Problems with liteon LH-201AH (?)

I recently got a PC with a new LiteOn LH-201AH drive and am noticing some strange things with it. Chiefly too many errors while burning.

I am slowly going through many FAQs, forum posts, etc up here and it is a bit overwhelming trying to digest everything I’ve read…plus some threads seem rather old and I am not sure which are still valid or the most updated in terms of mentioning tools to use for checking/flashing firmware/etc, so I thought I would also try just posting my direct situation and see what information I can get as of “2007”.

I’ve been primarily using “verbatim 16x -R” media made in taiwan, but have also used some “fujifilm +R” also made in taiwan (of which i 4get the rated speed), and also some unmarked and unknown media that was given to me.

And I am getting about 30-40% bad discs despite burning within the speed limits recommended by the media (12x or 8x). I use Nero v7.0.1.2 for burning. Usually when it has problems it stops and tells me there were write errors. But sometimes it just hangs and although the Nero status box has something in there about write errors occuring the program just won’t quit - and if I try to kill it in task manager it then goes crazy and eats up ALL of the CPU, so the only thing I can do is poweroff the PC!

I think there must be things I can do to diagnose what’s happening - and also decrease the number of bad burns but I’m not sure where to begin. Upgrade firmware? Change some kind of Nero option (what?). Fine tune the PC in general somehow? Use different media (what?)?

I tried following this:
“The best way to get a media support list is to backup your drive’s firmware to a file using LtnFW and then use OmniPatcher to extract the list of supported DVD media codes and their burn speeds.”

But when I “load” the bin file I created with LtnFw into Omnipatcher I get an error that says something like “this firmware does not appear to be valid”, “unable to classify firmware”, and “Omnipatcher was able to locate and parse the media code tables. You may need to upgrade to a newer version of Omnipatcher.” I’m not even sure that I ran LtnFw correctly to capture the firmware, but it appeared to work.

Can anyone point me in the right direction in how to start attacking all this?

THANKS muchly.

Don’t use OldiePatcher. Use MediaCodeSpeedEdit instead :wink:
Also, extracting firmware might be more successful with C0deKing’s LiteOn firmware tool.

thanks i will look into that

some more info about my original post that i’ve since figured out…

the firmware for my liteon is LL05

the media that i’ve been mostly using is rated “1st class media” so i don’t think the media itself is bad; the verbatims are “MCC03RG20” (made by mitsubishi) and the no names are actually taiyo-yudens (“TYG02”) according to both DVDINFO and DVDidentifier

both of those are -R; although i also had problems with fuji +R (but i don’t know exactly what those were exactly since i have none left to check) i recall reading at <> that liteons behave better with +R than -R; that text dates back to 2004 though, is that still true with liteons made today?


Upgrade the firmware to LL0A. Also, upgrade your version of Nero. Make sure DMA is on and also make sure you are using an 80 wire IDE cable.

thanks, i just came back to say that i upgraded to LL0A after doing a bunch more reading

very dumb question - how/where can i see if DMA is on or not (i am trying to figure this out now but at this point have no clue)? and if it was off wouldn’t i be having many more problems? ditto for a 40 vs. 80 channel cable?


i think i am really confused with this DMA thing

according to DEVICE MANAGER on my PC the only devices using DMA are “Standard Floppy disc” and “Direct memory access controller”

(note to self: to see this i went to Device Manager, then View Resources by Type, then expanded “DMA” and saw the info above)

then after reading the help in windoze to understand how to change a device to use DMA it says to look at the device you want to change & see if it has a “Resource tab” in the properties display - and from there you can change it

but my DVD drive has no such resource tab (???)

and i 4got to ask - where can i get a newer version of nero??

hmmmm - i may have figured something out…as far as DMA goes…hope this helps other newbies like me (?)

if i look at the IDE/ATAPI controllers item instead of the DVD burner device itself, i can see several devices under there, including PRIMARY IDE CHANNEL and SECONDARY IDE CHANNEL

both of those devices say they are using DMA (“ultra DMA mode 5” for primary, and “ultra DMA mode 2” for secondary)

i think that means that the PC is using DMA for the DVD drive since it has to be on one of those IDE channels, YES?

sorry for the newbie questions…i am trying to figure out as much as i can on my own & reading threads up here & on the 'net but i can’t quite put all the pieces together

good news is that after upgrading the firmware i burnt 4 DVDs with no failures

been doing a bunch more reading/thinking/testing/head scratching

i think (but i don’t really know) if upgrading my firmware has solved my problems or not

i think (but i don’t know for sure, see above) that my drive is using DMA

i downloaded the neroCDspeed tool that i see mentioned all over the place up here and tried some tests - i may not have done things right, and i don’t really know how to interpret the results but - again - i think my results are “good”

they are attached here in case anyone cares to comment - these are done with the verbatim 16x -R media that i mentioned in my first post above

another wierd thing to ask about - i have run the tool called “neroinfotool” and although it comes up & does its thing it does so only after giving me 2 identical error messages of “Installation corrupted please re-install Nero” that i have to click “OK” to

is that anything significant??? i’ve gotten this error with version plus an unknown version that has a filedate of “3/5/2007” (nowhere within the application can i find a clue as to what version it is, and i only know the one version is “” because that is what it is claimed to be from where i downloaded it)

from reading many posts about this tool it seems buggy and just doesn’t work for everybody ??? so i am guessing that it’s message may not mean anything other than the version of nero burning rom 7 i am running is just not what it expects to see (???)

thanks for any help, i am a former techie but new to DVD burning and really do want to understand things rather than assume or guess at everything

Those look just great!

thanks for the sanity check mr. floyd :slight_smile:

i haven’t had any coasters since the firmware upgrade, so i’m hoping that was the problem

btw, “which one’s pink”?

Glad you got it working. Is the Liteon on your secondary IDE channel?
It should be in UDMA-4 mode. Are you using an 80 wire IDE cable?
If you have a 40 wire cable, it won’t go above UDMA-2. I think you
would get a higher burst rate in the CD-DVD Speed Benchmark
test if it was in UDMA-4 mode. This is not a big issue since it
seems to be working quite well now, but it might be worth checking
anyway, especially if you are going to do any 18-20x burns.

thanks very much for that info

i don’t know if it is on the secondary IDE channel - i have to open the PC up & give it another look

if i remember right it is on it’s own run of cable though, seperate from the hard drive, so if true that would be secondary

about the cable, i dunno what was used to hook it up - it was given to me this way, already “installed”, although would not be a surprise to me at all if it was not the exact right cable, i will have to research that! i honestly don’t even know how to tell the difference but do recall some threads up here that talk about that sort of thing so looks like i’ve got some more reading to do

i will have to tackle this all again - i want this setup to be the best it can be with what i’ve got!! thanks again for everyone’s help

spent a lot MORE time today reading many more posts up here about similar problems, trying to get a grip on this whole “80 channel” cable thing (i shall hereby call this the “holy” cable)

opening up my PC i can see that the hard drive is connected to one interface on the motherboard via a ribbon cable, and the DVD drive is connected to a different interface on the motherboard via a different ribbon cable

both ribbon cables look identical to me except that the color of the plastic strips that are used to be able to pull out the cables are orange on the one that goes to the DVD drive and blue on the one that goes to the hard drive

[see photos attached]

from reading a lot of different posts up here i (think) i understand the way to tell a 40 channel cable from an 80 channel cable is to look at the cable connector ends and see if the connectors are different colors, that 40 channel cables all use the same color connectors, but 80 channel cables supposely use different colors for each connector (YES/NO?)

from looking at BOTH of the cables in my PC the connectors all appear to be the same color, so does that mean they are both 40 channel cables??? i could see that being the case with the DVD drive since supposedly it should be at ultraDMA-4 rather than uDMA-2 and a 40 channel cable is supposed to cause that, but - how can that be the case for the hard drive - shouldn’t it NOT be working right in some very obvious way?? or very slow in some way or another if this were the case??? or wait, shouldn’t it not be able to show up as uDMA-5 like it is doing now if it were a 40 channel cable for that one??? god i am so confused

putting the confusion aside and assuming the hard drive cable is ok, but the dvd cable is only 40 channel and thus impacting my DVD drive from working up to full capacity (as i understand it), i thought i would try to buy an “80 channel” cable and just try it but even that is turning out to be complicated since this is all new to me and i do not know the correct terminology or even the places to find this kind of stuff!

thankfully i found a thread where someone told someone else with similar questions to look for “ATA-100/133” cable as the magic words to getting the holy 80 channel cable, and saw the name “newegg” as a supplier to buy such things

so i googled newegg, found their website, and searched for “ATA-100/133 cable” - that came back with “33 results found”, of which 20 were displayed on the page, yet none on the page looked like what i believe i need (ribbon cable YES?)…and very strangely clicking on the “2” or next page “>” symbol does anything so i can’t see the next page with the remaining items…nor does changing the number of results displayed from “20” to “50” or “100” do a damn thing either to let me see anything other than the 1st 20 items…sheesh…so i am giving up on newegg completely (what the hell???)

so i’ve tried searching on google for the cable and found some cable/partssuppliers, some of utterly no help whatsoever - but think i may have found something at this one -

is this the right 80 channel cable to get?

MH IDE ATA100 Ribbon Cable 3 conn, 36in

IDE ATA/Ultra 100 Teflon Ribbon Cables Cable for Ultra DMA 100 IDE Hard Drives

3 connectors

80 conductors


does anyone have recommendations for good sites to get such things, at good prices, with reasonable shipping, and can explain the exact part # etc?

from reading one thread it sounded like it was useless to try to buy these types of cables from local places like staples/officemax/circuitcity/best buy/etc - and i do not have any techie “computer” type stores in the area since the local COMPusa went out of business

am i on the right track? or maybe i am wasting my time (my cable is already 80 channel and the interface it is attached to only supports udma-2 at highest??? maybe i need a sanity check on that???)

any further help appreciated - us newbies are grateful for it

I talked to the friend who gave me this PC - although he is unfamiliar with 40 channel vs. 80 channel etc cables, he told me that the cable that he used for the DVD drive was what was in the PC already (he replaced an old CDROM drive with the new LITEON drive).

That, in addition to what I noted above, led me to conclude that the existing cable must be a 40 channel cable.

However - I found the cable that came with the Liteon which he also had given me as an “extra”, which appears to be 80 channel (the 3 connectors on the cable are all different colors) - so I removed the existing cable and replaced it with the “new” cable.

But…taking the existing cable out…it sure looks like what I understand an 80 channel cable is supposed to look like!

When I examined it while looking at it while it was still installed in the PC and noted this above - from there it appeared that it could be a 40 channel cable since the TOPS of all 3 connector cables are black!!! BUT IN REALITY WHEN THE CABLE IS REMOVED YOU CAN SEE THAT THE UNDERSIDES OF THE CABLE ARE ALL 3 DIFFERENT COLORS (black, grey, blue).

[See attached scan]

So I believe that this cable has been the correct thing all the time!

Regardless of that I replaced the cable with the “new” one. And as I expect now, I see no difference in anything.

[See attachments]

The benchmark CDspeed test still gives me a burst rate of around 25mb/s.

Device manager still shows the secondary IDE channel as “Ultra DMA Mode 2”, not “4”.

Device manager still shows no DMA options/settings/tabs/etc for the DVD drive (i can’t remember where up here i read it, but i remember reading something that said the DVD drive should have a tab related to this???).

Can anyone explain to me what this all means??? Is my drive setup correctly this way (or not)?

I cannot get it to “UDMA-4” as suggested. Could that be a limitation of the motherboard/secondary IDE channel? Am I wasting time chasing this any further??? Am I misunderstanding/overlooking something???

-thanks for any clues-

Counting the wires works… :iagree: But not really…

Anyway, both types are the same size, but 80-wire cables have wires that are much thinner and there are twice as many of them.

40-wire -----
80-wire -----

thanks, i’m now positive that both cables i’ve tried are the 80 wire flavor - could it be that the secondary IDE interface on the motherboard of this PC just only supports uDMA-2? is there something else i should be trying/looking at?

Well, I think the motherboard would definately have to support it for it to work. What’s your mobo?

Trying checking your BIOS settings or set the junper on the drive to master (looks like it might already be on master based on your pics though).

lesse - according to “BELARC ADVISOR” it is a “Dell Optiplex GX20”

btw, it’s a pentium 4, 1.7 ghz, BIOS are “A05 07/19/2002”

i will try to look into that stuff, THANKS for your time

Did you take that from what Belarc said under “Main Circuit Board?” Dell Optiplex GX20 sounds more like a line of computers than a motherboard and I haven’t been able to find anything on it.