robo21 -> Warning! Liteon 24102B=Shoddy, Inconsistant, Junk (1/1/2002 9:14:45 AM)
I am returning my second 24102B for exchange. Liteon has set a new record in my personal experience as being the most problem-riddled piece of hardware I have ever worked with.
It all started about 2 weeks ago when my best friend finally convinced me to get the burner. He kept raving about how perfect it was and how he hadn't had a coaster yet. The price dropped to $80, which seemed like a reasonable price so I got one. I already had 5 burners, all of which work, so it was with some reluctance that I bought my first Liteon 24102B.
So my reseller sent me an OEM unit instead of the retail-boxed model I had ordered. I installed the unit into my AMD TBird system, which has thus far been extremely tolerant and accepting of any type of hardware I have connected to it, including each of the 5 other burners I own. Hardware incompatibility has not been an issue here.
The first issue was that the drive would not be detected by BIOS. Furthermore, the tray would not eject and the LED stayed on all of the time. Turns out the drive was DOA, but I didn't know this for sure until I had wasted many hours trying to make it work and visiting the Liteon website (Liteon's website offers virtually nothing to aid an end user in need of assistance) looking for help. By the way, I used Liteon's "Problem Report" which is a "feature" of their website, twice, the first time was 3 weeks ago. To this day, I have not received a reply to that report.
So the drive gets returned and the retail-boxed version arrives and we eagerly install it thinking and hoping that this one will be the burner of my dreams. Forget about it. This time the drive was detected in BIOS immediately. However, the tray would not eject and the LED remained lit continuously.
In doing our normal troubleshooting procedure, we determined that the digital audio cable was the culprit. If the digital audio cable were correctly connected the drive would not function correctly. So, I figured, "no big deal, I won't use the digital audio extraction."
The problems did NOT end there, however.
I tried backing up one of my games, which is protected with Safedisk v.2. First I used CloneCD. The drive ran but made no progress whatsoever during the reading. It just whirred up to full speed and then down to idle and then up to full speed and then back to idle. The progress bar never advanced beyond 0%. Naturally, I theorized that it could be the software so I tried another hallmark of burning software, Nero.
The drive still did not read, and still it continued to whir up to full speed and then down to idle, over and over again. Then I tried another game that I had previously made a backup of successfully (using a different drive), this one protected by Safedisk v.1.
This time the Liteon made a flawless and exact copy of the CD in jaw-dropping time - 12 minutes! I was ecstatic; I thought there might be hope. Wrong again. The drive still would not read Safedisk2 or SecuRom protected disks so I decided it was time to talk to the manufacturer.
I contacted Liteon and was told by the tech that Liteon Corp. was indeed aware that when a digital audio cable is connected to the drive, the drive would not function. Furthermore, I was told that Liteon has no intention of producing a fix for the problem. I was told, "The problem will not be corrected on this drive, it will be corrected in the successor model only."
Well this stinks, in fact, this is downright unethical business. These people manufacture a piece of hardware that does not function correctly and then NOT ONLY have they failed, and continue to fail, to fix the problem, they have stated that they have no intention of fixing the problem. The shameful and unforgivable aspect of this issue is that they won't even alert their customers that the problem exists!
They could, at the very least, paste a small sticker on the back of the drive warning consumers of this problem. By not alerting consumers Liteon has unequivocally and shamelessly demonstrated a callous disregard for the end users of their product. We spent hours trying to get their shoddy drive to work on the system before isolating the digital audio cable as the cause.
So not only is Liteon failing to support a drive which is currently still in production, they are knowingly allowing end users to go through the aggravation, frustration, and lost hours trying to install a drive, which if connected in one very common configuration (with the digital audio cable connected), is doomed to failure.
So people buy the drive and find out the hard way that the digital audio cable, when connected, aborts the normal functionality of the drive. Or they don't realize this is the problem and return the drive to the reseller who, in turn, returns the drive to Liteon.
Now it gets scary. There are numerous posts on various forums about this issue, which indicates the problem is widespread. Furthermore, the person I spoke with at Liteon acknowledged that the problem is with "all of the 24102B drives." Therefore, Liteon must be getting many hundreds if not thousands of drives returned (they produced and shipped 800,000 drives in November-I don't know how many of that number were the 24102B but you can be sure it was a very large percentage) so this means that Liteon is maintaining silence (no notification on, or with, new drives being shipped, and no notification on the website) on this issue for one reason - so they can maximize the profits on their bottom line by selling junk to the public. Well, there could be another reason, it could be that is cheaper for them to repack all the returns and reship them to unsuspecting buyers around the world. But again, it boils down to profit.
My bottom line is this: Liteon does NOT care about the customer beyond the initial point of sale. The absence of easily accessible tech support, alone, tells us that.
Getting back to my situation, the tech at Liteon suggested that I use a 'downgrade' of the firmware to enable the drive to read Safedisk2 and SecuRom protected disks. I first loaded the 5S07 firmware in DOS, the software reported that the flash was successful, however the drive lost all functionality and just spun with the LED now continuously glowing an angry red in color. I then tried upgrading to my original firmware, again the software reported "success" but the drive failed to return to anything resembling normal. Now the drive was, and is, completely useless.
In retrospect, I now wish I had bought the Plextor 24X when it first came out. Back then it would have copied any protected CD with ease and even do Cactus. Now, with Plextor's firmware "advancements" their drive is useless in that regard.
I would strongly urge anyone in the market for a CD burner to avoid Liteon like the proverbial plague. Unless, of course, you enjoy spending your time resolving never-ending issues. And, if you own a Liteon, by all means, call or write these masters of high tech business and ask them why? Chances are our letters and emails will continue to be unanswered because this is one company that had demonstrated, beyond any doubt, that it just wants your money and could care less about your satisfaction.
Lately, with the recent "tech-wreck" and the decline of sales volume in the high tech sector, many companies have cut their tech suppost staffing or have begun charging for tech support. Guess what? They are finding out they can get away with it because of weak-willed, spineless, sheep-like consumers accepting the trend and not withholding their dollars and/or vociferously complaining. Liteon is just one example of many.
We, as consumers, 'vote' with our dollars. As long as we spend good money for poorly manufactured goods, the manufacturer will have no incentive to upgrade their products. Obviously, (just skim through the Liteon section of this forum) Liteon has some of the worst QC (quality control) issues I have experienced.
The only way these crooked operators will ever get the message that we will not tolerate shoddily manufactured goods, that we will not tolerate poor technical support, that we will not tolerate poor after-point-of-sale warranty service, is by withholding our dollars from them and supporting companies that care for their customers. After all, business is only successful for the long-term when buyer and seller both win.
If anyone has a viable alternative I am open to suggestions.
There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
Edited by - robo21 on 01/01/2002 09:58:04