DVD : Region Free (EN)

Par Vincent (ch-vox)

(GIF) Warning !

Before upgrading your optical drive, be sure you have selected a zone by reading a DVD with the Apple DVD Player (ie). If this modification is not made, your drive simply won’t work after the operation. Upgrading firmware is a sensitive operation. You make it on your own risks. Powerbook-fr can’t be responsible for what you do, and for any damage during the update process. Please, read the ReadMe.rtf file before running any updater.


DVD drives have been introduced with the first G3 PowerBooks, then we have seen combos (CD-RW/DVD) and finally Superdrives (DVD-R/DVD-RW). Those drives cannot read every zone -except the Matsushita SR-8173 that was in the second generation G3 PowerBook also called ’Lombard’- : you should know that it is impossible to change the zone setting more than 5 times, after what you will only be able to read DVD from the 5th choice. For instance, if you last chose zone "2", the drive will only read DVDs from this zone. But there are ways to break this down.

One of them, certainly the most simple, is to use softwares like VLC or MPlayer which will allow you to read DVDs from each zone (warning, those softwares may sometime change the region of your drive, without you to be warned, this can lock your drive on the last selected zone after 5 changes... thanks to Taron for the piece of information). However, there may be some routines that won’t work on various hardware (dunno why ?!) so we must find another solution...

Sources for this article :

For PowerBook & iBook G4 and MacBook (Pro)


Before going further

You should know basis about your MacIntosh and region locking. The limitation is double : firsty is hardware. This is the first to run when you’re inserting a DVD in your optical drive, and the patches we provide you are made to bypass this one. But theres’s a second limitation which is purely software, through your Operating System : MacOS X. A small app allows you to change region without limitation. This app is made by xvi and is called Region X (we are mirroring it at this URL). To test the changes, RegionDisplay (mirrored on our server: PAL, NTSC) is an ISO image, once mounted on your desktop, it will open with Apple DVD Player. It willdisplay which region is selected in MacOS X. Now you know that, let’s enter the real work.

2010, Ala42 creates MatshitaFlasher based on ben11 work

Since early 2010, MatshitaFlasher developped by ala42 allows flashing firmware on every MacBook, regardless MacOS version. Thanks to ala42 for authorisation of mirroring his work.

Flashing instructions:
-  Unzip and the firmware zip file
-  Make sure there is no disc in the drive.
-  The firmware .zip file typically includes two firmware .dat files of 700-800KB size, one original and one RPC1 patched firmware
-  In Finder drop the firmware .dat file (not the directory) you want to flash on the MatshitaFlasher application.
-  A terminal window will pop up, listing drive and firmware ids and ask you if you want to continue flashing
-  In case of drive/firmware mismatch or a corrupted firmware file the drive will not be flashed

The table below recapitulates every firmwares you can use with MatshitaFlasher:

MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-85JSSuperDriveUJ-85JS_F100_Acer_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-846SuperDriveUJ-846-FQ3T_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-857SuperDriveUJ-857_HAEA_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-857ESuperDriveUJ-857E_ZF1E_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-862ASuperDriveUJ-862A_1.06_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-867SuperDriveUJ-867_HA13_Stock_RPC1, UJ-867_HB01_Stock_RPC1, UJ-867_KK08_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-868SuperDriveUJ-868_KB19_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-875SuperDriveUJ-875_DA09_Stock_RPC1, UJ-875_DB09_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-875SSuperDriveUJ-875S_1.00_Stock_RPC1
MacBook ProMatsushitaUJ-898SuperDriveUJ-898_HA07_Stock_RPC1, UJ-898_HC10_Stock_RPC1, UJ-898_HD10_Stock_RPC1

Typical Terminal window after dropping the firmware .dat file on the flasher application:

simple_flash V 1.02 compiled at Jan 24 2010
Selected firmware: MATSHITADVD-R UJ-868 KB19
Selected device: MATSHITADVD-R UJ-868 KB19


Firmware update running, do not interrupt ...


[Process completed]

2007, RPC1 is back (update august 19th 2007)

The Dangerous Brothers (TDB) have begun the year 2007 with two RPC1 firmwares for LG GWA4080MA & LG 4080MB. Beware, those firmwares can’t be applied if you’ve updated your drive with Apple’s "Superdrive Firmware Update 2.1" that will update to AE39 & BE39 RPC2 revision. And you’ll need Windows or Parallels 3.0 (and later) for applying those firmware updates.

