FirmwareQ: Where can I get newer firmware from?
A: For retail drives, just have a look at the official Samsung websites:
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.
Q: How can I find out the firmware on my drive?
A: Get Samsung's WinInquiry from here and run it. It will show you any necessary information, including the OEM code (see below).
Q: What does this OEM code mean?
A: 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.
If you like the risk, then see the crossflashing chapter below how to force flashing a firmware.
Q: How do I update my firmware?
A: 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: http://club.cdfreaks.com/f105/howto-flash-firmware-samsung-dvd-writer-231217/
Official Samsung documents:
Important: 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.
Q: How do I update my firmware if I don't have Windows?
A: 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 Where can I find the firmware as .bin file? at the end of this chapter.
Q: Can I revert to older firmware if I am not happy with the new version?
A: 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.
Q: Can I backup my existing firmware?
A: Unfortunately there is no publicly available tool to retrieve the firmware from a Samsung based drive.
Q: Is there any region free firmware?
A: Yes there is. For most newer drives you can use either MCSE or try C0deKing's Patch Utility 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 http://codeguys.rpc1.org/.
For older drives, please check hijacker.rpc1.org/toshiba
Please note, at the moment, SH-S223C cannot be patched since it has a different chipset which is not supported by MCSE and the Patch Utility. The new generation drives from SH-222xy & SH-224xy aren't supported either.
Q: Are there other patched firmwares increasing read speed or supporting additional media?
- 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.
- Recent versions of MCSE (ala42.cdfreaks.com/MCSE) support a couple of Samsung drives, so you are able to edit the "table of supported media" of your drive.
Q: Can I crossflash my drive to another firmware?
A: 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
Important: 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.
Q: Can I crossflash my drive to Lightscribe version?
A: 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.
Q: I can't load the firmware into the patching or flash tool
A: 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.
Q: Where can I find the firmware .bin file?
A: 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.