Hi, since PX-W4824 and PX-W5224 use the exact same Sanyo chipset "LC898095", that has to mean all disadvantages of PX-W4824 compared to PX-W5224 are firmware limitations, right or wrong? if that's correct assumption then is there something that prevents to cross-flash PX-W4824 to PX-W5224 firmware?

I can't speak to the compatibility for crossflashing those specific drives, but I have previously crossflashed a Creative branded drive (which was actually just a rebadged Plextor) with the Plextor firmware.

It's been some years since I did it, but I'm pretty sure all I did to crossflash was just (1) locate the drive model string in the Plextor flasher, and (2) hex edit that string to contain the model of the Creative drive instead.

I don't have that drive hooked up anymore, but I think I remember it still identifying itself as the Creative model, but I think it was running the Plextor firmware? I don't recall if / how I was able to verify that, as it's been years since I've played with that drive. It was an old 12x CD-RW. I crossflashed it back when I first started dumping, hoping that maybe the Plextor firmware had lead-in / lead-out dumping ability that the Creative firmware didn't. I never could get it to do lead-in / lead-out, so I gave up on that drive.

You might try asking over on Myce or CDRinfo.pl. Must of CDRinfo is in Polish (which I don't speak), but there's absolute tons of great info on there to be found using a machine translator. In a brief search, I did see that people had done work on renaming Plextor drives. Apparently it's possible to rename my old Creative into a Plextor. Maybe I should take a look...

actually, i now believe the main reason it will not work is because the Laser optical pickup unit between the 2 drives is very different in any way, PX-4824 is really disappointing drive compared to PX-5224, when it comes to CDs with a lot of C1/C2 like those Cactus protected ones.