Reversion

Forum for discussions about UHD-capable dives
Post Reply
aloha
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:56 pm

Reversion

Post by aloha » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:36 am

Hello:

I have read numerous and countless threads on how to change my LG WH16NS40-NS50 (date stamp: 12/2019, Firmware: 1.04) to be UHD friendly. What worked was a simple 2 step procedure:

1. Execute "BH14NS40_N1.00-A4_patched.exe"
2. Cross flash the firmware to "HL-DT-ST-BD-RE_WH16NS60-1.02-NM00100-211810291936.bin" in order to avoid the "sleep bug". I found this particular firmware in the "mk-firmware-pack-20200214.zip"

(The above worked for me. No guarantee for you as YMMV.)

I first made sure there wouldn't be any interruptions from Hard Drive spinning down, Screen saver becoming active, etc. Then, while holding my breath I preformed the cross flash. System rebooted, and when I fired up MakeMKV, it reported my WH16NS40-NS50 was now a WH16NS60 Rev. 1.02, Firmware Date or 2118-10-29 19:36. So... To my surprise everything worked great!

Then it dawned on me, in my haste, I never made a backup copy of the "Original" firmware (Ver. 1.04) prior to the cross flash. Why should I bother you may ask. True, but what if I wanted to revert back to the original firmware, IE: a factory reset? Now my guess is for that particular drive unit, there is no hope of ever going back. If so, no worries. But it did make me curious. So I have ordered a new WH16NS40, and in the mean time started to do research, so as to become more educated.

It seems that the only way to get a dump/extract/etc of the firmware is to use a program titled "DOSFlash V2.0" as far as I can find. One of its requirements is that the motherboard has to support having the SATA configured as IDE vs SATA. Hell, even AHCI is not acceptable. This is a huge problem as most modern motherboards don't even support the "IDE" option via BIOS any longer. Of course I tried the LG support site and in true form they do not even list 1.04 firmware.

So, being I'm trying to learn... I ask the following:

How does one dump/extract the firmware currently on a drive using modern day equipment (IE Window 10, a Windows based flash/extract program, motherboard set for SATA drive, etc)? There has got to be a way.

No way do I believe it can't be done. I have seen early threads indicating many hoops had to be jumped BEFORE even a firmware downgrade could be preformed. Now it can be done in 2 steps (well, at least for me AND I didn't have to find a pre-dinosaur era motherboard). Further, I can't believe after all this time, nothing has been done to advance how to get a dump/extract of the firmware currently on the drive on modern day equipment? Just does not seem logical.

What about the argument that each drive is unique and each has its own calibration settings etc.? While that might seem plausible on the surface, I believe there is a slight flaw in logic as these thing are coming off a factory line. The time requirement to adjust each and everyone would not be cost feasible. There has to be some variance built into the firmware. Granted I'm sure the factory line "pulls" a unit from time to time to insure quality control, but to do every single unit? I don't think so.

Lastly, while great strides have been made to advance downgrading firmware, I believe the ability to dump/extract newer versions of firmware is warranted as manufactures are going to constantly update their firmware in a effort to prevent future firmware changes outside of the factory (history has already proven this). This way, the "brains/geniuses" can look at the code, provide a "factory" firmware code in case someone desires to go back to "factory" AND also provide a "current" modified firmware. The "current" modified firmware may enable faster read speeds or correct bugs from previous versions etc.

My apologies for being long, and if this this in the wrong area, whoever is in charge please move to the appropriate area.

So to repeat, any help on how to extract/dump the current firmware on the drive using modern day equipment (and settings) would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your valuable time.

A

mike admin
Posts: 3898
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:26 am
Contact:

Re: Reversion

Post by mike admin » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:11 am

The drive has a single flash chip that stores all firmware-related data.
Simplified, it is divided into 3 partitions:
1. boot loader
2. main firmware
3. user data (laser data, aacs keys and revocation record, serial number, drive region, etc).

When you flash the firmware using "safe" self-update mode (i.e. not with dosflash), then (depending on the method) you update either (2) or (1+2). Firmware image (bin file) is (1+2).

All versions of firmware, including highly-locked recent ones allow you to read and back up (3). This can be currently done with sdftool.
Old firmware versions allow you to read entire flash.

If firmware is LibreDrive compatible, then technically it is possible to read and write any region of the flash. This is not yet implemented in SDF payload and sdftool, but in theory can be easily added.

So, if you want to go to factory defaults, you would need to flash regular vanilla 1.04 . LG stopped publishing firmware update images for a while, the latest downloadable version is 1.02 IIRC.

And yes, making a backup of flash user area is highly recommended. If you have user area backup, and firmware image, you can always restore your drive.

aloha
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Reversion

Post by aloha » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:01 am

Hello:

WOW! Never would I have thought of receiving a response from Mike Admin. Thank you for taking time to respond.

I never knew MakeMKV was that powerful and had hidden features. Makes me so glad I donated long ago.
Wish I knew about the hidden feature as my life would have been way simpler to get a firmware dump vs, the hoops I attempted and ultimately failed (See Status update for further details). I count myself lucky I didn't boof/bork/trash/screw the pooch on my 2nd drive.

I also didn't know all the underlying things that are going on in regards to the drive itself. Truly amazing that you keep up with all this and your head does not explode! Thank you for that heads up.


Status update:
I received the 2nd drive and spend all day yesterday (03/03/2020) trying one method after another trying to dump the firmware (1.04) with no success. The methods I was using involved DOSFLASH (DOS and Windows based) and every time I was met with failure (in the sense that DOSFLASH could not access the drive). I was using a borrowed/donated system from a friend that ONLY allowed SATA mode to be IDE. There was no way possible via the BIOS to even try to set the SATA mode to any other option. It was IDE or nothing (a DOSFLASH requirement). My plan was to dump the firmware and run. I tried different "flavors" of DOSFLASH (IE: different dates, DOS vs Windows, 32 vs 64 bit, patched for LG, used a portable Win7 setup, etc.). I joined sites as ALL required membership in order to download associated files. In the end NONE worked, TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!

In the end, in a fit of frustration I just flashed the newly acquired drive to "HL-DT-ST-BD-RE_WH16NS60-1.02-NM00100-211810291936.bin" via the safe way. And, just as before, it worked without fail. I tested the drive by backing up a 4K disk - no errors. I grabbed a windows 7 ISO and burned it to a DVD - no errors! SOLID!!!

Some might say "lucky". Not really. As reported countless times "mike admin" has made a fantastic product! And now I just learned it has a hidden feature to read or flash the firmware of a optical drive (vs the unsafe way via DOSFLASH), if said drive meets the requirements of a "Friendly Drive". SPECTACULAR! In fact, doing a bit more reading about "sdftool" and using it via command prompt and "Bob's you uncle" it spit out info. So simple. I feel like a complete idiot. BUT, I did learn several things, so I felt good about that as my goal was to be educated.

Do I care I can't get back to factory? Not really as I have no intention of going back anyway. AND, once flashed for 4K capability, why would you? Further, these are the only two drives I have ever flashed as most times the drive gets installed and is used as is. The fact I flashed two drives, they read and write without errors, both can handle 4K disk - BONUS!!!

As an experiment, I did try the latest version of DVDFAB on the borrowed/donated system (NOTE: system was setup as a fresh windows 10 install with all current updates etc). When I started DVDFAB no problems, But when I tried to work with a 4K disk - no dice. In fact, DVDFAB wanted to "sell" me the ability to work with 4K disk(s). NOPE! It was just one more reason why I bailed from them. MakeMKV has it as a "free" option to configure. Granted you have got to do some leg work, but for free, I didn't mind reading as much as I could. Plus, from ALL the reading there are a few individuals who are willing to help and even offer pre-configured drives. They also ALL seem to get great reviews from individuals who have used their service or received their help. No way was I going to get that from the competition.

In case you are wondering, I used DVDFAB when I didn't know better (not saying it's a bad product). I bought the "Full" package (IE: spent way to much $$$). In the end, MakeMKV does everything I did with DVDFAB, but for way less money!!! Plus, it does not call home for each disk, does NOT limit how many disks that can be worked on in a given day, etc. I just wish I had found MakeMKV before the other, and I would have saved a lots of $$$. And now it works with 4K disks (if the drive is friendly), for no additional cost! Another reason to switch.

NOPE, never going back!


Thank you again for your valuable time.
A

harryredcap
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:02 pm

Re: Reversion

Post by harryredcap » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:16 pm

Hello Aloha,

Would you be so kind to tell me what command line you used to backup your original firmware.

I have just received a LG BH16NS40 Firmware v1.04 NS51. I do not see a 1.04mk firmware to support this drive.

My first important task is to backup the current firmware.
I would be grateful if you could help me as, I have burned all my midnight oil and most of today but getting nowhere.

Harry

aloha
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Reversion

Post by aloha » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:42 pm

Hello:

Apologies for the delay. TBH, I never saw your response.

Hopefully you either waited or found this info somewhere else. But, in case you didn't find it somewhere else or that it might help others...
Of course, I'll be happy to respond. Please be aware the normal caveats (this worked for me but no guarantees it will work for you) kind of stuff.

Much of the info I gleaned from posts from the various threads. So that stated, lets jump in...

