Where can I find the LG DVD-RAM driver


I want to use my brand new LG-DVD4120B drive with DVD RAM like a normal harddisk, but without the trouble of installing In-CD. So I heard there is a DVD-RAM driver from LG available for Windows XP Pro, but I simply can’t find that driver on their homepage.

I have read in some forums that they probably removed tht driver from their site. Can you please tell me where to get that driver?

Thank you very much in advance.



You can use Microsoft Management Console.

Or type compmgmt.msc in the Start -> Run box. Go to Disk Management and you can find your DVD-RAM disks there. Just format the disks as you format hard disk drives and that’s all. You said you wanted to use 4120B with DVD-RAM like hard disk, why not? :slight_smile:

This is what the Disk Management looks like though it is from my Windows XP Pro SP1 Korean langauge edition.

Right there, the E and S drives are DVD-RAM disks actually. FAT32 formatting and even quick format is allowed for them.

I had read that the DVD-Ram drivers are native to XP, but I’m now seeing that it is only FAT32 and not UDF (UDF read only in XP). In looking for official info, I found this: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;283588

Do I really want to use Fat32 when it is twice as slow in a 1 GB write test when compared to UDF?

If you want XP drivers, you can find them through the extrememhz.com review(http://www.extrememhz.com/gsa4120b-p7.shtml). But they are a slightly older version for the GSA-4081B. They work well according to their tests but I don’t know if there is anything better with the 4120B.

I’m not sure why it took 27.2 minutes for him to write one 1GB file to DVD-RAM.

Why should UDF be 2x faster than FAT32 for DVD-RAM?

I found the following a few days ago in the newsgroups and it seems like a reasonable explanation:
“UDF is more efficient for writing large files because it doesn’t have to keep seeking back to update a
directory and file allocation information, also the file allocation and directory areas of the disk don’t have to be constantly re-written which wears out the media.”

Also interesting is this:
“(For UDF) Directory information is spread across the disc written at the same time the files [are]. So to get a
directory (listing) for the whole disk you have to seek and read all over the place.”

But yes, 2 times faster seems a little out of whack.

That’s exaclty what I meant. Of course, UDF can be faster than FAT32 or NTFS because the two latter file systems are for Windows GUI which was designed for the majority of multi-billion PC users. Multimedia capability and user-friendliness are what Microsoft first had in mind, making the screens pretty and easy on the eyes. UDF is different, of course. Windows XP, for instance, does all kinds of works on the background when writing and reading files of various extensions, even keeping thumbnail file records for each .jpg or .avi file. For faster performance, it is better to turn off as many things as possible manually in Windows. However, even FAT32 can’t be 2x as less efficient as UDF.

Isn’t it best to use DVD+RW 4x media to write large files instead of DVD-RAM? I mean, there are reasons why recording files to DVD recordable media is said to have speeds as 1x, 2x, 2.4x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, and so on. Usually, the writing speeds are very consistent regardless of file size and number of files as long as the source media sustain the reading speeds. Switching between InCD and FAT32 for one DVD-RAM media is a time-consuming task to me especially since there are very few media and to buy more is a very costly idea. Having more than InCD and FAT32 could be worse.

I think one a nice timed benchmark would give us the answer we are seeking :bigsmile: What do you say Kenshin ? :bow:


Looks like LG really are coming up short on the DVD-RAM support, both in the manual and driver-wise. Good thing I didn’t get their drive.

Panasonic has a thick multilingual manual that recommends using UDF 1.5 for “pc data”, and they recommend UDF 2.0 for video data to “maintain high transfer rates” for video. UDF 1.5 is the default format type for pc data with dvd-ram.

I quote:

A DVD-RAM disc can be formatted using either UDF (Universal Disk Format) or FAT32 format. Use the format appropriate to your needs. Format 2.8 GB (8 cm) / 5.2 GB / 9.4 GB double-sided DVD-RAM discs one side at a time.

UDF (Universal Disk Format)
UDF is newly specified for DVD family products. This new format is optimized for big capacity files, such as Video and Audio capture and playback, to keep constant, high transfer rates.

FAT32 Format
FAT32 is the Windows OS embedded file system and used for hard disk drives.

There’s also this:
Select “Universal Disk Format (UDF 1.5)” when you are going to use the
DVD-RAM disc to write PC data. This format allows the transfer of the data between different operation systems, such as between Windows and Mac OS.

Anyway, all indications are UDF is better at bigger files than FAT32. I’m not about to benchmark this, though.

CDRLabs review has the answer. :slight_smile:

Why compare LG with Panasonic? The DVD-RAM part was from Hitachi, not LG. It was because Hitachi didn’t have a good market presence in the US market that Hitachi wanted to work with LG back in around 2000. Hitachi had had DVD-RAM before 2000. Panasonic is a small part of Matsushita group which is a major competitor against Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sony, and so on. Such a partnership has both advantages and disadvantages.

