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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Anyone firmware-upgraded their G5's Sony DW-U21A?

Anyone firmware-upgraded their G5's Sony DW-U21A?
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Matthew Attoe
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May 1, 2005, 12:29 PM
 
Hi,

Firstly, not really sure which forum this should have been posted in, so if necessary, please feel free to move it somewhere more apt.

My G5 shipped with a Sony DW-U21A Superdrive and after some digging around on the Internet, I've discovered that it's actually a rebadged Lite-on SOHW-1653S, which is a dual-layer Superdrive, that has been crippled by Apple.

It seems like there are various firmware-upgrades and patches that can be applied to restore it to its former glory.

Has anyone tried this and had success? Also, is the Lite-on natively supported under Tiger?

It would appear that the drive needs to be connected to a PC, but does anyone know of any Mac-way of doing this? I have a friend with a PC, so guess I could go that way if I had to.

Finally, what is the best firmware to use - I've read of a CS09 but is there anything better?

Many thanks in advance,

Matthew
( Last edited by Matthew Attoe; May 2, 2005 at 04:38 AM. )
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Taipan
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May 11, 2005, 02:48 PM
 
*bump*

Hi!

In contrast to what I've heard so far, a German magazine reported that flashing the drive with the LiteOn firmware will have no influence on Mac compatibility. I wonder if that's true, has anyone tried it?
     
discotronic
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May 17, 2005, 10:54 PM
 
I am wondering this myself. I don't mind that it will void my warranty but it would be nice to have a DL drive.
     
Matthew Attoe  (op)
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May 19, 2005, 05:44 AM
 
HI,

I'd almost forgotten about this thread.

I got a friend to try it for me and it seemed to work fine.

I'm pretty certain that system profiler reports it as supporting +DL. I'll check tonight.

In the meantime tho, I put a 109 in the G5 and now have this Lite-On in a FireWire enclosure.

Cheers,

Matthew
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Matthew Attoe  (op)
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May 19, 2005, 12:09 PM
 
Hello,

As promised, this is from System Profiler regarding what was my Sony DW-U21A and is now my Lite-on 1653S.

LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1653S:

Firmware Revision: CS0M
Interconnect: FireWire
Burn Support: Yes (Unsupported)
Profile Path: None
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
Media: No
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discotronic
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May 19, 2005, 01:14 PM
 
Thanks for the follow-up. Does it support burning under iTunes without PatchBurn? Either way I will be doing this to mine. Very cool
     
Taipan
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May 19, 2005, 02:54 PM
 
Today I read in another magazine that Tiger's burning support isn't restricted at all, it just supports all burners. And since they are the creators of Patchburn they probably know what they are talking about...
     
Matthew Attoe  (op)
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May 19, 2005, 04:44 PM
 
Haven't tried burning from itunes... just toast... sorry

Glad the info was helpful tho.

Cheers

Matthew
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djfern
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Jun 2, 2005, 10:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Matthew Attoe
Hello,

As promised, this is from System Profiler regarding what was my Sony DW-U21A and is now my Lite-on 1653S.

Hi there, so did you end up hooking it up to a PC? And could you provide a link to the firmware, or at least a good filename to search for?

thanks!

david.
     
Matthew Attoe  (op)
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Jun 3, 2005, 08:04 AM
 
Yes, had to hook it up to my friends PC, which I guess makes the drive a bit "dirty" now

Can't remember where I got the firmware from now, but if you google dw-u21a and then follow the links for the xlr8yourmac pages you should be able to track it down - that's certainly the route I took, anyway.

Thanks,

Matthew
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maisonpelletier
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Jun 9, 2005, 01:40 AM
 
hello,

sorry to bother yo but i have a little question,

i have a:
Machine Name: Power Mac G5
Machine Model: PowerMac7,3
CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (2.2)
Number Of CPUs: 2
CPU Speed: 2 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 1 GHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.1.8f7

with

Model: SONY DVD RW DW-U21A
Revision: AADB
Serial Number:
Detachable Drive: No
Protocol: ATAPI
Unit Number: 0
Socket Type: Internal

I would like to flash my DVD to be able to watch DVD from all region but i don't understant what to do...

i have read in the forum that you did it but i am not sure to understant how.

Is there a posibility to flash my DVD player?

thanx for your help,

Charles
     
macmad
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Jun 9, 2005, 11:07 AM
 
I have just successfully flashed my G5's Sony-U21A, its now a multi-region, dual-layer Lite-On SOHW-1653S. It is necessary to temporarily put the drive in a PC to flash it, but otherwise the process is relatively painless.