Early august (same year:2007), ben11 -a C programer- has created a second event. After downloading Apple’s "Superdrive Firmware Update 2.1", he has decompiled sources and has patched them for making them region free. Chapeau! You need to know that for Matsushita’s dezoning, you have to apply the "Superdrive Firmware Update 2.1" before applying ben11’s RPC1 firmware.

If you don’t use Tiger, you may need to hack a system file to run those patches. Before applying the patch, edit this file /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist and change OS version to 10.4.x (ie : 10.5.1 will become 10.4.9). Apply the patch, and before rebooting your Mac, modify this file again to come back to initial values. That’s all. Thanx to Terminus for this hack

And we’d like you to remember few points before upgrading your drives, you MUST choose a zone. Unless your optical drive won’t read DVDs anymore !!! You also need to stop all softwares running on your Mac, to unplug your network (Airport, USB or ethernet modems, etc.) as other USB or FireWire peripherals for more security. Please, read the ReadMe.rtf file before running any updater. See ya !

MacProducerModelTypeOfficial FirmwaresRPC1 Firmwares
PowerBook G4 17" AluminiumSonyDW-U10ASuperDriveA13bVLC
iBook G4 (1,33 GHz)TeacDV-W24SLSuperDrive1.0EVLC
PowerBook G4 15" TitaniumMatsushitaSR-8187DVD-ROMHA13, HA15, HA16, HA18XA18
PowerBook G4 15" TitaniumMatsushitaCW-8121ComboAA11, AA12, AA17, AA20, AA21AX21
PowerBook G4 15" TitaniumMatsushitaCW-8121AComboBB21BX21
PowerBook G4 15" TitaniumMatsushitaCW-8122ComboBF30BX21
PowerBook G4 12" 867 MHz AluminiumMatsushitaCW-8122ComboBA1D, BA21BX21
PowerBook G4 12" 1 GHz AluminiumMatsushitaCW-8122ComboBA1D, BA21BX21
PowerBook G4 15" AluminiumMatsushitaCW-8122ComboBA1D, BA21BX21
iBook G4 800MatsushitaCW-8122ComboBA21BX21
PowerBook G4 12", 15", Aluminium & iBook G4MatsushitaCW-8123ComboCA0T, CA10VLC
PowerBook G4 12", 15", Aluminium & iBook G4MatsushitaCW-8124ComboDACD, DB0DVLC
MacBook Core Duo Rev. AMatsushitaCW-8221CombounknownVLC
PowerBook G4 15" TitaniumMatsushitaUJ-815SuperdriveD0CBX0CB
PowerBook G4 12" 867 Mhz AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-815SuperdriveD0CBX0CB
PowerBook G4 12" 1 Ghz AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-815SuperdriveD101X101
PowerBook G4 15" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-815SuperdriveD101X101
PowerBook G4 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-815SuperdriveDWDBXWDB
PowerBook G4 AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-816SuperdriveDXJ3XXJ3
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-825SuperdriveDAM5, DAND, DBN7DAM5, DAND, DBN7
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-835ESuperdriveGEM8, GANDGAND
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-835FSuperdriveGEND, GFND, GGNDGEND, GFND, GGND
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-835SSuperdriveG100G100
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-845SuperdriveD100, DBN9DBN9
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-845CSuperdriveDPP9DPP9
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" AluminiumMatsushitaUJ-845ESuperdriveDMP2DMP2
PowerBook G4 12", 15", 17" Aluminium
& MacBook Pro 17" Rev. A
MatsushitaUJ-846SuperdriveFA0G, FAAG, FB2U, FM3J, FQ3TFA0G, FAAG, FB2U, FM3J, FQ3T
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-85JSuperdriveFAV1, FBZ8, FCQA, FCQ5, FEW7, FM0SFAV1, FBZ8, FCQA, FCQ5, FEW7, FM0S
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-85JSSuperdriveFYX4, FWR7FWR7
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-857SuperdriveHAE4, HAC1, HAEAHAEA
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-857SuperdriveHBE4, HBEAHBEA
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-857DSuperdriveKBV9, KBVBKBVB
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-857DSuperdriveKCV9, KCVBKCVB
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-857ESuperdriveZA0E, ZB0EZA0E, ZB0E
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-867SuperdriveHA13, HB01-
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-868SuperdriveKA14, KA19-
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoMatsushitaUJ-875SuperdriveDA09-
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoLGGWA-4080MASuperdriveAE38, AE39AE38
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoLGGWA-4080MBSuperdriveBE38, BE39BE38
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoLGGSA-S10NSuperdriveAP09, AP12 (.exe), BP08AP12 RPC2 Autoreset (.exe)
MacBook (Pro) Core2DuoLGGS21NSuperdriveSA15Use MCSE (Windows)
MacBook Pro (2009)LGGS22NSuperdriveCP06Use MCSE (Windows)
MacBook Pro (2009)LGGS23NSuperdriveSB00, SB03Use MCSE (Windows)

For Nec, Optiarc, Sony and few other optical drives, use NecflashX for dumping or upgrading the firmware.

