OmniPatcher for LiteOn DVD-Writers

Document Information

Author: The Code Guys (http://codeguys.rpc1.org/)
Date: Last modified on 14 November 2004.
More information, help, and support: OmniPatcher for LiteOn DVD-Writers forum thread.

Disclaimer

This tool is not supported by LiteOn in any way. Furthermore, the authors of this tool are not affiliated with LiteOn in any way. THE AUTHORS OF THIS TOOL WILL TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS TOOL.

Introduction

The OmniPatcher, as the name suggests, is an all-in-one firmware patching tool for LiteOn DVD-writers that lets you customize your firmware to your heart's content and fine-tune your drive's performance.

Using the OmniPatcher, Part I

Getting started!

It's a lot easier to use than our previous tools. :-) Just run it! No command-line fuss, no required components to install, etc.

Loading your file

OmniPatcher can work with both .BIN and .EXE firmwares! You can obtain .BIN firmwares by downloading them from dhc014's firmware page or our firmware page or by extracting the firmware from your drive. You can obtain .EXE firmwares by downloading them from the official LiteOn website, from dhc014's firmware page, or from our firmware page. Please note that the OmniPatcher does not work with the newer scrambled/compressed executable firmware flashers! However, you can find firmwares repackaged in unscrambled firmware flashers on dhc014's firmware page and our firmware page.

Saving your file

When you are done selecting all the changes that you want, clicking "Save As" will allow you to choose a filename for your patched firmware. Once you've picked a filename, OmniPatcher will patch the firmware and save it.

Note: If you loaded a .EXE firmware, you will have the option in the saving dialog to save it either as a .EXE firmware or to save it as a raw .BIN firmware.

Note: All .EXE firmwares that are saved are automatically FlashFixed. FlashFixing does not alter the firmware in any way; it simply removes the flashing restrictions built into the flasher. Files that are already FlashFixed will not be affected by this, and this does not affect .BIN firmwares in any way.

Loading your patched firmware into your drive

If your patched firmware is an .EXE file, simply run the .EXE file to flash your drive with your custom-patched firmware. If your patched firmware is a .BIN file, you will need to use a firmware flashing tool to load the firmware into your drive.

Using the OmniPatcher, Part II

DVD Media Codes

Adjusting writing speeds: This is what was formerly known as "speedhacking." In case you are not familiar with it, this will allow you to specify what speeds your burner will allow you to burn certain media at. This is the tool to use if you want to enable 8x burning on 4x-certified media, for example. To use this, simply scroll down the list until you find the media code corresponding to the media that you are using and highlight it. And then on the right, you can select what speeds the drive will allow you to burn the selected media type at. Please note, however, that not all disc types can burn well at higher-than-rated speeds, and this is especially true for low-quality media. And then there are some media types (like the ever-popular RICOHJPNR01) that actually burn better at the higher 8x speeds. This is why you, the user, are given the option to choose which discs you want to allow overspeeding on--try out different speeds and see what works best for your drive/media combination.

A common question that gets asked is why this doesn't allow people to burn above 4x on their 4x-rated burners. Changing the speed limits for media types is different from overclocking your drive. The latter is when you change your drive's maximum speed allowable speeds, and this tool allows you to then select which of the available types of media the drive will allow to be burned at that maximum speed.

Warning: Although it is possible to overspeed +RW discs, it is not recommended! You could potentially ruin your disc! -RW overspeeding is a bit safer.

Write strategies: Please refer to the special "Write strategies" section of this documentation for more information.

Saving a report: You can save a report of all the detected media codes and their current speed settings to a text file (for reference, easy searching, etc.). To do so, simply click on the "reading glasses" button located under the speed selection checkboxes.

Increase DVD±R/R9/RW reading speed

Selecting this patch will increase the reading speed of recordable, rewritable, and recordable double-layer discs (if supported by the drive) from 6x to 8x for 1S and 2S drives and from 8x to 12x/16x for 3S drives. If this box is grayed out, then it means that your drive is already at the maximum 8x speed for all of the types of media mentioned (some drive models are already at the maximum speed even with the official firmware).

Enable auto-bitsetting

Auto-bitsetting is probably best explained by this: "Without auto-bitsetting, your drive will not set the booktype of your +R/+RW/+R9 burns unless you explicitly tell it to. With auto-bitsetting, your drive will set the booktype of your +R/+RW/+R9 burns unless you explicitly tell it not to." Just as you can turn on bitsetting on a drive without auto-bitsetting by using the official LiteOn booktype tool, you can turn off bitsetting on a drive with auto-bitsetting by using the official LiteOn booktype tool.

Note:The auto-bitsetting patch is disabled for the newer firmwares that can remember the bitsetting settings after a reboot.

