Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SteelSeries - Bad Drivers, Bad Support

SteelSeries - Bad Support
I have been a long time Razer mouse user starting with the copperhead, then moving to the lachesis and finally the left handed death adder.

Being a claw gripper, I was unhappy with the mold of the death adder which is designed for palm grip - and so I began a search for a new mouse.

After awhile of searching I narrowed my choice down to 3 brands - another Razer, a Logitech, or a SteelSeries. I decided to give SteeSeries a chance since they were responsive to my tweets in regards to recommendations for a claw grip style mouse.

I ultimately decided upon a Steelseries Sensei which was in stock at a local Best Buy. The mouse worked great initially, and was trouble free for quite some time. I was not happy with the bloated SteelSeries engine software that must be running order to configure additional aspects of the mouse, but it was a necessary evil.

Long story short, fast forward to this October. During the weekend of our annual LAN party the SteelSeries engine began to crash. I have no idea what caused this problem as I did not make any changes to my system. Making any type of software or system changes before or during a LAN party is just asking for trouble.

I noticed at the same time that my Catalyst Control Center would also refuse to open. I was able to resolve this issue with a quick google search, but the steelseries problem I was unable to resolve.

The error that I receive is:

Initialization of SteelSeries Engine failed. Please reinstall Engine and try again.
Initialization of SteelSeries Engine failed. Please reinstall Engine and try again.

I tried uninstalling the SteelSeries and reinstalling. I've tried uninstalling, deleting any remnants left behind, running ccleaner, rebooting and then reinstalling. No joy.

I have noticed that SteelSeries seems to have updated their engine at least 3 times with the past 3 weeks or so but none of them fix my problem.

After the LAN party was over I opened a ticket with SteelSeries. Below you will find the correspondence that has taken place thus far:


  • Hey *****,
    I've transferred this ticket to Randall. He should get back to you shortly, but definitely within the next 1-2 business days.
    Please keep in mind that the 1-2 days does not include Saturday and Sunday, although we do make an effort to respond on the weekends, we cannot guarantee we always will!
    Thanks for your patience.
    Regards,
    SteelSeries Support
    October 09, 2012 08:03 am

  • Hey *****,
    I'm going to transfer this ticket to our software guys so they can help a bit better with this. I honestly have no idea about the .net thing.
    Regards,
    Randall B
    SteelSeries
    October 09, 2012 11:34 am

    Below are my updates to the ticket, of which I have yet to receive a response:


  • Any word on this?
    October 12, 2012 07:34 pm
  • ....Bueller? .......Bueller? .......Bueller?
    October 17, 2012 05:36 pm
    • Ok guys, this is starting to get ridiculous. It's been 11 days since I've opened this case and and 10 days without a response.
      This is my first steelseries product and judging by the way this is going so far, it will be my last.
      Please get your ducks in a row.
      October 19, 2012 02:48 pm
    • Ok guys. This is unacceptable. I'm going public with this complete lack of customer service and will warn others, it has been 16 days with no response
      October 24, 2012 10:51 am


      I took shot on a new brand and now I am regretting it. I cannot and will not recommend SteelSeries to anyone I know. Buyer beware, you have been warned.

    • I opened another ticket since my initial ticket had been abandoned by support. They merged the case with my original ticket.


      • Hello *****,
        Please take the following steps to re-install your SteelSeries Engine software. note: this process will remove any custom profiles that you have created
        1) Clean temp folder by going to start -> all programs -> accessories -> system tools -> disk cleanup
        Make sure that "temporary internet files" is checked and run the utility.
        2) Ctrl-alt-delete to access your task manager. Under the process tab, find SSEngine.exe, select it, and end process
        3) Uninstall the SteelSeries Engine software through control panel -> programs & features / add-remove programs. When prompted to keep custom profiles, select no.
        4) Open your start menu and in the search bar, type: %appdata% and hit enter. This will automatically take you to the appdata/roaming folder.
        a) In the folder that it opens, find the SteelSeries folder and right click -> delete it
        b) Navigate to the main appdata folder. To do this, simply click on 'Appdata' in the directory bar at the top of your window.
        Note: If the actually address shows up, simply delete Roaming and hit enter: C:\Users\your-account\AppData\Roaming
        To get to appdata main: C:\Users\your-account\AppData
        c) Open the 'Local' folder, once again find SteelSeries Engine and delete this folder.
        5) Unplug your SSE device and wait 10 seconds, then plug it back in
        6) Download the latest SteelSeries Engine software here (please do not rely on a previous download - when prompted, be sure to select 'save' to save the installer to your computer - do not simply run the installer to avoid any complications):
        http://steelseries.com/downloads
        7) Right click the installer and 'run as administrator' - complete the installation to the default directory
        Please let me know if there is a hitch anywhere in this process and describe the problem in detail if one persists. Thanks!
        Regards,
        aNDREW s
        SteelSeries Support
        November 06, 2012 11:00 am

