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lite-on LH-18A1P fix

Warning: Tech post. I'm making this one an extended entry.

I'm purposely titling this post with the model number of my DVD burner in the hopes it will help other people out once indexed in the search engines.

Situation: You install a brand new Lite-On LH-18A1P DVD burner. It plays DVD movies great. It reads DVD data discs just fine. But it absolutely will not burn (as in write) any DVD's at all. For every blank DVD you insert, no matter what brand, Windows XP "sees" it as a CD and not a DVD. On attempt to burn in a program like Nero Burning ROM, you get the error "disc changed" every single time. Nothing is ever physically written to a DVD.

I confirmed that this is not a problem with the drive itself, nor it is a problem with the firmware. You can update that if you want but it's really not necessary.

So what's the problem?

The IDE controller driver.

Yeah, I know. Weird. It seems that the older nVidia nForce controller driver causes some DVD burners not to work correctly - and the LH-18AP is one of them.

Here's how I got the drive to work correctly. It was actually really easy.

Note before continuing: Yes, I have Windows XP Service Pack 2 with all the Microsoft updates installed.

Warning: Proceed at your own risk. I won't be held responsible if you screw up your computer.

1. Go to the Device Manager in Windows XP. That's Control Panel / System (icon) / Hardware (tab) / Device Manager (button).

2. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

3. If you see nVidia nForce controller or something similar and it's the only one there, right click that, left click Properties, click the Driver tab, then click the Update Driver button.

4. If asked "Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?", select "Yes, this time only" or "Yes, now and every time I connect a device". Your choice.

After updating, it should update to "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller".

After rebooting, the three controllers should be listed as Primary IDE Channel, Secondary IDE Channel and Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller.

After that, your LH-18A1P will re-detect itself. Once done, try burning a DVD. It should work. Mine now does everything just like it should.

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