Remember the time when Panasonic was the key player in the DVD-RAM and DVD Multi drives? How was that changed? LG did it by first introducing 4040B, and then 4081/82B and then now 4120B that first added 5x DVD-RAM, DVD+R DL, and 12x DVD+R. Hitachi working with LG actually grew to capture most of the DVD-RAM/DVD-Multi drive market. Look into both Hitachi and LG websites and you’ll probably find more resources related to DVD-RAM at Hitachi than LG naturally.

Whether UDF is better or not is a different matter. Is Linux or MS-DOS better than Windows? To have to install another driver or third-party software such as InCD itself is an inconvenience. Is the speed difference between UDF and FAT32 with DVD-RAM big enough for the inconvenience, that I am not sure of.

[b]UDF (Universal Disk Format)
UDF is newly specified for DVD family products. This new format is optimized for big capacity files, such as Video and Audio capture and playback, to keep constant, high transfer rates.

FAT32 Format
FAT32 is the Windows OS embedded file system and used for hard disk drives.[/b]

Where does it say UDF 1.5 is for PC Data and the other is not? From the above, I can see FAT32 is for PC Data and UDF is for video and audio data such as the VIDEO_TS folders and DVD-Audio files. Since it says UDF is for “DVD family” products, was DVD-RAM for DVD family products? Is there a compelling reason to have “constant, high” transfer rates when one writes to floppy disks and ZIP disks? DVD-RAM media with FAT32 can be read in most PCs without any need for driver or software.

Isn’t it best to use DVD+RW 4x media to write large files instead of DVD-RAM?
Aside from speed, is RW packet writing reliability a concern?

Kenshin, you took my post too far. I am aware of Hitachi and LG’s partnership, but the drive is labelled LG so I will call it an LG.

Regarding market share: Does it matter?
Panasonic (Matsushita) are the only ones (to my knowledge) still making a PC DVD-RAM drive that use cartridges, so I’m not interested in any other drives and market share is irrelevant to me, and it’s irrelevant to this discussion. If you want to argue the point, I would argue that Panasonic’s market share of the multi drive market is still far larger considering their support of cartridge dvd-ram discs and large OEM deals with PC manufacturers bigger than the standalone retail drive market.

As for FAT32 and UDF, I simply stated Panasonic’s recommendations in the manual, nothing more, nothing less. If you read above, I answered your question. In the manual UDF 1.5 is specifically recommended for PC data and is the default format type for DVD discs. Take from that what you will.

I am sure you can use FAT32 just fine. I’m not saying you shouldn’t. But for larger files (and perhaps OS compatibility), it seems there is some technical merit in sticking to UDF, which was the basis for this recent discussion.

If LG/Hitachi/whoever don’t provide UDF drivers for this as some recent posts have stated (and it seems their manuals are very poor in explaining this too), I would personally be disappointed in purchasing one of their drives. Speaking for myself only.

Speed for DVD-RAM is important but speed for DVD+RW is not? DVD+RW 4x is 2x faster than DVD-RAM 5x. I just pointed out the obvious inconsistency.

Sorry if I was not clear (I perhaps should not have quoted because I had a different question), but I am interested in the reliability of RW packet writing—especially in relation to InCD. I can look in the Recording Software Forum instead.

Your way of discussion seems to be one-way only, seeing everything too personally. I compared UDF and FAT32, both their advantages and disadvantages. You seem to concentrate on UDF’s “technical merit” only. If it’s only “speaking for” yourself only, why state such a thing at all?

Regarding the market share, I don’t waste my time for arguments. I am not a salesperson from LG. Even if you like Panasonic DVD-RAM drives more than LG-Hitachi drives, that hardly means Panasonic still maintains a bigger market share than LG. If you are not interested in the market share data, why did you have to say as if Panasonic actually had larger market share than LG? LG’s the largest ODD manufacturer in the world, so get the fact rather than interpreting what everything that isn’t like what you like as arguments, bigger than Samsung, and bigger than Lite-On. Panasonic, or even the mother company Matsushita just can’t fit anywhere in the top five. How many units of drives that can write to DVD-RAM has Matsushita sold in the past full ten years? LG is helping the DVD-RAM market to multiply in a matter of months which Panasonic/Matsushita failed to do in years. If you think cartridges helped you buy your Panasonic, accept it that most other people didn’t so exactly because of it.

And since the drive is labelled LG? Who said every GSA-4120B has LG label? There are Hitachi 4120B drives as well and the drives are designed in Tokyo’s Hitachi-LG lab just as BenQ drives are actually Philips.