Back in the G5 (running Tiger), I've tested the flashed drive with iTunes, iDVD, DVD Player, and of course Toast 6. All work just fine, including booting (Patchburner doesn't seem to be required with Tiger).

Everything can be found with Google, but here are some links to get you going.
http://codeguys.rpc1.org/firmwares.html
http://dhc014.rpc1.org/LtnRPC/

A region free drive also needs a region free player!
http://xvi.rpc1.org/region.html
     
Taipan
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Jun 9, 2005, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by macmad
A region free drive also needs a region free player!
http://xvi.rpc1.org/region.html
To play DVDs region free or to work at all?
     
macmad
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Jun 9, 2005, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Taipan
To play DVDs region free or to work at all?
Apples DVD player has a region lock in addition to the drive... if you make the drive region free, you will still only be able to play R1 or R2 (or whatever) unless DVD player is patched as well. Region X will allow you to change the region code Apple DVD Player is set to.
     
discotronic
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Jun 10, 2005, 08:53 PM
 
I flashed mine today. Here is how you do it:

On the Windows PC and using the links provided by macmad go to:

http://codeguys.rpc1.org/firmwares.html

Scroll down and find:

LiteOn SOHW-1653S

Download:

CS02/CS07/CS09 - stock - unscrambled (old)

Next go to:

http://codeguys.rpc1.org/patchers.html

Download OmniPatcher 1.4.3

Open OmniPatcher
Click Load at the bottom and navigate to where you have the firmware files located (the files you just downloaded)
Select the 1653S.CS09.stock firmware file
Click Open

In the check boxes you need to check:

Increase DVD+/-R/R9/RW reading speed to 16x
and
Fix the "dead drive blink"/Enable cross-flashing

Click Save As
Give the file a name and click Save
Navigate to where you saved the file
Double click the saved file
Click update
After the firmware is updated restart the PC and make sure that the drive is working
Reinstall the drive in your Mac

After the update my drive is much faster than it was before but it is also louder. Extra speed equals extra noise. No big deal though. It is recognized by iTunes and Disk Utility. The System Profiler reports it as being a supported drive under Tiger. Here is what the System Profiler says about the drive:

LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1653S:

Firmware Revision: CS09
Interconnect: ATAPI
Burn Support: Yes (Unsupported)
Profile Path: None
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
Media: No

It was very easy to do and saved me from having to buy another drive for DL support. Well worth it. I'm actually glad that Apple put these crippled drives in

Here is a link to the specs of your new drive:

http://www.liteonit.com/ODD/English/..._sohw1653s.asp

It is actually a faster drive than the SuperDrive that is in the new high end PowerMac except it can only write a DVD-R at 12x.
( Last edited by discotronic; Jun 10, 2005 at 09:03 PM. )
     
nonhuman
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Jun 10, 2005, 09:03 PM
 
If all you want to do is play non region 1 DVDs, just use VLC as your DVD player.
     
bradoesch
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Jun 11, 2005, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman
If all you want to do is play non region 1 DVDs, just use VLC as your DVD player.
I think he's trying to enable the dual layer feature that was intentionally crippled by Apple.
     
nonhuman
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Jun 11, 2005, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by bradoesch
I think he's trying to enable the dual layer feature that was intentionally crippled by Apple.
I was replying to maisonpelletier, who seems to only want to be able to play non region 1 discs. Guess I should have made that more clear.
     
Todd Madson
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Jun 12, 2005, 01:51 AM
 
I suppose the PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-117D that's in my G5/2.5 won't be changed by
this firmware patch?

Of course, dual layer internal DVD drives are inexpensive at PC shops and it wouldn't
take much to upgrade but a freebie is a good thing.
     
discotronic
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Jun 12, 2005, 09:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Todd Madson
I suppose the PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-117D that's in my G5/2.5 won't be changed by
this firmware patch?

Of course, dual layer internal DVD drives are inexpensive at PC shops and it wouldn't
take much to upgrade but a freebie is a good thing.
Take a look at this link:

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/tips/Flas...-117guide.html

It has all the info you need to turn it into a DL drive.
     
bradoesch
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Jun 12, 2005, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman
I was replying to maisonpelletier, who seems to only want to be able to play non region 1 discs. Guess I should have made that more clear.
No wonder your reply made so little sense to the OP's question!
     
Madrag
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Jun 14, 2005, 05:37 AM
 
great thread!
I'll now try to find a PC and update mine.

thanks!
     
french44
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Jun 23, 2005, 11:48 AM
 
I updated my Sony DW-u21A to the Lite-on 1653S like you just mentioned. But mine does not give me "Burn Support" like yours did. Did you have to update something else to get it to be able to burn?

