related issues is to install a PCI controller card. For SATA drives, Silicon Image based cards (non-RAID) are often recommended.

[B]Drive related issues[/B]
[B]Q: [/B] Problem with DVD-R discs (Lead-In Issue)

[B]A: [/B]Some SH-S18x series drives suffer from writing a wrong Lead-In. This will cause unreadable discs. 16x and 20x drives are not affected.
There are patched firmwares (CDFreaks Edition) based on older firmware releases available in the Firmware thread for SH-S182 - including SE-S184 - drives.
This issue is also not present with Samsung OEM and Philips firmwares:

[li]TS-H652D KC03 or Philips SPD2412T 1.5 firmware (SH-S182D)[/li][li]TS-H652M KC03 or Philips SPD6002T 1.3 firmware (SH-S182M and SE-S184M)[/ul](Credits to Skylon for reporting the absence of the Lead-in bug with TS-H652D/M firmwares :clap: )[/li]
The TS-H652x firmwares are available on Samsung Korea website.
Philips firmwares are available at
Both need to be “force flashed”, so check the firmware chapter please.

Threads about this issue:[ul]

[B]Q:[/B] [I]If I burn a DVD-R, CD/DVD Speed reports “burned with SH-S183B”, but my drive is a SH-S203B :confused: [/I]

[B]A:[/B] This is only a cosmetical problem. The string “SH-S183B” is buried somewhere in the firmware. There shouldn’t be any problem for the Samsung engineers to get this fixed. Normally.
Same applies for the SH-S203N, this reports back SW-S183N.

[B]Q:[/B] [I]If I insert a written CD-R, Nero CD/DVD Speed does not show the media code (ATIP)[/I]

[B]A:[/B] This seems to be a “feature” of most Samsung DVD writers. It is corrected with the 20x drives.


[B]Q: [/B] [I]Where can I find drivers for my drive?[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Drivers are part of the operation system (exception: plain MS-DOS and Windoes 3.x), so there are no downloadable drivers at all.

[B]Q: [/B] [I]But there is a driver related error message in device manager…[/I]

[B]A: [/B]Ok. This is another issue. Please read these Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

[li] (for XP)
[/li][li] (for Vista)
and follow the instructions given there.