Newbie with a U18A/812S Question



…After buying a Sony DW-U18A and having some challenges with it, I started reading all I can on this website for some answers. Maybe someone would be kind enough to answer them for me:

  1. If the U18A is a rebadged 812S, why are there separate firmwares for them? The 812S has about a half dozen or so versions and the U18A has one. Who writes the firmware?

  2. I tried cheap dvd’s from Staples and Office Max without good results. I then said why not buy Sony media, that should be compatible. Bought a box of 10 DVD-R, 10 DVD+R and 5 DVD-RW. With the DVD-R, one disk out of 10 was not recognized. With the DVD-RW, I used dvdinfopro to try to format the disks. They all went through the erase phase and then went into formatting. Was done really quick with the format. After formatting them I would put them back in the computer to see if they were formatted. It said they all were. I then tried to use PowerQuest 7.0 backup on my machine to the RW media. Said there was no media in the unit. I looked at it though dvdinfopro again and now the disks were not formatted. What the heck is going on here?

It’s very frustrating not being able to get a handle on this. Any help would be appreciated along with any additional info you can think of.

Thanks in Advance :bow:

  1. LiteOn writes the firmwares. There are differences between Sony and LiteOn firmwares, like what color the LED flashes. LiteOn has more 812S firmwares because, well, these are drives sold under its own name. It doesn’t put as much effort into updating the Sony ones. It is safe to interchange U18A and 812S firmwares.

  2. Sorry, I’m not familiar with DIP or with PowerQuest. Have you tried formatting them with something like Nero InCD?


Hi. Wasiii, I think I’m in the same boat as you–kind of. I have a Sony U18A that came with my computer, and using Sony DVD-R Ver. 2.0/1X-4X media to create some home DVDs. I’m using WinDVD Creator 2. I can burn a DVD with no problems, and it can be read/played by my XBox, other DVD players, and on other DVD-ROMs. Unfortunately on my Sony U18A, after it tries to read the burnt DVD, the green light constant blinks. I have no other lights on my Sony U18A, other than a green light.

So, I guess I need to know:

  1. Do I have one of the Sony U18A drives that can’t be reflashed? If I can reflash my drive, will I have problem when I tried to use the Recovery CD that came with my computer?

  2. Will using DVD-R by a different vendor–like TDK or Memorex–resolve my problem? My Sony U18A can read files that have been burnt to the TDK and Memorex DVD-R media. These are just non-DVD files.



Be careful, there are two different variations of the DW-U18A, one has a gear driven tray while the other’s tray is belt-driven. the firmwares are not interchangable. FS firmwares are for belt-driven drives.