SONY DRX-710UL - Which firmware?

vbimport

#1

I have done a lot of searching and reading - but still not found an answer. Also, I have read a lot of posts here in the past, unfortunately never contributed anything here. I hope you will take my ignorance with a pinch of salt and help me along…

I have a DRX-710UL External burner, which is a Lite-On SOHW-1633S/1653S which is still on the original stock BY01 firmware. It has been working fine for me for burning CD’s/DVD’s - mainly Taiyo Yuden/Ritek media. However, for the first time I have the need to burn DL disks and I need to change the bitsetting on the drive to DVD-ROM. However, by default it sets the Verbatim DVD+DL (MKM001) Singapore media booktype as DVD+DL in imgburn. I have read posts here that mention that imgburn allows you to change the bitsetting - although I have been unsuccessful in my attempts…

I do not particularly want any coasters, considering that the above media costs a fair bit/disk. I will only be burning them at 2.4x - so, I don’t really have any major requirements. However, I have a few questions:[ol]
[li] Do I flash this drive to the latest BXY05 firmware? or should I use the patched version that is available at codeguys/rpc1? or do I need to apply the older version first i.e .BXY03/BXY04[/li]

[li] Can I use Omnipatcher for this drive? If so, would it allow me to change the bitsetting?[/li]

[li] Once I do flash with the latest firmware, can I go back to an older version? i.e. if I get any problems with the new one[/li]

[li] There is also a USB firmware upgrade available for the external unit on Sony site? Should I apply this too? If so, in what order?[/li] I assume that I should upgrade the firmware on the drive first?

[li] Will this Lite-On utility mentioned in the post below, help me any way? http://club.cdfreaks.com/1018849-post26.html[/ol][/li]A few links that I have been reading from:
http://www.k-probe.com/bitsetting-booktype-faq.php
http://codeguys.rpc1.org/dvdrw_overview.html
http://club.cdfreaks.com/f34/how-do-i-set-burner-model-name-burn-dvd-rom-140958/

Thanks.


#2

Easy peasy, johnnycab13 ;). My best guess is that your burner/firmware has auto-bitsetting on DVD+R DL (no user intervention required). I’d say just burn a disc and check it, but you will probably prefer a non-destructive method :bigsmile:. You can download the Booktype Utility from www.liteonit.com and insert your blank DL disc in the drive, then look at the “Change Booktype to” window. What does it say there by default? I don’t have any blank media handy, but this is an already burned and booktyped one.

Confirm this first, then there’s lots of important things you need to know, before touching your drive’s firmware. Welcome to the forum by the way :).



#3

[quote=Cressida;2035022]Easy peasy, johnnycab13 ;). My best guess is that your burner/firmware has auto-bitsetting on DVD+R DL (no user intervention required). I’d say just burn a disc and check it, but you will probably prefer a non-destructive method :bigsmile:. You can download the Booktype Utility from www.liteonit.com and insert your blank DL disc in the drive, then look at the “Change Booktype to” window. What does it say there by default? I don’t have any blank media handy, but this is an already burned and booktyped one.

Confirm this first, then there’s lots of important things you need to know, before touching your drive’s firmware. Welcome to the forum by the way :).[/quote]

Thanks for your reply and warm welcome. I downloaded the utility and ran it with the disk inserted and the result is below. The booktype changed to DVD-ROM successfully. However, imgburn is still reporting the booktype to be DVD+R DL?




#4

An empty disc can never be booktyped :disagree:, you can only check the booktype [U]after[/U] burning.

Now if the “Change Booktype to” window said “DVD-ROM” already before you hit “Change”, then your Sony firmware has auto-bitsetting and you can burn your Double-Layer disc without changing anything. It will be shown with booktype DVD-ROM in ImgBurn and in Nero CD DVD Speed (Disc Info tab) for example [I]afterwards[/I].

However, before doing any flashing, crossflashing or omnipatching, you should back up your drive’s EEPROM with the [I]EEPROM Utility[/I] and also the original firmware with the [I]Flash Utility[/I] (Read flash), both available from codeguys.rpc1.org. Keep these two .bin files in a safe place :iagree:.

After that, you’re free to experiment and the first thing you’ll want to do, certainly before burning any of those DL discs, is to update the firmware to BYX5. Keep in mind however that this is an early generation DL burner and newer models will burn these expensive discs better. You could probably swap one of the newer Lite-On’s out in that Sony enclosure (especially considering the price of a new drive vs. that of DL discs).

Since you did your homework before posting :), I’ll try to answer your other questions, as these would still be relevant for DVD+R SL discs (which have no auto-bitsetting by default in your Sony firmware):

  1. Yes / As you wish / No.

  2. Yes / Yes.

  3. Yes (remember your backup).

  4. Yes / Shouldn’t matter, I’d do the USB update first.

  5. See above re: Booktype Utilily (the “bitsetting fix” was integrated as an option in OmniPatcher).

P.S. Using the Booktype Utility will not make DVD+R SL bitsetting permanent with your Sony firmware (as it would with most Lite-On firmwares). You’ll have to use OmniPatcher for that.

P.P.S. C0deKing’s new [I]Settings Utility[/I] (codeguys.rpc1.org) also includes comprehensive bitsetting options, but they didn’t work when I tried it on an older 3S series drive (like your Sony). I’ll have to inquire with him about that in the dedicated thread.

Good luck with your DL burns!


#5

Cressida - Thanks for your advice.

I will certainly will backup the EEPROM; which I assume is unique to the drive? I cannot just flash another version or even the older one to recover it from a bad flash or if I wanted to return everything back to it’s original state?

I cannot afford too many coasters in order to experiment with this drive. Do you think a Pioneer 115D will work in this enclosure or does it only accept a certain type of drive? If not, I might opt for the Pio 215D SATA version and just experiment with this drive and learn about drive speeds, bitsetting, media codes etc. Also, please correct me if I am wrong, but I have read that the Pio automatically sets the bitsetting to DVD-ROM and produces high quality burns?


#6

You’re welcome, johnnycab13.

Yes, the EEPROM is unique to the drive, so it’s your burner’s life insurance. If you have an older EEPROM backup, all the better. The firmware backup isn’t that important, but I still advise you to make it (in case you want to get back to where you started from 100%). Most firmware versions are available for download from codeguys though and you can flash back and forth as you please.

Lite-On burners have always used the same form factor, so they would be a straight swap in the enclosure. Pioneers are about 1/4" longer and power + IDE connectors are offset more to the side. If the internal connection is made with short cables, it should be OK, if the connectors are hardwired onto the little PCB, it will be a problem. You’d have to check it, as I haven’t worked with one of those Sony enclosures myself.

The Pioneers are among the best DL burners (and they do have auto-bitsetting for DL - but bitsetting SL requires voiding the warranty with modified firmware), but I’m not too sure about compatibility with the enclosure chipset (115D) or your mobo chipset (215D).


#7

[quote=Cressida;2035348]You’re welcome, johnnycab13.

Yes, the EEPROM is unique to the drive, so it’s your burner’s life insurance. If you have an older EEPROM backup, all the better. The firmware backup isn’t that important, but I still advise you to make it (in case you want to get back to where you started from 100%). Most firmware versions are available for download from codeguys though and you can flash back and forth as you please.

Lite-On burners have always used the same form factor, so they would be a straight swap in the enclosure. Pioneers are about 1/4" longer and power + IDE connectors are offset more to the side. If the internal connection is made with short cables, it should be OK, if the connectors are hardwired onto the little PCB, it will be a problem. You’d have to check it, as I haven’t worked with one of those Sony enclosures myself.

The Pioneers are among the best DL burners (and they do have auto-bitsetting for DL), but I’m not too sure about compatibility with the enclosure chipset (115D) or your mobo chipset (215D).[/quote]

I am going to order the Pioneer 215D first thing tomorrow morning - as at present, I don’t have the time to play around with making the enclosure work with the Pio! I will shop around for an external enclosure at some point, or just put into one of the PC’s as a main burner.

I have around 3-4 PC’s and couple of laptops; hence, the need for an external burner. I have also recently acquired a Samsung SHD-162D - which I will be flashing soon. In the meantime, I will play around with the Sony drive. I also have SATA onboard my PC’s with ICH5, ICH6 & ICH7 chipsets. But, also have a VIA 6421 SATA card - so guess should be ok for connectivity :wink:

However, I have one last question before I leave you alone; although not relevant to this thread - I also have an USB to IDE/SATA Cable with an external power supply (with a molex connector) Although, it will not be my first choice of connection - can I use that too? Also, does the Pioneer 215D draw power off a SATA cable(connected to the motherboard/PCI card) and is it enough to power up the drive?

