LG Hardware Failures

I have had two both a GAS-4040B and GSA 4081B. The first failed after 6 months. The second, which was a replacement for the first, also failed after 6 months. Both units failed in the same way. They read fine, but when attempting to write they return a “drive busy” indication. Since my one year warranty is up, LG wants me to pay for repair. I think that putting money into a product with such a lousy reliability record would be sheer foolishness, to say it mildly. It appears to me that their chip set must have a frequent failure mode, which I experienced, and I have no interest in being burned again by a manufacturer of unreliable products. However, I am interested in knowing if any other LG users have had similar experiences.

Since I am now looking to purchase a new DVD writer, I am understandably soured on the LG products. Of course, the LG line, particularly, when they come out with bit setting, certainly has good specs, but there seem to be good alternatives. I am new to this club, but am delighted that I stumbled upon it. In the short time I have been looking at the forums, I have found very useful information to keep me from buying one of the new models such as the ND 3500A or Pioneer DVR-108D that have no Bit Setting. If I read one of the other threads correctly the BenQ DW1620 now has as high a speed as any of the other brands and also includes bit setting. I’ll look a little further before buying.

Since this is the LG forum, I would like to know if anyone else has experienced the kind of failures that I have with the LG products.


i will tell you 6 months down the road… lol

I have no idea why there’s no person who has a failed LG DVD writer around me even though LG keeps #1 market share here. Maybe I’m just lucky. :slight_smile:

It seems what you want is not information or solution or help, but just want to find out whether there are also people unhappy with LG so that you can all say “don’t buy LG” loudly.

I’m truly sorry that your two LG DVD writers failed but implying people who have used them without any “reliability” problems are foolish is not something I can agree to well. You were not lucky.

hmmm…i tend to agree…take for instance BenQ…i have 4 pcs of DW1620A and none of it has any issues in burn quality…but at home…someone tend to try to tarnish BenQ’s name as they feel it is a threat …maybe to another brand they support in our local market…oh well…as i would say…statiscally…i have 4 BenQs and none of them have issues…

some people are having problems with the lg drives knock on wood mine is three months old and i have backed up over 200 movies with out a problem am i lucky then by the way my drive is 4081b

i had 4082B, now i have 4120B, many of my friends have LG DVD writers, non have any problems. i also installed many cd readers and burners from LG. the only time i had a problem with lg burners was when i didn’t buy one. i bought a cd burner from another known producer and its now dead.

You can always get one of those Visa or Mastercards that give you another year of warrentee on anything that you buy with it. Ive been lucky in that whenever something failed I wanted to upgrade anyway.

I’ve never heard of such thing. Perhaps VISA and Master Card have different policies in some countries. Unthinkable in South Korea at least.

Many people think 1-year warranty on DVD writers is too short but then most manufacturers want to cut cost even further.

I have a LG4081B and I couldn’t burned any +R media at 8x with this drive … I tried many brands but no go … I was bought this drive for it’s 8x capabilitie … Lg lied with this drive … it’s a 4x -R 4x +R drive , not an 8x +R !

Maybe some of the forum members say that it’s a very picky for medias , I don’t accepts this … I tried many media , if it likes only 2 or 3 specific media , this is not good

Then, I bought a Nec3500, It burns 8x at 12 or 16x … awsome …

Btw, I can say that even the LG burns at 4x , the burn quality is very good …


I do appreciate your response. You have pointed out that part of what I said could be easily misunderstood. I meant to say that it would be foolish for ME to proceed basded upon my experience. I really was not intending to judge for others. I was , however, rather strong in my condemnation, which really reflects my frustration with LG.

I don’t think I was looking for others to join inmy condemnation of LG. In fact, I still think that specs on the LG products are attractive, and I wish that my experience to date had been different. However, LG’s rather rigidly enforced warranty policy still leaves me cold, and I do not want to put myself in the position of being disappointed by another LG product. How many people who experienced two identical failures within one year would proceed to buy another of the same product?

I really would like to hear from LG users about their experience. Were I to learn that my experience was really unique, I would probably soften my view regarding some future purchase. For the present, I have to weigh my own experience rather heavily.

Thanks for your comment.

And for the record, when the LG’s worked, they worked well. The only incompatibility that I experienced was in their difficulty recording on Sony DVD +/- RW disks.

BTW, one of the things that led me to join this forum was that I found your articles and reviews to be so helpful. Thanks for your contribution.

I don’t know how LG operates in various countries in details. It’s different from country to country. The One-Year limited warranty can be interpreted in various ways. It could be one year from the date of purchase. It could be also from the date of production. It could be six months PLUS one year from the date of production. It could be a few more days or weeks plus one… and so on. Sometimes you can get a new drive. Sometimes you can get only refurbished drive. Sometimes you can get only the very drive you returned, but fixed by the engineers. Sometimes they will replace some parts and then return the drive back to you.

