Recorder Firmware Update Instructions
Some of the main issues and questions while
doing a firmware update on the ILO recorders are "the upgrade won't
start" or "the display says data or file" or "do I need to apply
each upgrade in order" and so on. This post is to take some of the
question marks out of the process of firmware upgrading.
Firmware is software that is “flashed” or “written” to an IC chip
inside the recorder. The firmware is what tells the recorder what do
and how to act when the user starts pressing buttons. Firmware is
the “Brains” of the recorder. All firmware files are collective,
meaning, a newer firmware update will have all the updates and fixes
from previous versions. There are 2 devices in the recorder that get
updated, the system and the DVD drive (burner). A firmware upgrade
can be for either one or both. A “Drive” will be updated to allow it
to recognize newer and advancing media technologies, fix bugs in the
drive, allow faster and more precise recording and many other
things. The “System” will be updated to fix issues in the way the
recorder functions, give it new abilities, changes to the user
interface and many more.
You may see the term “Hacked Firmware”. This term refers to firmware
files that have been modified from their factory state, usually to
add features that the recorder normally wouldn’t have out of the
Firmware files for the ILO/LiteOn recorders are divided into 3
categories. You will see 3 different types of file extensions on the
firmware file names. These extensions determine whether the update
is “System Only”, “Drive Only” or “System and Drive”.
Only: This extension will have one letter, an “S” and one
number. Example, WMJA1185.DS1, WMJA1193.DS3, WMEA1098.ES4
Only: This extension will have one letter, a “D” and one
number. Example, WMJA1185.DD1, WMJA1193.DD3, WMEA1098.ED4
and Drive: This extension will have one letter, and two
numbers. Example, WMEA1097.E20, WMJA1191.D22, WMJA1193.D21
If you are installing a new “system and drive” update, there is
nothing to worry about. You will be getting the latest update for
both “parts” of the recorder. If the update is just a “system only”
or “drive only” update, there is an important issue to consider. You
will always want to make sure you have the latest “system and drive”
update installed before doing a “system only” or “drive only” update
to make sure you have the latest updates for both “parts” of the
You have bought a new ILO R04 with firmware version 1095 firmware
installed. You go to Guitarman’s really
cool firmware site and find there are 2 newer firmware
revisions available, firmware updates 1097 (WMEA1097.E20) and
1098RevB (WMEA1098.ES5). Do you want to update to the newest
1098RevB?? NO!! You notice that 1098RevB is a “system only” update
and 1097 is a “system and drive” update. If you update to 1098RevB
(system only), you will be missing the latest drive updates that
were available in 1097.
the Update CD
There are many types of CD writing programs and each one has a
slightly different way and terminology of doing things. Most
programs will do what you want without needing to change any
settings. The two most common programs for writing CD’s are Nero
Burning Rom and Roxio EZ CD Creator. You can find instructions for
burning the firmware update CD with these two programs on the
Firmware Download Page. I will list a couple of important things to
- It is always best to use a new CD.
The firmware file needs to be the only file on the disc. If you
choose to use a previously used CD, make sure to delete any old
files from the write list before burning the firmware file to
the disc (the old files are not actually deleted from the disc
but will be hidden from showing up once the newer session has
been written to the CD).
- If it is selectable, use “ISO Mode 1”
to burn the CD.
- Although not necessary, it is good
practice to “close” or “finalize” the CD when writing. This will
help make it more readable in the recorder.
This is where thing get convoluted. Half the time, the update
will start, the other half, it won’t. Following these steps will
help to insure the update starts and installs properly.
- Go to the setup screen and do a
R04: press “Source” button on remote to until ILO/DVD
is selected. HD04:
Press the “Target” button so that DVD is selected.
- Place the update CD in the
recorder and close the tray. The update may or may not start
at this point. If it does, go to #6
- If the update does not start,
press the play button. This may start it.
- Leave the CD in the recorder and
turn the power off. Wait a few seconds and then turn the
recorder back on. At this point, the update should start. If
it doesn’t, the CD or the firmware file could be corrupt.
Try re-downloading the firmware file and re-burning the CD.
- After the update completes, be
sure to wait for the CD to eject from the recorder before
turning off the power.
You now should have the latest
fixes installed for your recorder. If you have installed
“Hacked” firmware, check the recorder for the extra
functions the hacks should have added.
If any help is needed, I can be