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Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

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Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby dodecahedron on Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:30 am

YES!
just got a Toshiba SD-M1712. :P

one of the last ones i guess. i called up some 10 vedors/computer shops, and most of them didn't have it, had the SD-M1802.

anyway, the tech at the shop where i bought it told me it was a Multi-Zone drive. being suspicious i inquired further, and was told that they actually flash the Toshiba drives with a Multi-Zone firmware when they get them.

what i would like to know is: how can i tell if this is THE "official" hacked firmware by hijacker from rpc1.org?
(i asked the guy where he got the firmware he flashed the drive but he couldn't tell me exactly. had some link but it was broken. it definitly wasn't http://hijacker.rpc1.org/toshiba_nolimit/ , maybe a mirror?)
is there another firmware about?

Nero InfoTool info:
the drive is identified as Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1712, firmware version J004.
in the DVD features:
Region Control: RPC I
Region Code: All
Changes Left user: n/a vendor: n/a.

Device Manager -> DVD Region tab:
Changes remaining: 2
Current Region: Not Selected

after reading here http://hijacker.rpc1.org/toshiba_nolimit/ i suspec that this is indeed hijacker's hacked firmware. is there a way to confirm this?
is it possible to flash the hacked J004 firmware "over" the current one (just to be on the safe side)? is it recommended/not recommended?

BTW what does Current Region: not selected in Device Manager mean?

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Postby dhc014 on Thu Dec 04, 2003 3:18 pm

You can feel confident that it is Hijacker's firmware. Since it starts with a J, it is a no-limit firmware, and the drive shows region free and still works, so the patch was probably applied correctly.

The Windows DVD Region Tab is very wacky, if it says that the current region is not selected, then you might lose a change when you next change the region.
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby Han on Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:46 pm

dodecahedron wrote:is it possible to flash the hacked J004 firmware "over" the current one (just to be on the safe side)? is it recommended/not recommended?

It's possible, but not recommended. You won't gain anything by reflashing the drive...

It's strange though that my Toshiba shows no DVD Region Tab in Device Manager. Or if I put it the other way, it's strange that yours shows DVD Region Tab. :-?
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby dodecahedron on Thu Dec 04, 2003 7:16 pm

Han wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:is it possible to flash the hacked J004 firmware "over" the current one (just to be on the safe side)? is it recommended/not recommended?

It's possible, but not recommended. You won't gain anything by reflashing the drive...

why do you say it's not recommended (except for the usual warnings about flashing: power loss = dead drive)?

Han wrote:It's strange though that my Toshiba shows no DVD Region Tab in Device Manager. Or if I put it the other way, it's strange that yours shows DVD Region Tab. :-?

one more reason to be suspicious...
are you running WinXP?

i want to flash to be sure that this is indeed "the official" hacked firmware. not that i'm doubting you dave...
i guess i also want to do it just because i want to do it... :D let's call it a "learing experience".
so far i've only flash a few times my Plextor drives, a very simple thing really and not a challenge...
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby dodecahedron on Thu Dec 04, 2003 7:22 pm

Han wrote:It's strange though that my Toshiba shows no DVD Region Tab in Device Manager. Or if I put it the other way, it's strange that yours shows DVD Region Tab. :-?

i want to understand this better.
in the DVD Region tab it says: Current Region: Not selected.
possibly this is because i haven't yet put a DVD disc in the drive?

also, why does it say changes remaining? i thought there were supposed to be 5 chages.

OK 1 possible explanation is dave's - the tab is "whaky".
another reason could be the flashed hacked firmware?
is this what i'm supposed to be seeing after the hacked firmware is flashed (but before any DVD is placed in the drive)?
what am i supposed to see after a drive is placed in the drive? should the zone be selected (to the zone of the DVD disc i had put in)?
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Postby dhc014 on Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:16 pm

I'm pretty sure that the firmwares are checksummed, and if the checksum is not correct, you can't flash the drive. I don't think very many people know the checksum algorithm ;)
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:25 pm

dhc014 wrote:I'm pretty sure that the firmwares are checksummed, and if the checksum is not correct, you can't flash the drive. I don't think very many people know the checksum algorithm ;)

sorry, i didn't understand this.

