Flash Your Lite-On for Free

Wednesday 24th of December 200
Clicks: 371915



By Yaywoop

UPDATE --- This tutorial is only useful for 74850C LiteOn drives. For 83850C v1 drives, no extra hardware is needed, only a SATA connection. For 83850C v2 and 93450C drives you need to do the MRA hack, which involves cutting and soldering traces on the drives board. The MRA hack can be used on 74850C drives also (and has the added advantage of dumping the full firmware, not just the key and identity info) ---

This guide will show you how to flash a liteon dvd drive with modified firmware, making all the required hardware from scratch. its a relatively simple circuit, but does require using a soldering iron to assemble the circuit. if you have never used one, go read a soldering guide and practice soldering some wires together or something.'tinning' the wire in this project is essential, so learn how to do it.
opening the xbox will void your warranty yada yada. if you screw up it is possible that you could break your xbox. if you erase your dvd drive without first getting a good key your xbox will become a $300 dvd player.

all that out of the way, this tutorial is designed to save you the hassle and money of buying one of the commercial tools (xecuter ck3 + probe or maximus xtracotor + spear) which cost upwards of $40.

So first thing first: make the rs232 hardware. this is the hardest part, and where most people stuff it up!

The circuit is a Simple signal inverter, which is required to convert between TTL (DVD) and RS232 (PC) levels.
its not strictly rs232 levels (+/- 3V), but most serial ports probably won't mind. if you are worried about this, here is an alternative circuit or try a Max232 or Max3232 circuit (much more complex to construct). Old Siemens serial phone cables have max3232 circuits inside.
even better, the usb cables for old nokia phones (CA-42 or DKU-5) have a usb > TTL serial adapter in them, you just need to find the right wire to attach a probe to (usually the white wire).

a pic

so to build the circuit you will need:
1x 10K resistor (marked brown black orange gold)
1x 1k resistor (marked brown black red gold)
resistors are 1/4 Watt (any power rating will do.)
1x NPN signal transistor (eg: BC546 BC547 BC548 BC337 BC338 C945 2N2222 see top image for pinouts)
1x DB9 female serial plug
some lengths of wire
a pin for the probe / a multimeter probe / sharpen the leg of a resistor

soldering iron (15 Watt or adjustable heat setting)
solder (0.5mm flux cored is good)
some electrical tape / hot glue / shrink-wrap tubes to tidy everything up to your taste.

you will also need a PC with a rs232 serial port (9 pin socket, looks like a vga port) if you don't have a serial port you can use a usb [>] serial adapter like this one, note that this won't work in dos. and you need to install drivers for windows

all the parts can be bought from an electronics store or salvaged from old electronic junk. old CRT monitors are good for the resistors/transistors
note: there is a higher success rate with transistors bought from a store than those salvaged from old electronics. but if you are salvaging the transistor, de-solder it by heating two pins at a time with your soldering iron and wiggle it free, have some fresh solder on the iron to help melt the solder. try not to heat the transistor for more than 5 seconds as they are easily damaged by heat.
A serial plug could be salvaged from an old modem. or cut up a serial cable

Now put it together! (link to pictorial) I did it free-form (without a circuit board)
The red wire in the main schematic is a 'probe' to contact the Tx point on the drive while reading the key. the probe can be a piece of wire twisted around or soldered to a pin, or a multimeter probe.
5V can be sourced from the red wire in a HDD power connector as shown above, or you can use three 1.5V batteries, or a usb plug.

Here is a completed circuit:
a pic
The 'ground on dvd' clip probably isn't needed as the drive is grounded through the SATA cable

You also need power to the drive. you can just use the 360 to power the drive while you work on it. (there have been rumors about people getting banned from powering their 360's without a dvd drive attached. however I have done it and am not banned.. there is always a risk of getting banned. its up to you)
You can alternatively use a connectivity kit if you have one.
or make a power adapter out of a spare 360 dvd power cable, refer to the pinout of the cable above. 3.3v, 5v and 12v can be found on a SATA power connector in your pc. put in an eject switch between pin 3 and ground.

