PX716-A problems

vbimport

#1

Am i one of the few unfortunate ones who have nothing but grief with their new PX716-A? When the drive first came out late last year, i read the reviews and problems of the first released drives and waited until January to purchase one. It was a January production model and worked great for about 5 weeks, then i would get all sorts of errors while burning with any DVD/CDR media i used previously. After trying it on two other systems… the errors still persisted and i even tried doing the plextor self-test. Drive was defective, so i RMA’d it back to plextor having to pay both ends of the shipping at a cost of over $20. It took over 2 months to get a replacement unit, and they sent me a “refurbished-December” production drive which wouldn’t read any of my media right out of the box!!! This is my 3rd Plextor drive and i have never had a problem like this before. The place where i bought the plextor drive was kind enough to lend me a LG 4163B while i waited for my replacement plextor and i was so impressed with it, i decided to keep it.

This post is pretty much meaningless, other than to vent my frustration with my plextor purchase which to date has cost me over $220(drive $187 Canadian with taxes and the two times($40 total) i have had to ship it back and fourth to plextor).

Sad to say, but i now have a bad taste in my mouth with Plextor. In the past… i praised them up and down for their quality long-lasting drives, but i will no longer be forking out the extra premium $$$ plextor demands for their drives. I truely feel their drives have fallen off on the quality side of things.

For those who have had no problems with their PX716-A’s… Congrat’s!! I pray noone has to endure the frustration i have with this drive.


#2

I have experienced similar things with EPoX-mainboards or a Waitec DVD-player (DVD-X5)… I know how frustrating things like this can be. :wink:
I had to live without a working PC for more than two months (!) because EPoX was sooo slow and even sent me a board back that worked only for 1.5 hours… Then I bought an ABit, as you bought your LG… :wink:

But my PX-716A works really well. phew! :slight_smile:


#3

Well, Gforce99, I feel your pain. I consider myself a Plextor “fan” but it has been a tough relationship. I own a 712a and two 716a’s. All work marvellously (now), but each was a disaster out of the box. Each one has been replaced. One of them (my first 716) has been replaced 3 times. The sad thing about this is when folks hear this tale of woe, they think, “Man, what’s wrong with YOU?!” I mean, really, it’s hard to believe the quality can be that bad. Yeah, I guess I’m a bonehead.

I’m sure the luck of the draw may have something to do with it all. The last 716a I bought was a TLA0307. Having already been through the mill getting working versions of its two siblings already in my rig, I was hoping that maybe with this latest version all the problems would be gone. Consider that bubble to be popped, my friend.

My computer is a fast P4 with 1 GB of HyperX RAM and half a terabyte of drive space. It’s hand-built from stable components, and well ventilated. My P/S is 550 Watts. My hard drives are all SATA and my ATAPI devices each live on on their own controllers, each as a master. There is no issue with DMA problems, etc. Except for UDMA PCI controllers, I have no other PCI cards. My system is fast. I don’t consider myself a novice and I am well aware that there are many factors that can interract to cause problems.

OK, having said all that, here’s what the tale is with the last 716. The drive would not complete any burn at a speed faster than 4X. In fact, it would ramp down to 12x about halfway through the burn. Let me state that I was using Verbatim DVD+R 16X media. I also have TY DVD-R 8X that also worked just as poorly. Looking at the FE/TE test, it was obvious that no matter what disk I used, at about 1.2 GB into the burn the tracking error would jump way off the scale into the stratosphere. This is the point where the drive would slow during burning. I was bummed. I swapped the drive to other locations, but the problem followed the drive. And,yeah, I did update the firmware to 1.08 but it made no difference. Of course I tried lots of media and wasted more money on that than I care to admit. Like I said, boneheaded.

