Its not dead. It burns at normal speed and no problems. It's the cd reading that went down the drain after the firmware update. It wont read 40% of cds i put into it anymore and the ones it does read it takes it like a minute to recognize there's anything in there, it used to be instantly, and rarely that i would put a cd in that it wouldn't read.
The reason I was even using this ancient piece of hardware is because my LG dvd burner reads cds very slow and wont recognize them half the time. but now my lite-on drive is doing it too.
It is not the cd either, I can put it into my ancient 52x cd reader from 2002 and it will recognize the cd almost instantly. Its too bad I have to open it with a paper clip every time.