In South Korea, Samsung’s warranty policy is the most generous and consumer-friendly. LG is the next.

From what I have read on this forum and other international forums, I have felt both LG and Samsung are doing very well when it comes to warranty. Too well that domestic South Korean consumers always feel the two companies are stealing money from the domestic consumers and throwing the money to overseas consumers to make more US$ to flow in the South Korean economy which is vital for the survival of the country. I don’t recommend anyone in South Korea to buy overpriced LG products meant for domestic South Korean consumers. None of my LCD monitors are LG though most of them use Philips-LG LCD panels. (Half the cost and similar performance.) Instead, I recommend people to buy “back-imported” LG products that were meant for overseas markets. Some traders buy the LG drives that are exported or planned to be exported and then sell them in South Korea. For LG, it’s illegal and they say it’s illegal but of course it’s legal. That way, domestically produced drives cost 50% more than overseas products. Margins, shippings, customs all added, but still cost over 50% less. If anyone, South Koreans like myself have the strongest reasons to hate LG. On a very personal level, I’m on the very very anti- side of all those jaebols. They gathered money to fund their currenty business by bribing and supporting regimes that massacred our citizens many times. The regimes of today are a little better but there are still connections and many people actually suffer from that. But I rather concentrate on the worldwide scene and warranty is not the only factor that seriously affect consumer lives. If most LG users of the world are experiencing good services, then it’s fine with me.

After reading the first post in this thread, I thought about the StorageReview’s way of giving scores for HDD reliability. Mostly the scores are average impressions of the site’s members so they are still heavily biased but still much better than some single individual posts on the forum board.

You must have tried many brands but only poor quality media. Both 4081B and 4082B can actually write at 8x and there were media compatibility lists for both 4x and 8x.

ND-3500A can burn 8x at 12x or 16x, but that’s a standard feature on ALL 16x DVD writers (what’s awesome about it?) Even the most conservative Samsung TS-H552B can write some 8x media at 12x. And try burning various types of 8x media at 16x with your ND-3500A and report the write quality results here. I’m quite positive most of the results would show very poor results unless you intentionally choose to use only the types of media that ND-3500A specifically prefer.

If your GSA-4081B didn’t like the types of media that you wanted to use, then you can either use the types of media GSA-4081B like or replace GSA-4081B with something else that like your favoriate media. For myself and very many others, GSA-4081B/4082B were highly recommendable. I liked my GSA-4082B more than my Plextor PX-708A though I had to pay more than 3 times more for the latter than the former.

The #3 online vendor and many other online vendors have cancelled their LG optical drive selection. These vendors cancelled LG because of too many returns. Thousands upon thousands of defective LG drives have made U.S. customers very unhappy. Now, there are a lot less vendors for the LG optical drive product (and a lot less customers).
Personally, I’m convinced that the drives work when they leave the factory, but may be really sensitive to shipping damage or environmentals.
The focus-tracking error issue is really such a shame because the drives are incredibly pleasant to use.

Any reliable source? Your “A lot less” and “thousands upon thousands” sound just too vague to me. It’s not politics. “LG drives have made U.S. customers very unhappy” sounds as if you want no US customer to buy LG when there are clearly a lot more people in the US who have used LG drives without a problem. Would you bet if there are more unhappy IBM HDD customers than unhappy LG ODD customers? Say, from the same 100,000,000 or 200,000,000 individual consumers. Return rate could be a good starting point to judge. Saying about a specific supplier’s temporary cancelling and that there are people who are unhappy with the products don’t help. I’ve seen so many people bashing Dell and Sony and HP and IBM and Maxtor for their own reasons without looking further if there are a very high percentage of equally unlucky customers of the specific vendor or manufacturer due to hardware failures caused not by the faults on the part of end users but by some outdated manufacturing processes. I haven’t seen any reason to imagine it’s a problem of manufacturing on the part of LG. I haven’t seen anyone to try even to guess the number of failure rates and manufacturing process problems. Compared to that, there have been at least hundreds and thousands of end user consumers that posted exactly like that, guesses and statistics (though statistics cannot be taken for granted either), for AMD processors. Because I was from time to time involved in buying and selling and servicing ODD products, though not without anything to do with LG, I had to find some reliable information on such matters. I was informed of such things available directly from Lite-On in Taiwan and NEC in Japan. Without such information, no serious company can import and buy drives. Thousands really doesn’t matter on an economy of hundreds of millions of drives. To make another example, I need about that many drives to “buffer” to service (meaning 1:1 instant replacement without question) if I were to import and sell 100,000 units of DVD writers. Because LG makes and sells more than any other company and it’s quite easy to return drives even when they are fine, it’s likely that there are more returns. The fact remains most of the returned drives are just OK. If the drives are so fragile to go bad during the shipping, would you, if it were YOU, be willing to sell your drives by the thousands to people on another continent? Imagine just how much you can lose and it’s your own money. And the shipping companies also have some measures against such risks and usually there is no practical risk to worry about. One also has to pay for insurance for such risks, like standard procedure in international shipping (sea shipping.)