The connection here shows the back of the drive, which does not look like it needs a molex connector: http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=22642&PageId=0

Your advice and help has been much appreciated.


#8

OK then, a quick one before I tuck in ;).

  • Don’t count on the VIA card to work with optical drives. A Silicon Image chip (with Base BIOS) is recommended for expansion cards. Having the Intel chipset mobos should help however.

  • I wouldn’t count on one of those dongles either (but you may get lucky).

  • SATA uses its own type of power connector (not Molex). Power supplies made in the last 3-4 years will have these, if not there’s always adapter cables.

Happy burning!


#9

[quote=Cressida;2035367]OK then, a quick one before I tuck in ;).

  • Don’t count on the VIA card to work with optical drives. A Silicon Image chip (with Base BIOS) is recommended for expansion cards. Having the Intel chipset mobos should help however.

  • I wouldn’t count on one of those dongles either (but you may get lucky).

  • SATA uses its own type of power connector (not Molex). Power supplies made in the last 3-4 years will have these, if not there’s always adapter cables.

Happy burning![/quote]

Well I got my shiny new Pioneer 215D about half an hour ago! I have hooked it up to the external port on the VIA SATA card and fed it power through the 5.25" SATA to molex connector with an external power supply - all good!!

I have fired up Imgburn with the Verbatim and the booktype is still showing as DVD+R DL(?!) I assume that once the disc is burnt the booktype will automatically be set to DVD-ROM? I have gone through so much trouble and expense to get everything right, I would like to know if I am doing anything wrong? Also, the firmware revision is v1.19 - that should not make any difference, should it?


#10

Booktyping takes place during the burn, and you’ll see the change after burning. :flower:

Latest known firmware available for download for the DVR-215/DVR-115 series is 1.18, if I remember correctly. You should be good there. :wink:


#11

[quote=Albert;2037879]Booktyping takes place during the burn, and you’ll see the change after burning. :flower:

Latest known firmware available for download for the DVR-215/DVR-115 series is 1.18, if I remember correctly. You should be good there. ;)[/quote]

Thanks Albert. I burnt the disc and it automatically set the booktype to DVD-ROM - so I am quite happy :slight_smile: Yes, the Pioneer website states v1.18 as the latest firmware - but the drive I have is definitely v1.19 (Feb 2008).

Cressida - Just to recap on the original thread - I did what you told me and backed up the original firmware and put the Sony onto BYX5 revision. It seems to be behaving itself, although I have not burnt anything on the new firmware.

So, thanks everyone - I will try to put up some of my stats on the Pioneer at some point.


#12

Thanks for the feedback, johnnycab13. The VT6421 add-on chip appears to be suitable for use with optical drives then, which is not always the case with VIA’s onboard solutions. Are you using the (standard XP) Microsoft SATA driver or the VIA one with it?


#13

I am using the latest drivers from VIA on XP SP2 with all up-to-date patches. I also tried to run this drive on Vista with the VIA card and it did not like the new drivers - although they are stated on their [VIA]site as being compatible! As far as I am concerned - the VIA card has been the best buy for me in terms of convenience and it wasn’t too expensive either.

The drive is only copule of days old and I have burnt around 4-5 discs with not a single coaster. It is super quiet - so much so, on my first burn, I thought it was not working properly :wink: I am glad I did not go for the IDE version; as this drive definitely seems superior in terms of it’s technical specifications.

I also checked the quality of one of the burns using DVDInfo Pro - considering the amount of time it takes; also I am still not familiar with all the technical terms with regards to doing a proper QA on the drive yet. Once I get upto speed (no pun intended) - I will post some more stats/graphs etc. - unless you want to tell me what I should check for :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

[QUOTE=johnnycab13;2038838]I also checked the quality of one of the burns using DVDInfo Pro - considering the amount of time it takes; also I am still not familiar with all the technical terms with regards to doing a proper QA on the drive yet. Once I get upto speed (no pun intended) - I will post some more stats/graphs etc. - unless you want to tell me what I should check for :p[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the info on the VIA card :flower:. Now concerning quality scans, you should know that the Pioneer is not reliable for these. The Sony could do them however, with scan speed set to 4X in Nero CD-DVD Speed (not sure about DVDInfo Pro). In short, what you should look for in a Sony/LiteOn scan is PIF values not exceeding 4, preferably no PIF “clusters” and the lower amount of PIF the better of course. PIE max. values should stay below 280, but that’s seldom a problem.