Pioneer DVR-K05 Superdrive (update december 25th 2005)

You’ll need to replace your Matsushita optical drive yourself with a Pioneer DVR-K05 (130 €). Disassemble your Powerbook, install the new one in your PowerBook, then use LasVegas’ Mac utility :DVRFlash with Dangerous Brothers’ modified firmware. It’s all command lines, not really sexy so far, but really useful ! If you need further information, please go to

The CW-8122 combo ( exclusive !!)

May 2003, xvi has modified the BA21 (RPC2) firmware for CW-8122 Matsushita combo drive in 12" 867 MHz, he made it region free (RPC1). This firmware, codename BX21 (RPC1), was the Apple’s BA21 copy except for the region information that have been set to free (see article).

We noticed quickly two issues that have not been solved :
-  once BX21 updated, the combo couldn’t get back to its original BA21 settings (BA21 is the only firmware officialy supported by Apple and Apple Care...) ;
-  xvi’s BX21 updater was locked anly only worked with 12" 867MHz Alubooks, as the original Apple’s BA21 updater.

So, we’ve worked to modify both updaters to make them compatible with all Apple Alubooks in which there is a CW-8122 combo drive. Alubook’s owners can now set their combo to region free, and set it back to region locked if they need.

PowerBook12" 867 MHz12" 1 GHz15"iBook G4 800Ti 550 MHz
RPC1 (BX21)1,17 MB500 KB (zip)500 KB (zip)500 KB (zip)500 KB (sit)
RPC2 (BA21)500 KB (zip)500 KB (zip)500 KB (zip)500 KB (zip)BF30 (CW-8122)
non disponible

Update January 23th 2005
We’ve just achieved two new patches : first one for 550 TiBook woth CW-8122, second one for upgrading a CW-8121A to CW-8122 region free in a TiBook (tested with 867 MHz and 1 GHz TiBooks) and in an iBook G4 (12" 800) ! Those patches don’t allow you to go back (no U-turn to RPC2) but you can now play DVD from any region ;)

PowerBookTi 867 MHz / 1 GHziBook 12" G4 800 MHz
RPC1 (BX21)BX21 (CW-8122)BX21 (CW-8122)
RPC2BB21 (CW-8121A) not availableBB21 (CW-8121A) not available

Note :
-  We can can technicaly patch any Mac with those optical drive. If you computer is not in the above tables, please contact us.
-  The CW-8123 or CW-8124 remains RPC2 for now...

The UJ-815 SuperDrive

December 13th 2003, xvi is back on the PowerBook’s front. He made a region-free firmware for the Matsushita UJ-815 SuperDrive in every PowerBooks in which it is included (for AluBooks but also for TiBooks !) First of all : a big THANK goes to xvi who brings a very long-wanted firmware... And here follow the main instructions. Read them carefuly before flashing your SuperDrive (source Cynikal)

Firmware X101 : For upgraded 2X DVD-R, 1X DVD-RW, 16X CD-R capability as well as region-free behaviour.

Firmware D101 : For ONLY UJ-815 2X DVD-R, 1X DVD-RW, 16X CD-R upgraded capability.

Firmware X0CB : For original 867Mhz/1Ghz 15" TiBook & 867Mhz 12" Powerbook Capabilities as well as region-free behaviour.

Firmware D0CB : For original 867Mhz/1Ghz 15" TiBook & 867Mhz 12" Powerbook Capabilities. This is an Apple officially supported firmware.

Firmware XWDB : For original 1Ghz 17" Powerbook Capabilities as well as region-free behaviour.

Firmware DWDB : For original 1Ghz 17" Powerbook Capabilities. This is an Apple officially supported firmware.

How to recover your superdrive after a firmware update failure

Thanx to Ben11 for this article (source

"After some private message exchanges it seems I was able to help some people in this situation (inclduing the original poster). I wrote a simple utility to perform a very basic flash to the drive - doing that may be able to recover the situation, but my flash utility performs almost no checks and is generally much more basic than the framework which, for example, the standard Apple Superdrive updaters have used.

So, if your drive is in a similar situation this may be able to help. But only try if you feel you’ve exhausted every other possibility, such as having the drive replaced. This flash process may not work for you, or in the worst case it could conceivably leave your drive is a worse state than before. It is of coursed not endorsed by anybody, in particular not Apple nor the drive manufacturer (or anybody at either).

As I wrote, compared to the standard updaters this utility makes few checks on the drive status - so unless your drive has really lost its standard operating firmware, often because of an interrupted flash, don’t use this rather than a more featured updater.

-  Simple flash utility archive

There is the terminal based utility (and source code) - along with copies of the HAEA, HBEA, KBVB, KCVB (RPC1 patched) firmwares for the UJ-857 and UJ-857D.

Basic Instructions

You need to download the "" file, unpack it and then run it using the terminal. e.g. assuming you have downloaded the archive file to your desktop you can unpack like this:

ben11s-computer:~ ben11$ cd Desktop
ben11s-computer:~/Desktop ben11$ unzip
ben11s-computer:~/Desktop ben11$ cd SimpleFlash

to use the utility you start it using ONE of the following commands:

./simple_flash 0 UJ857-HAEA-MBP-rpc1.dat


./simple_flash 0 UJ857-HBEA-MB-rpc1.dat


./simple_flash 0 UJ857D-KBVB-MB-rpc1.dat


./simple_flash 0 UJ857D-KCVB-MBP-rpc1.dat

(choose according to the firmware you need, see below)

It will prompt you to answer if you want to continue - to which you can type ’yes’ or ’y’, if you want to go on. The flash should start and will take about 30 seconds after which the utility should say "Finished". At this point I recommended you restart your Mac. If all has gone well your drive should be responding again.

Choosing the Firmware

The firmware included are the ones that the "Apple Superdrive 2.1" update offered for Matshita drives - except the ones in this archive have RPC1 patches. If you don’t want RPC1 you could go back to standard firmware using the updaters posted in other threads on this forum after your drive is responding again.

In principal the utility would also flash other matshita UJ-8xx drives, but suitable firmware data files are not included for them.

HAEA, HBEA are for UJ-857
KBVB, KCVB are for UJ-857D

If your drive previously had:

HAC1 or HAE4 use HAEA

If you don’t know the previous firmware revision you had then: As far as I know firmware revisions HAEA & KCVB are used in the Macbook Pro, HBEA & KBVB are used in the Macbook. Choose according to which model of mac and which model of drive you have.

The optical drive should not accept a firmware corresponding the wrong drive model, but for a given model the various revisions may have slight differences, perhaps because of different physical constraints on the hardware - so try to pick the appropriate revision.

Good luck."

For PowerBook & iBook G3


You’ve got a DVD drive inside your G3 laptop ?? You’re desperately searching for a way to make it region free because you’re watching DVDs from all around the world ?? So here is the response to your issue ! This little software allows you to set the "region counter" to zero. In fact, each time you have to change the region setting of your DVD drive, after having watched the DVD, launch "RegionReset" app. Reboot your mac, and you’ll be able to change region as much as you want. Have fun !

Two pieces of information :
-  it seems you can’t run the app on Pismo PowerBooks (see further) ;
-  to allow using the app, don’t forget to control the extension name "DVD Region Manager".


For G3 PowerBook users other than Wallstreet PowerBooks, here is the app of your dreams ! Region (by xvi) allows you to switch zones of MacOS 9. It also works on iMac DV computers.


Finally, THE solution for LG drives (especially for Pismos) in the following updater.


Here is small table to let you know if the optical drives inside your G3 PowerBooks can be RPC1 or not :

PowerbookManufacturersModelsTypeOfficial Firmwares RPC1 Firmwares
iBook G3ToshibaSD-R2002DVD-ROM1B29, 1C30XB29, XC30
iBook G3ToshibaSD-R2102DVD-ROM1K27XK27f
iBook G3ToshibaSD-R2212DVD-ROM1P19XP19
PowerBook G3LG (Goldstar)DRN-8080BDVD-ROM1.12, 1.13, 2.00 / 2.02, 2.032X02
PowerBook G3 (Lombard)MatsushitaSR-8171DVD-ROM058A, 059D, 067B, 080E-
PowerBook G3 (Lombard)MatsushitaSR-8173DVD-ROM064E (is already RPC1)064E (is already RPC1)
PowerBook G3 (Pismo)MatsushitaSR-8174DVD-ROMC113X113
iBook G3MatsushitaSR-8176DVD-ROMMA26MX26