what do you mean the firmwares are checksummed?
do you mean that when you run the flashing utility it checksums the current firmware in the drive and then decides if it will flash the drive or not?
does that mean that, for example, if i try to run the flasher utility for flashing with the new "hacked" firmware it won't actually do it because it doesn't detect the original 1004 firmware in the drive?
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Postby Jim on Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:45 pm

My Lite-On LTD-163 said the same thing about region not selected when I first installed it. It takes the region of the first disc you put in if you don't set it manually.

When you make the hardware (DVD-ROM) region free Windows XP (software) takes over regulating the number of changes allowed. It isn't changing anything in the hardware, just an internal counter. There is software available to work around this.

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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:59 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Han wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:is it possible to flash the hacked J004 firmware "over" the current one (just to be on the safe side)? is it recommended/not recommended?

It's possible, but not recommended. You won't gain anything by reflashing the drive...

why do you say it's not recommended (except for the usual warnings about flashing: power loss = dead drive)?

Well, Hijacker flashed 1502 too many times (around 30x). The flash chip simply died and the drive was unusable after that. If you decided to flash it, apply the original 1004 firmware first, check the region - it should be set - then apply J004 again. Note that the flash program opens the tray for the flashing time, so do not close it!!! :o

Edit: Hijacker said below that the drive died because of a badly patched firmware. If I remember correctly, the tray mechanism somehow "blew up". Sorry for any inconvenience. :wink:

dodecahedron wrote:
Han wrote:It's strange though that my Toshiba shows no DVD Region Tab in Device Manager. Or if I put it the other way, it's strange that yours shows DVD Region Tab. :-?

one more reason to be suspicious... are you running WinXP?

I'm running Windows 2000, but I have a WinXP for testing purposes. In both systems there's no DVD Region Tab for Toshiba. When I put it into operation, I set region 2 by playing back a DVD movie. Then I flashed it with J004 firmware. Drive was placed to Secondary Master as the only drive in chain.

dodecahedron wrote:i want to understand this better.
in the DVD Region tab it says: Current Region: Not selected.
possibly this is because i haven't yet put a DVD disc in the drive?

No, that means just what it says - your drive is either a region free one (RPC1) or the region hasn't been applied yet. The second is rather impossible, since you have J004 firmware in operation. BUT, a "hacked Toshiba" only works properly if the region was set on the original 1004 firmware first!

I wouldn't be worried too much. Just play a movie to see if it runs as supposed...
Last edited by Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 6:00 am

Han wrote:Well, Hijacker flashed 1502 too many times (around 30x). The flash chip simply died and the drive was unusable after that.

:o :x
well, i wasn't thinking of flashing it so many times! just once! :)
thanks for the tips about flashing.
if i want to flash it to 1004 (in order to re-flash J004) do i have to select a region first?

Han wrote:
dodecahedron wrote:
Han wrote:It's strange though that my Toshiba shows no DVD Region Tab in Device Manager. Or if I put it the other way, it's strange that yours shows DVD Region Tab. :-?

one more reason to be suspicious... are you running WinXP?

I'm running Windows 2000, but I have a WinXP for testing purposes. In both systems there's no DVD Region Tab for Toshiba. When I put it into operation, I set region 2 by playing back a DVD movie. Then I flashed it with J004 firmware. Drive was placed to Secondary Master as the only drive in chain.

dodecahedron wrote:i want to understand this better.
in the DVD Region tab it says: Current Region: Not selected.
possibly this is because i haven't yet put a DVD disc in the drive?

No, that means just what it says - your drive is either a region free one (RPC1) or the region hasn't been applied yet. The second is rather impossible, since you have J004 firmware in operation. BUT, a "hacked Toshiba" only works properly if the region was set on the original 1004 firmware first!