To make the key dump you have to make the tray stay half way out.
eject the drive, remove the power cable, push in the tray half way and plug the cable back in.
NOTE: just a word of caution, don't plug the power connector in upside down.. it WILL fry your drive!

Or if you have a connectivity kit / home made cable, simply press the eject switch and push the tray half way in.

This is my setup using the xbox 360 to power the drive.
a pic

OK that's the hardware out of the way! what you just made should be functionally equivalent to a CK3 lite with probe.
On to the software part

first Download "IXtreme 1.6 firmware for Benq, Samsung and Liteon drives" from xbins and jungleflasher and extract somewhere.

You can either follow this excellent pictorial guide or read on for my version.

there are two parts, the key dumping and the erasing/flashing
I have outlined instructions for both Windows and DOS. you can mix them up, use windows to dump and dos to flash etc.

-----Key Dumping from Windows-----

You will need to install PortIO32.exe

-Power on your drive with SATA connected and run jungleflasher.exe (click continue if it complains about the drive.)

-Go to the DVDKey32 tab and go through the I/O ports until you see the info for your liteon drive under drive properties

-make sure your drive is Ejected and pushed in half way. select your com port, connect your serial hardware and probe to the Tx point and press Get Key. save all the files to a folder
If you get an error saying your comp port appears to be working, but it couldn't get the key, cycle the power to the drive and try again. make sure you have the drive half way in.
If you get an error saying your hardware isn't working. check over the adapter make sure everything is correct. try testing it with a multimeter. if all else fails, you may need to buy/build a "proper" max232/max3232 adapter

-If the above step worked, dump the key another two times just to be sure you get the same key! and SAVE ALL THE BIN FILES TO A DISK OR USB STICK - this is your backup lifeline.

-Now. go to the FirmwareTool32 tab and click load from dump files. select the files you saved previously. and chose where to save the dummy.bin

-Click "Open Target Firmware" and select ix15-liteon.bin which you extracted from ixtreme_1.5.rar
It should show YOUR KEY in the box

-Press "Spoof Source to Target" and save your CFW.bin

-----Key Dumping from DOS-----

- Create a bootable floppy, or use iprep to make a bootable USB stick, Download dosflash V1.7, unrar it and put that on the disk. also put firmtool.exe and ix15-liteon.bin (from ixtreme_1.5.rar) on the disk

(Geremia's method)
- power up PC and boot into DOS (may have to edit bios settings to boot the media)
- connect power to the LiteOn
- run DosFlash16 in auto mode
- if you read the following:
MTK Vendor Intro failed on port 0x????.
If you choose to resend the command you should turn the drive off and on
after you pressed "Yes".
Do you want to resend the command until the drive responds (Y/N)?
- press 'N' for "No"
- choose the number of your LiteOn ATAPI drive
- enter "LITEON K" to read the drive key
- type the names of inquiry.bin, identify.bin, key.bin and dummy.bin output files
- enter the number of the COM port
- if you read the following:
To receive the drive key use Geremia's DvdKey method like follows:
- Connect your drive with a serial cable to the COM port
- Eject drive tray
- Power off drive
- Push drive tray in until it is half open
- Power on drive
- Press "Yes" if you are ready
Are you ready (Y/N)?
- do the above and press 'Yes'
- after this DosFlash16 displays your DVD-Key and saves your key and identify data

Restart the computer and do the process again to verify that you get the same key.
making firmware for flashing:
- while booted into dos, type Firmtool dummy.bin iX15-liteon.bin
it should say success, and leave you with a modified firmware ready to be flashed

This is the part where you actually FLASH the drive!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE DONE THE PREVIOUS STEPS AND HAVE A GOOD KEY!!! otherwise your xbox will never play another game!
I highly recommend using DOS, especially for VIA users (jungleflasher tends to jam for VIA chipsets)

-----Flashing in Windows using JUNGLEFLASHER: -----

-Reboot your drive, go to the MTK Flash 32 tab. select the sata port which displays the info for your liteon.

