someone tipped me off to try the /c modifier to unlock the 'winbond'? chip. this allowed to flawlessly and successfully read and write the firmware.
unfortunately, after updating to liteon firmware, the drive is no longer detected as connected on bootup (bios just hangs trying to detect it, then gives up). the drive light stays perpetually on, and i cant open the tray. i made a backup of the original firmware. reverting to original firmware does nothing: drive is still not detected, light stays on, nothing works