Here’s a press release copy that was once reported at CDFreaks as well.

DVD-RAM hits surprising speeds
Lincoln Spector, PC World

09/06/2004 09:51:04

The rewritable DVD formats–DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM–are gaining on their write-once cousins DVD-R and DVD+R in speed. But here’s a bigger surprise: The first leap forward is coming from DVD-RAM, traditionally the slowpoke of the crowd. A new 5X DVD-RAM standard speed was recently unveiled by the RAM Promotion Group. It’s not vaporware: Readying 5X DVD-RAM drives are Hitachi-LG, which expects a release in June, and Panasonic, shipping in August. Maxell will have 5X DVD-RAM media in June as well. Previously, DVD-RAM maxed out at a mere 3X, while +/-RW managed 4X.

And the discs may get a whole lot faster sooner than we’ve come to expect. The DVD Forum (which controls both the DVD-RAM and -R/RW standards, but not +R/RW) and Maxell are talking about releasing 16X DVD-RAM within the next 12 months.

By comparison, only today’s fastest drives burn write-once DVD+/-R discs at 16X. Write-once optical media has always been faster because writing on erasable media is inherently more complex. A coating that can be altered by a laser beam and then returned to its original state generally requires a longer burn than one that can only be changed once.

The RAM Leap
What makes DVD-RAM’s leap over the +RW and -RW formats so surprising is that, at least for PC users in the United States, the format has acquired the image of an also-ran. Even some of the DVD-CD combo drives that drew excitement last year support only +RW and -RW formats.

But when it comes to drives in set-top boxes that people attach to their TVs instead of installing into their computers, DVD-RAM is the market leader. And its popularity is greater outside the United States. It’s the “most popular format in Japan right now,” says Rich D’Ambrise, director of technology for Maxell America.

There are reasons for its popularity–despite its compatibility problems with many DVD movie players and generally higher media prices. DVD-RAM is more robust than the +RW and -RW formats. It protects the integrity of your data with tricks normally associated with hard drives, such as marking off bad sectors. And it’s more rewriteable: DVD-RAM discs are rated as capable of 100,000 rewrites, compared to 1000 for its two competing rewritable formats.

But no one has ever called it a speed demon.

“This is probably the first time that RAM jumped out in front in the speed race,” says Tony Jasionowski, a spokesperson for RAM Promotion Group and the DVD Forum.

Playing Catch Up
Of course, going from 3X to 5X, skipping over the 4X supported by competing formats, sounds like typical performance leapfrogging. RAM was a little behind, and now it’s a little ahead, but will it soon be a little behind again?

The DVD+RW Alliance contends the technology can handle 5X now and, soon, faster speeds.

“We believe we have a solid foundation to surpass 5X,” says John Main, a Hewlett-Packard integration architect.

Most observers expect the next generation of +RW/-RW drives and media to manage 8X. Toshiba expects 8X drives to become available this summer, says Tom McGoldrick, director of support engineering.

“Technical specs for DVD-RW 6X and 8X are now being discussed,” notes H. Irie, DVD Forum secretariat. “We expect that 6X DVD-RW will be introduced first, probably this autumn.”

But does it matter? End users look only at the first speed listed on a drive, making the rewriteable speed irrelevant, says IDC analyst Wolfgang Schlichting. People “refer to highest number, which is the write-once speed. It’s a little bit harder to get users excited about 12X/8X compared to 12X/4X,” Schlichting says.

New Material
Maxell’s new 5X DVD-RAM discs will be the first products to use what the company describes as a breakthrough technology that could enable faster discs: Bismuth Coupling Material. According to Maxell’s D’Ambrise, this new optical coding for rewriteable discs overcomes many of the speed problems associated with writing to a surface that can be rewritten.

There’s no technical reason to tie BCM to DVD-RAM; it could just as well be used on +RW and -RW discs. But about Maxell’s plans to do so, D’Ambrise says only, “We’re looking at it.”

Yet Maxell has another, more definite plan for BCM: 16X DVD-RAM. According to D’Ambrise, the company has already achieved this speed in the lab, and expects to sell discs in the first quarter of 2005. The 16X DVD-RAM drives should be on the market by then, as well, says Jasionowski of RAM Promotion Group and the DVD Forum. And Irie, also of the DVD Forum, adds, “The 16X format also might be available for DVD-RW, but it depends on market demand.”

That’ll be LG.

The world’s top three makers are LG, Samsung, and LiteOn. LG and Samsung each has about 25% market share and LiteOn has about 20% so the three has two thirds of the world market. Panasonic/Matsushita was once the largest DVD recorder maker but that was several years ago and there were only some tens of thousands of users then. Of course, the number is now millions now and it will be soon over 100 million. About 200 million ODD units are shipping in a year and still growing.