Wanting to go the RMA route, I sent Plextor screen shots of the problem, gave them a complete listing of all that I had done to troubleshoot the problem, etc. All I got back from them was a form letter telling me to check all the things we all already know about. I really don’t think theyread a thing that I said or looked at my screen caps. Basically they were telling me that PowerRec was slowing things down because my media was crappy. (Yes PowerRec was doing that, of course, but my media is good stuff.) Then they told me I have DMA problems. (I don’t) Also, they told me that other device might be interfering. I doubt that. Anyway, you get the idea. Oh, they gave me lots of niftly links to sites telling me that bad media is a BIG problem. I guess Plextor finds it hard to believe their drives might be crap right out of the box. I even ran their disk-wasting diagnostic that cranked for about an hour(!) and ended without finding an error. This test finishes in about 10 minutes on my other drives, but all Plextor cares about is if it finishes without error. If it runs for a week, they don’t care!

I took a chance and took the drive back to the store. I didn’t want to go this route, because I guess I wanted Plextor to fix the problem and not have to deal with the store. Also, I really didn’t want to make that trip and end up with another bad new drive. The dreamer in me told me that if I got a drive right from Plex, it would be a good one.Yeah, I know. There’s a lot of wishful thinking it seems when dealing with a Plextor purchase these days.

Anyway, lucky me. The replacement drive is a burning monster. It burns my quality media at rated speed, and then some, and the burn quality is spectacular. Finally.

I don’t think I’ll buy another Plextor. I don’t see the point. The only reason I made the same mistake 3 times is that I am stubborn and I do like having matching equipment. I am hoping these drives will last for several years. I don’t intend to build a new machine for about 5 years. The new machine will not have Plextor drives. I don’t see anything coming from Plextor these days to justify the premium price.

Sorry for the long post, but at least that’s off my chest. Plextor makes good drives if you can find the ones that work.


#4

Wow… thanks for the reply farfromok. I think you and i have similar mindsets when it comes to components. I always refused to buy anything but “name-brand” components with a solid reputation. Both my older Plextor drives worked flawlessly out of the box, one bing an the first generation burn-proof drives i bought back in 2000. It still gets use in my wifes Athlon XP system and when my 716 went south, i used it to burn music cd’s while i waited for a replacement. That thing just plain rocks. I did the same as you… sent plextor tech support all the burn errors i was getting, and at first… they sent me a list of things to check. But when i told them i checked the burner on both my home machines and even took it to work and checked it on another system which was a brand new P4 3.2gig box, they quickly gave me an RMA number. Anyhooo… again… thanks for the replies. I’m glad i’m not the only one who has had his share of head-aches with the 716.

P.S. I guess my only real gripe with Plextor is that they send you a refurbished drive as a replacement. For the premium price you pay… you should get a BRAND NEW drive. As with my experience… that drive was a dud right out of the box… it wouldn’t even read media on both my systems.


#5

HI!

My first Plextor, i bought in December, couldn`t read nothing.

So, i send him RMA…

Second one works, but did make lot of vibrations/Noises…

I, at my decision, thanks to a user here in the forum, open the Plextor and resolve the problem, caused, i think, due the transportation…

2 weeks ago, my Plextor did “Die”!

Couldn`t read anything! :doh:

Did open again, look the stuff, and did check the mini cable, between the circuit board and the Head of the Plextor and voilá, it`s working again and very well! :bigsmile:

Until when? Don`t now. Like some said before, I am stubborn and like to top quality components at my rig, ABit Board, AMD Mobile CPU, all Watercooled and almost 1 Giga of Overclocking…

So, im not a "rookie" on rigs…but next machine, i will think twice on a Plextor one…

just my 2 cents… :rolleyes:

Mordorr

#6

Sorry to hear about all your problems guys :frowning:


#7

Hi G@M3FR3@K!

