Possible H653N -> S203N Crossflashing Issue?

[qanda]This thread is about the Samsung SH-S203N / TS-H653N. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]I recently purchased a cheap HP machine that had decent specs for what I wanted to do with it, and to my great happiness, the DVD burner that it came with was an OEM TS-H653N (although, and I could be wrong, but I thought the drive was reporting itself as a 16x before the flash - perhaps a modified version of the HP firmware?) After reading success stories online, and finding a copy of an HP firmware for the drive, I crossflashed it, and things have been great until just recently.

I purchased a spindle of TDK 8x DVD+R DL media, which were of course unfortunately RITEK-S04-66 discs, which I am aware often give terrible results in a lot of drives. However, rather than sporadic issues with speed fluctuations, power calibration errors, and other random things, I have had several bizarre things happen when trying to burn the discs at 8x (at 4x they burn flawlessly, although it’s obvious from the ‘tree-ring’ pattern that the drive was having a hard time doing it.)

Either a) the burn suddenly fails and the drive speed hits zero at 7% exactly (I haven’t been able to replicate this one recently, and it’s pretty damn expensive to do so, so I haven’t tried, and so I don’t know what speed the drive got up to when it failed), or b) the burn will go smoothly until the drive hits 6.0x, at which point an obscene scraping noise is made, and the burn speed rapidly plummets, followed by an extended period of attempted retries and an eventual failure. Also, often following a bad burn of this media, the characters of my drive’s reported name and the reported media code of the discs turns to 'y’s with umlauts (those two small dots above a letter in German words, etc.)

Now, I say again, I do know that these are crap discs, but I can’t help but feel somewhat leery that perhaps the hardware in my drive was crippled to not allow it to go above what may have been its original rated speed.

Any ideas? If anyone else has had this problem, please let me know.

Hi and Welcome!

why do you expect your drive can handle poor media at the speed the vendor printed on the box?
According to your report, it even has difficulties @4x, so it will fail at higher speeds, of course. No crippling of the hardware, IMO.

If you like, and if you don’t mind about warranty, you can try SH-S203N firmware and see if there are better results.
Any information required can be found in the FAQ (see my signature). There are also some threads about crossflashing TS-H653x to SH-S203x in this forum.


It was actually the SH-S203N firmware that I was having problems with. I understand the media is junk, but I still can’t get over the fact that the drive will still from time to time start spitting out random characters instead of drive info and media codes. I might just bite the bullet pretty soon and spend 30 bucks to buy a different drive.

Maybe a new Sata cable helps. Not sure, but worth trying. :slight_smile: