Questions about crossflashing Asus BW-12D1S-U (rebadged Pioneer BDR-208BK) and difference between BDR-208BK / BDR-208DBK

I’ve got an Asus external BD-R drive, model BW-12D1S-U, currently running firmware E301. Crossflashing this BW-12D1S-U was previously discussed some years back in another thread (Asus BW-12D1S-U - crossflashing), but the story for my drive seems to be a little different from that thread. The drives in that previous thread were all either Pioneer BDR-206 or BDR-207 drives inside the Asus housing. After disassembling the external housing for my drive, though, I see my drive is a Pioneer BDR-208BK made in April 2013. DVRFlash gives the following information:

Drive Information:
   Description : ASUS    BW-12D1S-U      
  Firmware Rev : E301
 Firmware Date : 13/02/25
  Manufacturer :          
Drive is in normal mode.

Additional Drive Information:
 Serial Number : [redacted]    
Interface type : SAT 
DVR generation : 8301
   Kernel type : ID71    
   Normal type : ID71    
Kernel version : 0000

        Status : RPC-2 (region locked)
        Region : 1
       Changes : 4 region changes remaining
                 4 vendor resets remaining
                 state is 'Region set'

I have a couple questions about this rebadged BDR-208BK:

  1. What is the difference (if any) between the BDR-208BK I have and the BDR-208DBK? I see one obvious difference is that I can’t find a reference to a BDR-208BK existing anywhere on Pioneer’s site, and another difference is that this Asus is only advertised as a 12x BD-R writer, whereas the BDR-208DBK from Pioneer is advertised as 15x.
  2. Is it possible to crossflash my BDR-208BK to a BDR-208DBK? If they are indeed the same drive, there are some firmware improvements that the BDR-208DBK has received that my drive has not. Asus has not updated the firmware on this drive since it was released, and it’s still running a firmware dated 2013. However, Pioneer has updated the 208DBK in 2015 with some added media support, etc. Note that while Asus has released a firmware update for the BW-12D1S-U on their website, that update only applies to drives made after 2016 (i.e., not my drive). I think that’s because they probably switched to putting the 209 into this housing at some point after mine was manufactured – I’ve seen at least one reference online to someone disassembling this BW-12D1S-U and finding a 209 drive inside.


Edit: Fixed typo (module -> model)

AFAIK there is no way to crossflash newer Pioneer drives like the 208 due to some protection against it.

The main difference between the 208 and the 208D is that the D model can not write DVD-RAM. So the D model is worse, thus it doesn’t make any sense to flash a 208 to a 208D.

Okay, thanks for that information!

I did, after I made this post, find the 208BK on the Pioneer Japan website, but I still wasn’t sure what the difference was in the models. I must’ve missed the DVD-RAM support. Also, it looks like there is at least one or two firmware updates for the BDR-208BK drive that Asus never provided for the BW-12D1S-U. As you said, though, there’s unfortunately no crossflashing option, so I guess the lesson is just to buy the real Pioneer drive in order to get the updates.

In any case, the drive is probably fine for my needs – it should hopefully have the good 208 burn quality, even if it’s lacking some of the later burn strategy updates / media support a real Pioneer drive would have.

Did a 208 exist? I know 208D and 208E(M), USB-versions etc.

The main difference I know between 208D and 208E is the E can write BDXL

According to this site we’re on the S08XLT identifies as 208? There are firmwares available for a 208 here:
They are for ID61, floppydumper’s drive has ID71, so that won’t work to (cross-)flash anyway.