Originally Posted by Matthew Attoe
Hello,

As promised, this is from System Profiler regarding what was my Sony DW-U21A and is now my Lite-on 1653S.

LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1653S:

Firmware Revision: CS0M
Interconnect: FireWire
Burn Support: Yes (Unsupported)
Profile Path: None
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
Media: No
     
discotronic
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Jun 23, 2005, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by french44
I updated my Sony DW-u21A to the Lite-on 1653S like you just mentioned. But mine does not give me "Burn Support" like yours did. Did you have to update something else to get it to be able to burn?
Does it work at all?

I had issues the first time I updated the firmware. I just used the .exe to update it and I couldn't get the drive to work at all. It was recognized but would just spit the disks out. Netxt time around it went smoothly after using OmniPatcher.

I would flash it again and see if that fixes you problem.
     
french44
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Jun 23, 2005, 03:29 PM
 
I did use the OmniPatcher from the beginning. Right now I'm at the CS09 firmware and it recognizes the drive but doesn't work at all. I have also tried the CSOM firmware. When you used the OmniPatcher, what settings did you change to make it work, if any.

Originally Posted by discotronic
Does it work at all?

I had issues the first time I updated the firmware. I just used the .exe to update it and I couldn't get the drive to work at all. It was recognized but would just spit the disks out. Netxt time around it went smoothly after using OmniPatcher.

I would flash it again and see if that fixes you problem.
     
french44
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Jun 29, 2005, 09:43 AM
 
discotronic, what firmware did you use to get the drive to work?
     
french44
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Jun 29, 2005, 11:29 AM
 
I was finally able to get it working, thanks to PatchBurn3. Thanks for the help.
     
cscade
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Jul 30, 2005, 01:36 PM
 
I highly recommend this mod. I've been running on the LiteOn firmware for about a week now, and there are no complaints. It also cut MacTheRipper's read time in half for ripping a DVD to disc. The only thing I have not tried yet is DL burning, but everything else works as advertized, I can verify that.
     
SFJAH
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Jul 31, 2005, 01:58 AM
 
If you download the latest version of OmniPatcher 2.4.2 (http://codeguys.rpc1.org/patchers.html) and open it on a pc (or in VirtualPC with drive mounted in external USB housing) with a command line switch of -customids (i.e., omnipatcher.exe -customids) you can give your drive a label that makes it appear as mac firmware and then you'll have +DL support in iDVD and it will be (Apple Installed / Supported) drive in System Profiler. Make it drive label Sony DWQ28A KAS7 firmware label.

Enjoy
( Last edited by SFJAH; Aug 31, 2005 at 11:15 AM. )
     
SFJAH
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Jul 31, 2005, 02:04 AM
 
P.S. If you buy OEM version of Sony DWQ28A for $50 and apply this patch and change front bezel you will have the latest superdrive installed (really a rebadged Lite-On SOHW-1693S). Don't forget to use latest firmware KS0A (http://codeguys.rpc1.org/firmwares.html). You'll also have _DL support in Toast.

Happy upgrades
( Last edited by SFJAH; Aug 31, 2005 at 11:19 AM. )
     
Madrag
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Aug 1, 2005, 05:18 AM
 
Nice one SFJAH, I'll try that...

Why does apple cripple the drives?
     
Madrag
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Aug 2, 2005, 10:53 AM
 
I've just flashed mine, but I have to warn everyone (as already warned in this thread, but I'll have to stress it more).

The drive is NOISY NOISY NOISY...

I'm regretfull and thinking of going back ;(

edit: (tried to edit this several times, but the forum had problems...)
the drive is very silent when viewing DVD-ROM...
So, my mistake was to set the read speed to 16x... I'll re-flash it with a lower speed.
( Last edited by Madrag; Aug 2, 2005 at 03:53 PM. )
     
Todd Madson
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Aug 2, 2005, 05:31 PM
 
That link said some Apple users are sensitive and drop to the floor in agony with
the slightest sound. For me I don't much care since I've played in rock bands for
years so I won't hear a difference.

I still haven't done this flash, I will at some point but since I have no dual layer
discs at the moment I'll wait.
     
Madrag
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Aug 2, 2005, 06:12 PM
 
I play heavy metal and it bothers me

I posted the Noise warning so that everyone is warned. If you decide having DL and a faster writer with a noisier drive is ok, then ok.

I'm probably going to keep it, but swap it with another of my macs, and when I need to use DL or rip DVDs, I'll use the flashed one.
     
Madrag
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Aug 8, 2005, 05:59 AM
 
I re-flashed the drive with the default speed, and it solved the noisy part (at least for DVDs, the CDs still are quit noisy

just my share.
     