-Press Lite-On-Erase. once that is finished reboot your drive and press Device ID. It should display xx72 and some flash information. this means your drive is ready to be flashed!
(VIA users will have to pull the power to the drive exactly when it tells you to stop the whole pc from crashing)

-Click the Write button and select your CFW.bin made earlier. it should flash and verify all 4 sectors. if all goes well you are done!

If it crashes somewhere along the line DON'T PANIC! as long as you still have your CFW.bin/modified firmware (or the bin files you dumped from the drive) you can try erase and flash again.
C4eva himself said it is pretty much impossible to brick the liteon, as long as you have dumped the key. Also make sure you have the latest motherboard drivers.

-----Flashing in DOS-----

- Copy V1.7 of dosflash and your modified firmware to a bootable DOS disk
- Reboot your pc and boot into DOS (you may need to play around with the boot settings in your bios.

- Run dosflash E sataport
where sataport is the address of your SATA port
it should display xx72. (where x could be any value. eg; FF72) If not, repower the dvd drive and run the command again.

- Run dosflash
select the drive from the list, press enter. then press W (for write) and type the name of your modified firmware
press enter and it should start flashing. If you get an error, erase and try again.


Now you should have a fully working , backup running, live 'safe' 360. (I take no responsibility if you get banned :P)

I have tested the above using a Nvidia Nforce4 motherboard.

To make backups of your originals, plug the x360 drive into your pc, when you apply power to the drive have the tray half way open, this will put it into 0800 mode (ix16 only). boot your pc and run XBC or Schtrom360Xtract, then burn the image using XBC or clonecd or imgburn onto a DVD+R DL.

UPDATE: there is also a 0800 only firmware for the liteon. so you can flash this firmware to a spare liteon drive for use as a permanent reader in your pc. (don't put a drive with 0800 fw in an xbox) there is also 0800 fw for older drives

if you get a 'bad key' error try:
checking your connections, solder joints, 5v connection etc.
make sure you have the drive half way out.
make sure you are probing the right spot

you can check if the hardware you made is working using hyperterm:
open up HyperTerminal (its in start [>] programs [>] accessories [>] communications)
to set up the program..
1 enter a name, anything
2 select the com port you have it plugged in to. if its just the one in the back of your computer, com1 is usually it.
3 enter flow control, none.

connect a 1.5V battery with the - side connected to ground. now get your probe and brush the probe tip against the + side of the battery.
when you brush the probe against 1.5v, it sends random pulses to the computer, which it displays as random characters.
so if garbage shows up in hyperterm when you brush the probe against the battery, your probe is working.

if nothing shows up in hyperterm;
- your circuit is not wired correctly. check the tutorial again and check the pinout of the transistor you used. also check your connections to the serial plug, and to the power supply (5V)
- one of the components you used could be dead, usually the transistor is to blame. try another one. also check the resistor values with a multimeter if you have one. while you have the multimeter out, make sure the circuit outputs 5v to the serial port when the probe is not touching anything or touching ground, and 0V when the probe is connected to 1.5V.
- your serial port isn't working.. try connecting pin 3 to pin 2 and in hyperterm (as above) type stuff, it should appear on screen. if your serial port doesn't work, try installing the motherboard drivers again.
if your serial port is working and you are sure your circuit is working, but you can't get anything to appear in hyperterminal, then you might have a (rare) serial port which strictly adheres to rs232 specs and won't work with this circuit. buy one of the commercial ones

if stuff shows up in hyperterm, the hardware is fine. follow the jungleflasher tutorial to the word!
check that the tray is half way out when you try to read the key.
make sure you are probing the right spot, R707.
try re-powering the drive.


Notice: The Tutorials have been done many times and were often successfull, however we cannot guarantee the success and so dont take any responsibility for any damages that might be caused by it, you do it on your own risk!!!



Xbox Repair Guide

Please select the number of (red) lights that your ring of light shows:

0 red lights
1 red light
2 red lights
3 red lights

4 red lights


Error codes

Go straight to the Error code list/ Database!