I wouldn't be worried too much. Just play a movie to see if it runs as supposed...

well, i haven't set a region yet.
is it possible that this "strange phenomenon" (the DVD Region tab) is because a zone wasn't selected prior to flashing the J004 firmware? like i said the vendor did it and i'm not sure he did it right.

does the drive have to be alone on the IDE channel? right now my Toshiba is secondary SLAVE ( :wink: Boone) with a Plextor burner as master. should i disconnect the Plextor for flashing the firmware?

also, do you know what dave meant in this post of his about "checksumming" the firmware (see my question above)?

thanks.
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 7:26 am

dodecahedron wrote:well, i haven't set a region yet.
is it possible that this "strange phenomenon" (the DVD Region tab) is because a zone wasn't selected prior to flashing the J004 firmware? like i said the vendor did it and i'm not sure he did it right.

On J004 firmware you actually can't set the region, because it's a RPC1 firmware. :wink: It's possible that the vendor "misflashed" the drive, but it's easy to check this: play a movie. If it doesn't run as supposed, even with DVD Genie or DVD Region Killer running in the background, then the region wasn't applied before flashing...

dodecahedron wrote:does the drive have to be alone on the IDE channel? right now my Toshiba is secondary SLAVE ( :wink: Boone) with a Plextor burner as master. should i disconnect the Plextor for flashing the firmware?

No, it doesn't have to be alone, but for safety reasons I'd disconnect the Plextor and set Toshiba to master.

dodecahedron wrote:also, do you know what dave meant in this post of his about "checksumming" the firmware (see my question above)?

Simply said, the flash program checks the firmware "bit by bit" whether it's the right one and error free.
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:05 am

Han wrote:Simply said, the flash program checks the firmware "bit by bit" whether it's the right one and error free.

i take this to mean that the flash program checks the firmware file it's going to flash to make sure it's OK.
in this case, hijacker and NEO at least must've know the checksum algorithm, because they wrote the updated flasher!

Han wrote:On J004 firmware you actually can't set the region, because it's a RPC1 firmware. :wink: It's possible that the vendor "misflashed" the drive, but it's easy to check this: play a movie. If it doesn't run as supposed, even with DVD Genie or DVD Region Killer running in the background, then the region wasn't applied before flashing...

yeah, but i can select the region in the DVD Region tab! that's what i had meant.
n00b question:
what are DVD Genie and Region Killer? do i need them to play DVDs even though my drive is RPC I ? i thought once the drive is RPC I that's it i can play DVDs from all Zones!
if i do need them where do i get them?
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Re: Toshiba SD-M1712 - help identifying firmware

Postby Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:11 am

dodecahedron wrote:yeah, but i can select the region in the DVD Region tab! that's what i had meant.

Of course you can, but it doesn't have any effect...

dodecahedron wrote:what are DVD Genie and Region Killer? do i need them to play DVDs even though my drive is RPC I ? i thought once the drive is RPC I that's it i can play DVDs from all Zones!
if i do need them where do i get them?

These two programs simulate the region for region free (RPC1) drives. Some movies are tough regarding region protection and want the drive to "respond" to a specific region for which the movie is encoded. Use Google to find them. :wink:
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:27 am

OK so let me summerize and see if i got it all correctly:
1. i can flash the drive back to firmware 1004. i have to get it from rpc1.org. first set the drive as master alone on its IDE channel
(question: do i need to play a DVD to "select" a zone first, like you said i should before flashing the hacked firmware? i think not, it's RPC I!)
2. after i've flashed the 1004 the drive should be RPC 2, with no zone selected yet and 4 changes remaining (Nero InfoTool for example).
3. after it's back to 1004, i should play a DVD disc just so that it sets the zone.
4. now flash it with the hacked firmware from http://hijacker.rpc1.org/toshiba_nolimit .

did i get it right?
(hopefully, once i do this i won't have the DVD Region tab anymore).

as for the DVD Genie / Region Killer - if i understood correctly, it's movie dependent, and if i try to play a movie through PowerDVD or WinDVD or whatever, it will refuse to play? so then i run one of these programs and that enables the playing of the movie?
does this effect ripping too? if i just want to rip the movie to the hard drive, do i still need these proggies?
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Postby dhc014 on Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:40 am

What I meant before was that someone couldn't just take Hijacker's patched firmware and modify it quickly and be able to flash it back. I've never seen any other J004 version.