Earlier shift (faster burn) for 8x +R

(only for 811S, 851S, and 8x2S) This was one of the two components that made up what used to be called a "burn-adjusted" firmware. This patch will cause your drive to shift into higher speeds earlier and more aggressively, thus speeding up the burn. On some burners, this aggressive shifting may result in lower-quality burns, which is why it is highly recommended that you experiment with it and see if it works well for your particular drive. If it doesn't, then don't use it. If you select this, then you should also select the "force-shifting" patch (if it is available; for some firmwares, such as the _11S firmwares, "force-shifting" is not needed, nor is it an available option).

Utilize "force-shifting" for 6x/8x burns

(only for 851S and 8x2S) This, along with the earlier shift patch (see above), made up the "burn-adjusted" firmwares. In some firmwares, there are OPC checks that are run at the 6x and 8x shift points. If the drive decides that the OPC result is too bad, it will cancel the upshift and wait until later before shifting. This resulted in slower burns, and because of a problem with laser calibration in some of the firmwares (though this problem seems to have disappeared in the newer firmwares), a failed upshift would actually result in higher errors (which is ironic, since the whole point of this check is to reduce errors). This patch will make the OPC check less sensitive, avoiding the failed upshift in most cases. The primary purpose of this patch is to speed up burns by eliminating the unnecessary slowdowns, though sometimes, this has a secondary side-effect of improving burn quality. Like the patch above, it is recommended that you try this out and see if it works well for your particular drive.

Utilize "force-fallback" for 8x +R

(only for 851S and 8x2S) This patch will force the drive to drop its speed towards the end of a 8x +R burn. Selecting this option will slow down your burns (in fact, getting rid of this end-of-disc fallback was the goal of some of our earlier patching work). We have found that there are a number of cases where such fallbacks may be a good idea, so this option has been made available. If you find that the error rates for your burns suffer from a "mountain effect" at the end, this patch may be worth trying out.

Fix the "dead drive blink" / Enable cross-flashing

This patch serves two purposes. First, for people who have "killed" their drives using RPCDE2 or liteonutil, this patch will fix the blinking light problem that results from this. Additionally, this patch can be used to enable crossflashing (e.g., 451S@851S and 812S@832S) in a firmware.

Write strategies

Each media code in the firmware has a "write strategy" assigned to it that will tell the burner how a piece of media should be burned. These write strategies are very closely tied to the burn quality of the media that you feed the drive. In many cases, the write strategy already in place for a particular media code is the best one to use. Using a write strategy that is very badly suited for a media type will most likely result in a bad burn and might potentially have negative effects on the laser of your drive, so going around switching write strategies at random is usually not a good idea, especially if the one specially designed for that media type already works well. However, there are some cases (especially when overspeeding) where using the write strategy for another media type will help improve burn quality. For example, overspeeding a PRODISCR02 to 8x using the PRODISCR02 code will most likely result in a coaster once the disc hits the 6x and 8x regions of the burn. However, if a PRODISCR03 strategy is used, the disc will burn much better when oversped to 8x.

Recommended write strategy replacements

These write strategy replacements, which can be applied by clicking the button labeled Apply recommended DVD media tweaks will apply write strategy replacements that are known to work well. As the name suggests, doing this is usually a good idea. The media codes affected will have a '!' next to them in the media code list.

Manual write strategy replacements

Double-clicking on a +R or -R media code (not RW!) should bring up a list of available write strategies that you can use for this media code. The write strategy currently in use will be highlighted. In the main window, any media code that is using a write strategy other than its own will be marked with a '!'.

Notes

Unlike the old strategy swaps, these replacements are much more elegantly implemented, and they do not carry any ill side-effects for the "host" media code. Also, the speed codes are actually considered to be a part of the write strategy. So you will also be switching your speed code as well. For example, if you switched PRODISCR02 to use PRODISCR03's write strategy, PRODISCR02 will also use PRODISCR03's speed code. In this example, this would mean that any changes to PRODISCR02's speed code using the OmniPatcher will have no effect on PRODISCR02's speed, and any changes to PRODISCR03's speed code using the OmniPatcher will affect both PRODISCR03 and PRODISCR02's speeds.

What are the dangers (if any) of using this tool?

Please be aware that, as with any unofficial firmware that you load into any optical drive, if you load a firmware created by this tool into your drive, you will be voiding your warranty!

The tool itself is fairly safe. There are safeguards placed in the tool to check to make sure that the firmware is correctly patched. Also, none of these patches should pose any danger, physical or otherwise, to your drive. There is no need to back up (or modify) the EEPROM for any of the patched firmwares produced by this tool, and everything that is done can be easily reversed by loading an official firmware back into your drive.