Custom firmware pack with LibreDrive patches

Discussion of LibreDrive mode, compatible drives and firmwares
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mike admin
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Custom firmware pack with LibreDrive patches

Post by mike admin » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:37 pm

Fundamentally, in order for LibreDrive to work, the drive should allow modification of drive microcode in memory. At the time of this writing LibreDrive mode is enabled for about 200 different drive/firmware variations. For most drive models and firmware versions no action is required - the firmware provides an interface (so-called vendor commands) to update the running microcode in drive memory.
Unfortunately these commands are disabled in latest firmware versions, so firmware update is required in order to enable LibreDrive support - either as firmware downgrade, or as firmware upgrade to a patched version.

For the moment two patched firmware types are available:

"DE" firmware
This is an official firmware image with a single byte changed, so this firmware can be flashed over the latest firmware. The changed byte enables firmware downgrade. No other changes are made to firmware image. This is a good option to downgrade a firmware and get back the features that were available in previous versions, when previous firmware versions are available.

"MK" firmware
This is a custom firmware made by MakeMKV team. MK firmware is a patched official firmware image, with changes as minimal as possible, only to enable LibreDrive support. The MK firmware has the following properties:
  • Made from the latest available official firmware.
  • Re-enabled vendor commands to update microcode in memory.
  • Re-enabled ability to read UHD discs (if drive was capable, and disabled in firmware).
  • Removed firmware downgrade check (if present in firmware).
  • No other changes.
Specifically, MK patch does not meddle with AACS code in firmware and contains no bugfixes, or workarounds or other changes of any sort. For example, if official firmware image does not allow reading AACS2 metadata with AACS1 host certificates (so-called "friendly drive"), MK patch would not change that. For BDXL compatible drives MK patch would re-enable ability to read UHD discs, but it would not fix the "sleep" bug, or any other firmware bugs. All MK patch does - it makes the drive LibreDrive-compatible, nothing more.

The latest MK firmware pack is available for download at https://www.makemkv.com/download/mk-fir ... 191206.zip .

(this topic will be updated with detailed flashing instructions later)

Please note that there are different drives with exactly the same name but with different hardware. For example BH16NS40 and BH16NS40-NS50 are different models. Another example - there are three different BU40 models - Taiwan, USA and Europe. If unsure, do not flash, and wait for LibreDrive flasher app to be released.

For now, feel free to update, if you know what you are doing. The images are very safe - you can't brick your drive if using "drive self-update" method. Please pay close attention for the drive model - the patched flasher allows a cross-flash and will happily let you change your drive model. This might be not exactly what you want.

mike admin
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Re: Custom firmware pack with LibreDrive patches

Post by mike admin » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:20 pm

Firmware pack updated. Added ASUS firmware based on 3.10 and A204.

mike admin
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Re: Custom firmware pack with LibreDrive patches

Post by mike admin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:21 pm

Firmware pack updated.

mike admin
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Re: Custom firmware pack with LibreDrive patches

Post by mike admin » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:34 pm

Firmware pack updated. Added latest MK FW for BP50NB40, BU40(Buffalo) and WH16NS60. Thanks to everyone who helped with obtaining original images, you guys made this possible.

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Re: Custom firmware pack with LibreDrive patches

Post by mike admin » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:52 pm

Firmware pack updated, added BC12B1ST 3.11, BC12D2HT 3.11, WH14NS40 1.04 , this pack also contains all previous MK firmwares in "old" directory.

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