:slight_smile: This is the wall of complains Plextors users… :bigsmile:

G@M3FR3@K, if my memory is not wrong, did give me the clues to solve the

mysterieux “Bad Vibrations” problems! :cop:

:bow: Thanks, :bow: :bow:


#8

Oh, I’d hate to be thought of as a complainer. :slight_smile:

To balance things out a bit, here’s what I LIKE about Plextor:

  1. The drives are a pleasure to use, very refined. Quiet and smooth.
  2. You can look at the front of the drive and tell what it’s doing because of the LED is fully functional. Reading, Writing, Drive Speed, Disk in place, etc. (I really don’t like drives that don’t remind you that there’s a disk in there – just a pet peeve, though).
  3. The tech support is good, even though it can be frustrating at times. And by frustrating I mean they don’t always give you the answer you wanted to hear. I have always found them to be responsive and helpful even when I don’t get an RMA on the first or second request.
  4. You get a decent manual with the drive. (Although not so on the latest 716 drive I bought. Neither box had the nice little printed manual.) Of course, having the manual on PDF is better than you get with most other brands. It’s quite comprehensive.
  5. Most important, the burn quality is exemplary. Sometimes you have to tweak your burn speeds a bit to get the very best quality, but the drive does not fight you. With a little experimentation, you can get consistent, good burns.
  6. Plextools is pretty cool.

I still think they’ve got a quality control problem at the moment, but as I said earlier, when you get a drive that works (eventually) you are in business.


#9

I couldn`t agree more…

In fact, i don`t remember my last POE above 80… :rolleyes: :wink:

Good burns,


#10

Hmm… why POE? You probably mean PIE, Mordorr. :wink:


#11

:stuck_out_tongue: :bigsmile:


#12

Well lately this whole forum seems to have turned into a complaint forum. But that’s understandable if people have problems with their drives and when Plextor pulls stunts like the “PxScan legal threat”. Anyway, my Plextor drives are working fine and I use them a lot. But, if you have a problem with your drive, you don’t want to hear someone say “mine works great”. All we can do is try to help people that have a problem because not all problems are related to the drive itself although a lot of people tend to jump to this conclusion too quickly.


#13

Strangely , I have to agree with You ; except for the threads with “PxScan legal threat” themes ,
we should perhaps be more relaxed about the “normal” problems (any drive-/program-manufacturer
can have a bad day ! Right CVS ?) so we don’t turn this into a “normal” condition for Plextor-forum ;
assuming of course that there is an honourable way out of their Linux/PXscan-blunder … :o

And except for 716A , I’ve bought all my Plextor drives (R820Ti , S88TU , S2410TU , Premium-U ,
((PX-504A ; sold … and not really a Plextor :bigsmile: )) , PX-712UF & PX-716A) without waiting for better TLA etc.

They all work great and I’m mostly here to get wiser (and be a wise-guy :stuck_out_tongue: ?) so as someone put it :

People usually come to this forum (or BenQ’s , NEC’s , LiteOn’s etc.) if they have a problem … :bigsmile:
that is , with their recorders ! Not with me , of course … :kiss: :kiss: :kiss:

I think even anti-Plextor-people can agree with You there ! :iagree:


#14

I came here originally because I suspected there might be a problem with my new Plextor DVD burner (there was a problem) and that’s probably true for a lot of people here. Unfortunately, that means that the forum community is not an accurate reflection of the wider Plextor community. Because of that, people should be aware that any conclusions drawn from anecdotal experiences here about things like the build quality or RMA experiences - or even media compatibility - are likely to be inaccurate. “Take it with a grain of salt” is a huge understatement.

Another reason people come here is that they have had a genuinely bad experience and feel the need to vent because the manufacturer provided them with no opportunity to do so. People who’ve gone to a great deal of trouble to send screencaps etc only to get answers like “have you tried re-installing windows?” from tech support who clearly did not fully read the complaint. I don’t blame people for venting here, but longtime forum members should be aware that it’s just human nature and the complainer is likely to move on and not post here again.

Thirdly, unlike most who buy DVD burners, this community is more technically literate and aware of things like PIF spikes and excessive jitter; we see many shades of gray between “it plays fine” and “it won’t play back properly”. Compounding that is the perception that because of price and reputation, Plextor buyers expect more - a lot more - than BTC buyers, for example.