AkleyMac
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Jan 27, 2006, 05:00 PM
 
Hey guys,

Just wanted to thank u all, particularly macmad and discotronic. Just flashed my drive - works a treat. Thanks again!
     
AkleyMac
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Jan 27, 2006, 05:26 PM
 
On further testing... there seems to be a stability issue. Verification is failing on recorded DVDs - has anyone else had this?
     
discotronic
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Jan 27, 2006, 06:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by AkleyMac
On further testing... there seems to be a stability issue. Verification is failing on recorded DVDs - has anyone else had this?
What program are you using? I have Toast 7 and haven't had any problems.

You might want to try a different brand DVD to see if that might be the problem.
     
AkleyMac
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Jan 28, 2006, 02:41 PM
 
Hi,

I am using Toast 7 as well, with TDK DVD-Rs. Verification has reported unreadable secotrs on a video DVD, ripped with MacTheRipper and a copy of the iWork '06 DVD. I have, however, had success with a copy of Final Cut on a Tesco DVD-R, but Final Cut is only around 1GB, and that was my last non-TDK disk (will get some more on Monday). However, it did work with TDK disks before the flash.

Also, after two consecutive fails, I restored the EEPROM using the EEPROM utility on the codeguys website using a backup I made before I flashed the drive, but it still registers as Lite-On - have I done something wrong, and should I reflash it with Lite-On firmware again?

I'm sorry - I probably sound like a complete idiot.

Thanks,
AkleyMac
     
AkleyMac
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Jan 28, 2006, 07:41 PM
 
Hi again,

Sorry i seem to be posting a lot recently, but almost everything I burn seems to be unreadable since the flash, and the problem is getting worse, and I mis-read the instructions on backing up the firmware.

Does anyone still have backed up firmware from when they flashed their U21A, and if so, would they be able to e-mail it me (pm me for my address)?

Many thanks,
AkleyMac
     
gilwe
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Feb 8, 2006, 07:34 PM
 
Hi,

I followed discotronic's instructions. The drive was recognized but didn't work properly (I could not read files, only see the exsitenece of a CD in it).

Then I reloaded the 1653S.CS09.stock file and only check the "dead drive blink" option and set it to show Sony DW-D23A as the drive name.

Works perfectly so far and Nero has burnt a DVD at x12 with no problem.

I think the default speed settings should not be changed - the drive has it's phisical limits after all.
     
ThorsHammer
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Mar 31, 2007, 12:40 AM
 
How are your drives doing?

Have any of you that updated the firmware on your dvd drive had any problems burning to a 16x DVD-R? It appears that there are quite a few people (with the non-upgraded Sony U21A) experiencing this problem now.

Also, I notice that you refer to the Lite-on SOHW-1653S however codeguys say the Sony U21A is a SOHW-1613S (see codeguys.rpc1.org - Overview of LiteOn/Sony DVD-Writers).

The Lite-on link doesn't work from the code guys but this one does:
LITE-ON IT Corporation America - Firmware, Manuals, and Others

The specifications for this drive are:
DVD functions:
Write to DVD+R and DVD-R (recordable DVD) media
Write to DVD+RW and DVD-RW (re-writable DVD) media
Read DVD-ROM, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R9 and DVD-R9
discs.
Write to double-layer DVD+R (recordable DVD+R9) and dual-layer DVD-R
(recordable DVD-R9) media*
Read or write to DVD-RAM media*

*Only specific drives support LightScribe, DVD-RAM, double-layer and/or dual-layer
recording. Refer to your drive’s original package.

CD functions:
Write to CD-R (recordable CD) media
Write to ultra-speed CD-RW (rewritable CD) media
Read CD-ROM and CD-R data media, and CD-RW and CD-DA (audio) media
( Last edited by ThorsHammer; Mar 31, 2007 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Had to correct the URL's as the closing ")" was being included in the address. Sorry about that.)
     
CristiMAN
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Apr 20, 2007, 10:52 PM
 
I'm having problems with my drive SONY DVD RW DW-U21A. I cant seem to record any DVD-r that is 16x. I've never upgraded as it sounded a bit complicated, but now I wish APPLE or SONY would just release a simple firmware update.

I'm using a G5 double 1.8 ghz/2 gb RAM in OSX 10,3,9.

Help please!!!!!
     
ThorsHammer
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Apr 20, 2007, 11:21 PM
 
Upgrading yourself or buying a new one is likely the only way you're going to be able to write to a 16x (refers to the maximum write speed that the disk can be used at) dvd.

Otherwise you should check out your local stores for some older 8x dvds
     
   
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