My issue with LG is that they are so pleasant to use, and I really do want one!!!
While trying with 4 different mainboards and two different operating systems, several different known-good medias and different LG drives, not one lasted longer than a loaf of bread–when pleasant performance suddenly turned into disfunction.

In my case, shipping was highly questionable. UPS, often pronounced “Oops!” in this area, is known for breakage. Their trucks have bouncy hi-mileage many-ply tires, and I live far into a forrest (my forrest) on a gravel (huge rocks!) access road. As all of the LG drives complained of focus or tracking (before they got progressively worse and ceased working entirely), I gave LG the benefit of the doubt and blamed the problems on chronically rough shipping. These were OEM units and thus were not packed well. Just as it is unwise to put an optical drive into a clothes dryer on “Air Fluff” for 20 minutes–this shipping method was equally unwise, and the most plausable cause of failure of the LG product.

After attempting yet again another replacement again, my favorite vendor had cancelled the entire line-up due to negative customer feedback. It is possible that vendor caused the issue by providing poor packing and exclusive (and rough) UPS shipping as the only option.
They recommended a brand that was unfamilar to me–BenQ? Who? However, my two BenQ drives with their on-the-fly focus technology survived the same trip with grace. My search for DVDR functionality ended there.

Combine this limited comparison with the many reports of “focus,” or other similar error, in the LG product, and you can understand why I believe that the product is sensitive to shipping damage.

Given the small, less than one percent, sampling, there is no cause to “doubt” LG as a valid product. However there is cause to request a more reliable “focus” system from the manufacturer. Certainly, they do have a better-than-average replacement system/practice which is, self-evidently, not under a heavy load.

Personally, I have no desire to experience the product further until the “focus” reports cease. After this unfortunate and chronic issue has ended, then I will probably purchase an LG writer–because their good side is very good indeed. That’s why I said that it is such a shame for such a simple issue to make such a pleasant product so very unviable.

Favorite quotes of the moment:
“. . .and yes, I will say tripe whenever tripe is served.”
“Caveat Emptor”
That last quote was from a European lady (English, yet with barely understandable English) who used up more LG drives than I did. I can’t imagine why she was so upset–because her LG products all had the courtesy, decency, and beneficial convenience of expiring before the vendor’s 30 day return period had elapsed. :stuck_out_tongue:

Now, my GSA4120B is broken. It will not recognize DVD-RAM media any more.

They said that pickup mount mechanism of LG drive is weak (some parts are attached to outer cover), so the distance between media and pickup become widen. This may cause servo error or mounting disturbance. Sometime, these disturbance may improve by pushing and distorting outer cover strongly. But I do not confirm it.

Yeah, my GSA4120B is also making loud servo noises that were not there when the unit
was new (4 months ago) . Sounds like grinding gears. I suspect the culprit is that corkscrew
shaft or the stepper motor. Still, it burns and reads fine, so I am not going to declare it
a total write-off just yet (knocks on wood). I’m itching to open the cover and poke around
to fix it myself, but I got 8 months warranty left.

There does seem to be a problem with LG drives. I’ve checked all the drive forums here, elsewhere, googled drives with “focus tracking errors” and though I’m not a statistical analysist I did take it in college and to me it’s like LG 80% focus with LiteOn a distant second and all other brands near negligible. C’mon LG, whats with your drives?

Taking statistics in college doesn’t seem to have helped a bit. If you look for words that are often said about LG drives, you are going to find a lot of outcomes on LG, and hardly about other manufacturers. Maybe I’m repeating this phrase more than once these days, but WHAT YOU MEASURE IS WHAT YOU GET.

From everything I’ve seen on CDFreaks and other forums, the only thing that resembles anything like reason seems to come from Diseree alone. I think his guess is reasonable regardless of whether it’s true or not.

There are quite many people that have used LG GSA-4020, 4040, 4081, 4082, 4120, 4160 for months to years. When I have time, I’ll try to talk to LG engineers responsible for RMA and I would like to recommend anyone interested to do the same thing if possible. Sometimes they give frank opinions and facts, not to mention generally giving a choice between a new drive and the fixed (if there was need for fix) drive.


Well, I am happy to report that my GSA-4082B is doing exactly what it’s supposed to. It’s 9 months old and hasn’t given me any trouble. Even if my drive broke tomorrow, I would buy another one. When buying a drive, you have to consider what you plan to do with it. For me, I burn home made videos with Verbatim Digital Movie 4x (MCC 01RG20) and Maxell DVD-RAM 2x, 3x (MXL8) for weekly backups. My requirements are very specific and yours are surely different from mine. For me, these two media work perfectly. This is one person who is very satisfied with his hardware.