You should have a very good reason, beyond just suspicion, before you flash your drive.
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Postby hijacker on Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:21 pm

Hello guys :).

If the drive has J004 firmware then the drive should be region free and shouldn't have read limitations.

dhc014 is right. The firmwares are checksumed. So if you manualy edit something the checksum fails and the drive will not get flashed.

BUT... The IDE string (what BIOS identifies) and the actualy inquiry string inside the firmware are located in the area that doesn't get checksumed. So it is possible that someone converted the HEX firmware file of original 1004 firmware into BIN format, then edit it and convert back to intel HEX format. But that is higly unlikely. Why do that when you have the prepatched file on my site ready for flashing...

And the latest results I got from the 1502 drive were that it didn't die because of too many flashings (it was over 30 times), but because of badly patched firmware.

And it's true that the region should be preset in order to make the drive work.

What windows says about it is irrelavant since windows sucks. Use DISCInfo in ASPI mode to be 100% if the drive is really region free. STPI works also but something it can get fooled...

Enjoy the weekend...
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Postby Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:41 pm

dodecahedron wrote:1. (question: do i need to play a DVD to "select" a zone first, like you said i should before flashing the hacked firmware? i think not, it's RPC I!)

Nope. Even if you do, the region won't be set because of RPC1 firmware...

dodecahedron wrote:(hopefully, once i do this i won't have the DVD Region tab anymore).

Who knows. Windows is weird about that. :-?

dodecahedron wrote:as for the DVD Genie / Region Killer - if i understood correctly, it's movie dependent, and if i try to play a movie through PowerDVD or WinDVD or whatever, it will refuse to play? so then i run one of these programs and that enables the playing of the movie?

Ditto! 8)

dodecahedron wrote:does this effect ripping too? if i just want to rip the movie to the hard drive, do i still need these proggies?

Nope, pure ripping programs skip the region protection.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:28 pm

thanks dave, Han, hijacker.

also, thanks hijacker (and NEO) for your work on making the no-speed-limit firmware for Toshibas!


just to clarify, can i flash the 1004 firmware over the J004 firmware?
(using 1004 firmware from rpc1.org)
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Postby Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:29 pm

dodecahedron wrote:just to clarify, can i flash the 1004 firmware over the J004 firmware?
(using 1004 firmware from rpc1.org)

Yes, you can.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:35 pm

cool! :P
thanks once again.

i'm in the middle of reading this topic:
http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?t=14097
391 posts long! :o
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:42 pm

another question (yeah i know you must be saying "when will he stop???" :o :) )

what is safer/better: to put the flashing utility and firmware bin/hex on floppy or on a FAT32 partition?
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Postby dhc014 on Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:47 pm

I still really don't know why you're going to flash the drive...

I can't really think of anything to make one safer than the other.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:52 pm

dhc014 wrote:I still really don't know why you're going to flash the drive...

because i want to fool around with it and experiment, and learn!
same reason, for example, some people flashed 401->411 even if they didn't intend to use it as 411 for various reasons.

i'm not the falshing-master you are! so far i've only flashed 2 or 3 times. i want to learn!

thanks for the answer
Last edited by dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Han on Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:03 pm

dodecahedron wrote:what is safer/better: to put the flashing utility and firmware bin/hex on floppy or on a FAT32 partition?

Do you trust floppies? I sure don't! :wink:
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:09 pm

no i don't, hence my question.
but i know many people flash firmwares/BIOSes from floppy.
so i wasn't sure, maybe there is some problem with flashing from a FAT32 partition???
since now i see the answer is NO so good, i'll flash from the FAT32 instead of using a floppy!

as for making a boot floppy without drivers loaded, how do i do this? i have to remove some files from the floppy Windows makes? the autoexec.bat and config.sys ?

(in XP i need to tell it to make a bootable floopy though otherwise it's just blank. or to use a Win98 boot floppy?)
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