All of this is likely to lead to a high number of complaints about just about everything, and maybe even more of it than are found in the other recording hardware forums. And like G@M3FR3@K says, the pxscan/pxlinux stunt didn’t help, especially in a community that’s convinced that Plextor’s “flagship” DVD burner has unresolved problems. Complaints aside, 2005 has not been a good year for Plextor’s reputation. At least I don’t think so; maybe their P&L statement says otherwise.

This isn’t a complaint, but a suggestion: Plextor could do more. We do pay almost twice as much for their burners and the onus really is on Plextor to prove that it was worth it, especially since their reputation has taken some hits. Lately they’ve been concentrating on rarely-used functionality like GizmoRec and tilting at windmills intelligently. Perhaps instead they could:

-Raise the profile of customer service. We know without a doubt that they read at least some of the threads in this forum; why not participate actively and openly like Alcohol, Nero, Blindwrite and others do? They could limit this support to just Plextools or whatever…but the higher profile would generate enough goodwill to at least pay for itself.

-extend the two-way DHL pickup/dropoff to other areas of the world. It pisses me off to see that they do this in the EU but not elsewhere, especially for dead-on-arrival drives. When a product fails in-warranty, that’s the least a premium (priced) manufacturer can offer. And it would put them head and shoulders above the competition. It must be expensive, but if they can do it in the EU, they can do it elsewhere.

-Better web site and more useful changelogs. “Fixed a few minor bugs” and “improved DVD write performance on certain media” tells me absolutely nothing. What bugs? What media? Plextor’s web site has virtually no useful information for existing Plextor product owners, just sales pitches. I have no reason to visit it, so I don’t.

-Media compatibility. We use MIDs to accurately convey which discs we’re using and I still can’t tell what those media codes on Plextor’s web site really are. Serial numbers? UPC/EAN numbers?

-Open up the firmware and write strategies. If Plextors are the tweakers’ choice, then doing this is a no-brainer. crossg made some excellent points in another thread about MCSE functionality in the BenQ 1620; I expect Plextor to provide stuff like this. And if they don’t/won’t, then not to oppose anyone who will. My opinion is that their zeal to capture the software market is now actually hurting the hardware sales side. “Ha ha, your end of the boat is sinking” has never been a very bright approach and the cause of death of many once-great companies.

These are just a few specificthings (there’s many more) Plextor could do that, for the most part, don’t cost a lot and would cut down enormously on the complaints. Plextor has sold a lot of DVD burners by coasting on their reputation from the CD burner days. Surely they realize they’d sell a lot more if the DVD burner product line had its own good reputation? Consumers will forgive a lot if they think the company is remotely interested in what they’re complaining about.


#15

@ftp1020: Good points, I agree. :iagree:


#16

well said ftp… :iagree:


#17

Nice ftp.:iagree: Interaction between Plextor and this forum would be a great thing should it ever happen.


#18

:bow: Well said… :clap:

Just one thing about complaints. It`s nature way to complain about problems,

not otherwise, or, when things works… :wink:

Mordorr


#19

From someone that like his 716a: Well said ftp1020.

This may seem to be off topic but… I’ve been watching this chef named Gordon Ramsay, who was the youngest to get 3 Michelin stars for his cooking. Ramsay’s philosophy is to use the best and freshest ingredients, the fewest ingredients necessary to prevent over-complicated distractions or disasters, dishes presented cleanly and appealingly, and be willing to stand behind every dish made without excuse. The patrons will pay top dollar. Oh yeah, give the patrons what they want and can identify too.

How this pertains to Plextor is as ftp1020 stated: use quality parts, avoid complicated add-ons unless it works, make sure it all works, quality control, be the best in service (along with a better quality product, presumably why people pay significantly more for an item to begin with), make no excuses for poor quality or perormance, and let the customer tinker with Linux if you refuse to (afterall… more people will buy your product because of widened usability. FYI… the Grateful Dead, Phish and Little Feat never starved even though they let anyone record their concerts and freely swap the music!)

With Plextor being (still IMHO) the premier manufacturer, having already won our user loyalty and worldwide sales… it’s “their’s to lose”.


#20

@ftp1020: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: