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Something I just found out about 08K9868 Combo drives

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rkawakami
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Something I just found out about 08K9868 Combo drives

#1 Post by rkawakami » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:46 am

I recently purchased nine 08K9868 Combo IV drives off of several different eBay sellers. During checkout I found something interesting. Several of them would not read my DVD+RW test disk. (As part of my "incoming QA" procedure I run the PC Doctor CD/DVD drive checks with completely full CDR, CDRW and DVD+RW disks). I had checked the specifications for the HLDS GCC-4240N drive (click Combination Drive and GCC-4240N) and it indicates that the drive supports DVD+RW and in fact, several of the 08K9868 drives I just bought do read that type of disk. The IBM support page for this drive does not list DVD+ as being a supported format. :shock:

Figuring that I probably had some sort of firmware issue, I downloaded DVDInfoPro and was surprised to find out that those drives did NOT indicate support for DVD+R or DVD+RW. Drives that recognized DVD+ media and passed all of the PC Doctor tests did indicate support for DVD+ formats in DVDInfoPro. I contacted one of the eBay sellers and asked if it was possible to exchange the two drives I bought from him for a newer firmware version and was told that, "The auction ad specifies what these drives read. The DVD+RW and DVD+R are not listed in the ad." and therefore falls under their "no return for compatibility issues". Never mind that the auction description ALSO does not explicitly mention DVD-R or DVD-RW as being supported. So I suppose if I had a problem with those types of disks, I would also be out of luck for a return/exchange. :?

At any rate, I will document the revision levels and label markings on the drives to determine if there's a fool-proof way of knowing which drives can read DVD+ media. At the moment I think IMB0 and IMC0 can be used as a guide, but I need to test all of the drives I have to be sure. More to follow...

(ref: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0136964046)
Ray Kawakami
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#2 Post by gator » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:00 am

Thanks for posting this Ray, should be very useful for future purchasers from ebay. Request for sticky in genral h/w section after you complete your testing and documentation.
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#3 Post by rkawakami » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:45 pm

Okay, here's the result of multiple swapping in-and-out of nine 08K9868 Combo drives and running DVDInfoPro on them:

If the HLDS label has "TYPE IMC0" and "E-H022-03-0568(B)", then it would appear that it supports DVD+R and DVD+RW media.

If the HLDS label has "TYPE IMB0" and "E-H022-02-0964(B)", then it appears that it does not support either DVD+ media.
(unless somebody has upgraded the firmware to 0214)

Admittedly my sample size is kind of small (4 IMB0 and 5 IMC0 drives), but that's what I'm working with. If anybody else can confirm these findings on their 08K9868 (GCC-4240N) drives, please post here. You can download a free, time-limited copy of the DVDInfoPro program from here:

http://www.dvdinfopro.com/

The author says that it does not download any ads or track/send any info from your computer, but that it will timeout to force an upgrade to the latest version. It will cycle through some built-in ads in the program but with a donation of $20, you are supposed to get a registered version which will never expire nor display ads. I've just sent my $20 in so we'll see how it works.

(Note: I am not affiliated with dvdinfopro.com or its owners. I merely found them by doing a web search.)

edit: BTW, the firmware version I saw were these:

0211 and 0213 on IMB0 drives
1203 on IMC0 drives

Me edit: Moved from Off Topic to here as it does make more sense to be in General HW/SW... thanks gator!

edit2: Added note about IMB0 drives being upgraded to 0214.
Last edited by rkawakami on Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

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#4 Post by rkawakami » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:34 pm

And hopefully a final post by me on this subject...

I poked around the archives here and found these threads about "GCC-4240N":

Cannot read DVD+R
Unable to read burned DVD's

So this problem isn't new. But it's not all that well documented. The second thread I listed had a recommendation to upgrade the firmware so I grabbed the Drive Firmware Update Utility and went about upgrading the four 0211 and 0213 firmware version drives to rev 0214....

All four drives now recognize and read DVD+R and DVD+RW disks :) .

Curiously, DVDInfoPro still does not list those media types as being supported, even though those disks are read by PC Doctor and Windows. :??: Maybe I sent my $20 in too fast....
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

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#5 Post by Terrahawk » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:50 pm

I can confirm that my GCC-4240N IMB0 drive with the 0214 firmware can read DVD+R discs. DVDInfo also shows my drive as not supporting any DVD+ media either.
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Re: Something I just found out about 08K9868 Combo drives

#6 Post by automobus » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:48 pm

Thank you, Ray, for the announcement. I do not think I would ever have found the page about firmware updates, if not for this thread. I provide another report of success. My drive is a type IMBO, had firmware 0213, now updated to 0214. I can now read a DVD+RW disc. The drive still does not report the ability to read DVD+ formats, and when I had a DVD+RW loaded, the drive reported it as a DVD-ROM. But disregarding its reported capabilities, it works.

The underside HLDS label says Rev. A1 from July 2003.
The topside IBM part label says Rev. 102.
Last edited by automobus on Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Something I just found out about 08K9868 Combo drives

#7 Post by AMATX » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:07 pm

Might be handy to list dates of manufacture on the good/bad drives, in addition to the firmware levels. As I recall, there's usually a sticker on these drives somewhere with a manufacturing date. Easy way to check, and easy thing to query against a seller, before you buy.

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Re: Something I just found out about 08K9868 Combo drives

#8 Post by Majestic » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:23 am

Many thanks to Ray for his contributions in this thread and to Automobus for resurrecting it. I had picked up a used T23 on Craigslist and found the optical drive had difficulty reading some burnt utility CDs I use on my ThinkPads. A firmware update was the first thing that came to mind, but I was unsuccessful in finding anything on Leveno's website. Ray's link was actually what I was looking for. Thanks to all!
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Re: Something I just found out about 08K9868 Combo drives

#9 Post by frankiepankie » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:48 am

I had something exactly like that with my T40 back in the days.

It had a GDR-8083 drive, which couldn't read burned DVD+R and DVD+RW.

I downloaded the firmware update utility from Lenovo and *BOOM* it read any disk i gave him to eat ( :lol: ) without any problem.
Lenovo ThinkPad T410

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