My InCD seems to do from UDF 1.5 to UDF 2.5 but I rarely use any of them these days. Ian at CDRLabs used UDF 1.5 with InCD at the 4120B review. DVD+RW packet writing is naturally faster than DVD-RAM but that’s mainly because of the absence of verification feature. Basically, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM all use nearly identical hardware standard so no one type of media is better than one another at all things but one can safely say DVD+RW is a slightly enhanced version of DVD-RW. I haven’t seen actual Blu-ray test results but the specification indicates it’s both faster and safer than either DVD+RW or DVD-RAM.

I was looking again at the DVD-RAM 2x write speed tests done at ExtremeMhz, and I noticed that UDF has a linear relationship between write speed and file size ( ie you can predict write speed at 1GB using the 50MB numbers). So I made the following extrapolations for 4096mb:
4096 mb…55.2 minutes (at 2x)
4096 mb…27.6 minutes (at 4x for comparison)
4096 mb…22.1 minutes (at 5x)

CDRLabs has a hard number:
4096 mb…26:02 minutes (at 5x)

CDRLabs most likely used InCD rather than DVD-RAM driver software.

I’ve also noticed that FAT has a non-linear relationship—perhaps exponential or at best quadratic (ie write time increases substantially with larger files). If FAT also had a linear relationship, the write time would be more competitive.

Ahh, Kenshin, I am taking things personally you say? Perhaps you can point out where. I simply stated what the manual said, and then gave my PERSONAL preference. Yes, I would PREFER UDF-formatted discs over FAT32, because they do seem to be faster on bigger files and the UDF system preserves the same area on the disc from being rewritten many times over (don’t quote me on this, I read this on some site). This results in more ‘even’ use of the disc, among other benefits.

Regarding the market share, I don’t waste my time for arguments. I am not a salesperson from LG.

So why bring up the topic of market share to start with?

Where did I state that it did? I stated my thoughts on Panasonic’s total sales of dvd-ram drives (and dvd-ram drives ONLY) being bigger than other companies DVD-RAM drives. Not all their ODDs.

If you re-read my post, I gave my speculation on their DVD-RAM market share (simply because you did), not the rest of their ODD line-up. Samsung (and LG) is huge in DVD-ROM and CD-ROM and that accounts for a lot of their ODD sales. So what you are discussing is still pure speculation with regards to DVD-RAM and market share. Pure speculation just like mine is pure speculation. We both have no proof of exact sales of DVD-RAM units, and so both have “opinions”…

Panasonic, or even the mother company Matsushita just can’t fit anywhere in the top five. How many units of drives that can write to DVD-RAM has Matsushita sold in the past full ten years?

I don’t know. You don’t know either. If you want to argue this point, send me a PM and discuss it. It’s irrelevant to this discussion, as I’ve mentioned earlier. I would say Panasonic have sold more DVD-RAM multi units than any other company to this date, regardless. They have been the main supporter of the format for many, many years and have supplied their own branded portable units, laptop drives and retail/OEM PC drives for many others for many years.

Once again, totally off-topic argument. I stated MY preference, and you make it sound like I said the market will follow my preference. I have no idea why you are so fixated on market share when we were discussing UDF and FAT32.

Did you see me say that?

And this is relevant to this discussion how?

And the world’s top3 makers tell us what exactly about who sold the most DVD-RAM drives (and DVD-RAM drives ONLY)? Like I said, if you want to discuss market share further (which seems to be your favourite topic), send me a PM.

Regardless of all this, not communicating the benefits or basic features of DVD-RAM in a manual (or not including a UDF driver) is very poor form. Who would use it if not knowing about its benefits? I bet most hardly know what’s possible with the DVD-RAM support in their drives if buying from companies like LG.


Do a better thing next time. I made no “speculation” on LG and Samsung DVD-RAM drive sales. Out of about 100 million drives they produce a year, quite a big percentage of them now include DVD-RAM write features. It was in 2002 that half of LG and Samsung ODD drives were CD-only devices. Most of the other half were CD/DVD combo or DVD-ROM reader-only drives. It rapidly changed in 2003 and then further in 2004. Since the release of LG GMA-/GSA-4081/4082 series products, they’ve been concentrating on DVD writers and all LG DVD writers include DVD-RAM while most of LG’s DVD-RAM drives ever produced by 2010 will be 16x. That’s not a speculation but what every concerned people in the industry knows. That neither of us knows the exact number of units Panasonic has sold to the last digit is not important because that’s not something even Matsushita group’s chief boss remembers. But there are reports, announcements, statistics, analysis, estimations. Without them, who would invest at all? The worldwide ODD market is worth 10 billion USD a year. If you still think market share is something only for arguments, go to other places.