Here is my quick and dirty (QND) to dump the firmware:
Note:
To be done from the standard MakeMKV install location
C:\Program Files (x86)\MakeMKV


From the command line issue the following commands:

1. makemkvcon.exe/makemkvcon64.exe f -l (list all optical drives)
2. makemkvcon.exe/makemkvcon64.exe f -d E: --help all (Help file for ALL sdftool commands)

3. makemkvcon.exe/makemkvcon64.exe f -d E: dump [full | user | auto] -o C:\Users\[Username]\Downloads
Where:
64 = 64 bit executable
-d = (followed by) optical drive letter designation (IE: drive D:, E:, F:, etc)
E: = drive letter of optical drive to be used/flashed
dump = dump specified drive's firmware (see below for command detail)
-o = specify output path for location the ROM dump file
path = actual path where generated ROM as a TAR file will be saved


Further help with specific options:
dump [auto|full|user] dumps firmware image
dump full - dumps full rom image (if not disabled in firmware)
dump user - dumps non-volatile user data
dump auto - dumps full image if possible, user data otherwise

After executing the command (line #3), the sdftool dumps the firmware to the path where you designated after the -o. You will need something to open the TAR file and located within the TAR file will be the firmware.

Hope this helps, and have a great day!
A

harryredcap
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:02 pm

Re: Reversion

Post by harryredcap » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:57 pm

aloha wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:42 pm
Hello:

Apologies for the delay. TBH, I never saw your response.

Hopefully you either waited or found this info somewhere else. But, in case you didn't find it somewhere else or that it might help others...
Of course, I'll be happy to respond. Please be aware the normal caveats (this worked for me but no guarantees it will work for you) kind of stuff.

Much of the info I gleaned from posts from the various threads. So that stated, lets jump in...

Here is my quick and dirty (QND) to dump the firmware:
Note:
To be done from the standard MakeMKV install location
C:\Program Files (x86)\MakeMKV


From the command line issue the following commands:

1. makemkvcon.exe/makemkvcon64.exe f -l (list all optical drives)
2. makemkvcon.exe/makemkvcon64.exe f -d E: --help all (Help file for ALL sdftool commands)

3. makemkvcon.exe/makemkvcon64.exe f -d E: dump [full | user | auto] -o C:\Users\[Username]\Downloads
Where:
64 = 64 bit executable
-d = (followed by) optical drive letter designation (IE: drive D:, E:, F:, etc)
E: = drive letter of optical drive to be used/flashed
dump = dump specified drive's firmware (see below for command detail)
-o = specify output path for location the ROM dump file
path = actual path where generated ROM as a TAR file will be saved


Further help with specific options:
dump [auto|full|user] dumps firmware image
dump full - dumps full rom image (if not disabled in firmware)
dump user - dumps non-volatile user data
dump auto - dumps full image if possible, user data otherwise

After executing the command (line #3), the sdftool dumps the firmware to the path where you designated after the -o. You will need something to open the TAR file and located within the TAR file will be the firmware.

Hope this helps, and have a great day!
A
Thank you for info, and I have now successfully dumped and raw flashed my drives. A very handy built in tool. Much quicker than the patched flasher. Will be pretty good when the front end development is completed in later builds of MakeMKV and in turn this will be brilliant for MakeMKV customers.

A brilliant product and great support, no more Dvdfab for me.

Much Appreciated Aloha

aloha
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Reversion

Post by aloha » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:38 am

Hello:

Glad I could help. Actually all the credit needs to go to Mike. It's his genius for developing the sdftool (and it's not even done)!

I'm in agreement with you about DVDFab, I bailed from it long ago.

A

heatr216
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 4:18 pm

Re: Reversion

Post by heatr216 » Tue May 19, 2020 4:37 pm

Trying to dump WH16NS40 1.00 NS50...

"Unable to load sdf.bin"
"Internal error 0xfffefffff"

Tried as admin and not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Billycar11
Posts: 1387
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:49 am

Re: Reversion

Post by Billycar11 » Wed May 20, 2020 6:25 am

heatr216 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 4:37 pm
Trying to dump WH16NS40 1.00 NS50...

"Unable to load sdf.bin"
"Internal error 0xfffefffff"

Tried as admin and not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
dump or flash.
either way 1.15.1 made flashing harder go to 1.15.0 and it will work.
also the tool is really not for dumping its for flashing but maybe 1.00 does not have all the protections for reading. reading 1.04+ takes hours and remote help from the developer.
Buy a UHD drive from the guide and how to video maker: https://www.makemkv.com/forum/viewtopic ... 20&t=17831
UHD Drives Guide: https://www.makemkv.com/forum/viewtopic ... 16&t=19634
Auto self flash kit Email me for one Billycar5924@gmail.com

asmcom
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:26 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Reversion

Post by asmcom » Wed May 20, 2020 9:44 am

heatr216 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 4:37 pm
Trying to dump WH16NS40 1.00 NS50...

"Unable to load sdf.bin"
"Internal error 0xfffefffff"

Tried as admin and not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
As Billy said roll back to 1.15.0

makemkvcon64 f -d E: dump -o c:\users\????????
makemkvcon f -d E: dump auto
makemkvcon f -d E: dump user
makemkvcon f -d F: help


Launch CMD as administrator

Hope this helps

Asmcom :mrgreen:
b***t (Fantastic service, comms and item. Best ebay experience ever)
h***i (49) Best communication ever, extremely fast shipping, excellent seller!
Click Here! https://bit.ly/2ybfMU1
The customer is always right :mrgreen:

Post Reply