        • My reply:
        • I've followed the process exactly as indicated.
          After the installation is complete and I click finish, I am greeted with "Initialization of SteelSeries Engine failed. Please reinstall Engine and try again."
          November 07, 2012 08:42 pm
        • Any update on this?
          November 14, 2012 12:53 pm

          • I would like to speak with a manager/supervisor please. 
          • November 19, 2012 08:05 pm

          It is, as of now, 11/24/2012 and I have still not received a response after requesting to speak with a manger.
                  • Hey *****,
                    I've transferred this ticket to Randall. He should get back to you shortly, but definitely within the next 1-2 business days.
                    Please keep in mind that the 1-2 days does not include Saturday and Sunday, although we do make an effort to respond on the weekends, we cannot guarantee we always will!
                    Thanks for your patience.
                    Regards, 
                    SteelSeries Support
                    November 28, 2012 02:09 pm
                    • Hey *****,
                      Please send the following information so that we may further assist in your case:
                      [1] Screen shot of your Device Manger:
                      1) Right click on "My Computer" and choose "Properties"
                      2) Click on the "Hardware" tab
                      3) Click on the "Device Manager"
                      4) Click on the "+" sign beside "Human Interface Devices"
                      5) Click on the "+" sign beside "Keyboard" and "Mouse"
                      6) Click on the "+" sign beside "Universal Serial Bus Controller"
                      7) Click on the "+" sign beside "System Devices"
                      8) Hold down the "Alt" key and press on the "Print Screen" key
                      9) Go to Start->Programs->Accessories and click on Paint to open the Paint application
                      10) Right click on the white space of the Paint application and choose "Paste"
                      11) Save it to a folder or your Desktop
                      12) Log back on to our online support and attach the image file that you save
                      [2] Screenshot of any errors/messages.
                      Attach files to this ticket with other information in reply. Thanks for your patience and effort!
                      Regards,
                      Mike S
                      SteelSeries Support
                      December 03, 2012 01:49 pm
                      User photo
                      k1DBLITZ
                      • attached.
                        • screenshot.png screenshot.png (quick view)
                        • initialization-of-steelseries-engine-failed (1).jpg initialization-of-steelseries-engine-failed (1).jpg (quick view)
                        December 03, 2012 07:49 pm
                        User photo
                        Mike S
                        SteelSeries support
                        • *****,
                          Please uninstall the Wacom Pen driver and device temporarily, and unplug. Once you do, please uninstall and reinstall SSE per previous instruction.
                          Regards,
                          Mike S
                          December 10, 2012 04:30 pm
                          User photo
                          k1DBLITZ
                          • I have completed the instructions as indicated am experiencing the same behavior with the same error message.
                            December 10, 2012 05:45 pm
                            User photo
                            Mike S
                            SteelSeries support
                            • Hi *****,
                              Please try the following after the SteelSeries Engine crashes/initialization fails
                              1) Click the Windows button to bring up the start menu
                              2) In the search box, type cmd, right click it from the menu, click run as administrator
                              3) In the CMD prompt, type: sfc /scannow
                              -make sure there is a space between sfc /
                              4) Allow the scan to run and complete without interruption.
                              5) Restart your computer
                              Regards,
                              Mike S
                              SteelSeries Support
                              December 11, 2012 01:39 pm
                              User photo
                              k1DBLITZ
                              • Attached.
                                If you search for "cannot repair" there are 76 entries, but they are all ATI files.
                                If I had to guess I would say they were removed when I ran driver cleaner. Note that I had run driver cleaner *after* the SteelSeries driver had already stopped working.
                                Coincidentally, my Catalyst Control Center & Steel Series driver both stopped working at the exact same time, which is why I was questioning .net earlier because the fix for CCC was to modify a .net reg key.
                                Doing this caused my CCC to start working again but the SteelSeries driver still crashed.
                                • scan-results.gif scan-results.gif (quick view)
                                • CBS.rar CBS.rar
                                December 11, 2012 07:37 pm
                                User photo
                                Randall B
                                SteelSeries support
                                • *****,
                                  Please download and apply the .NET framework 3.5 the link provided below. After you do, switch USB ports for the mouse and re-install the software - make sure it is still plugged into direct, rear USB ports on your computer, and please try the SSE installation once more (run as administrator)
                                  Let's see if this works. 3.5 is stable with all of our stuff and most likely your CCC. I think that Microsoft may have put out an update through Windows Update that may have busted some stuff on your end.
                                  Regards,
                                  Randall B
                                  SteelSeries Support
                                  December 12, 2012 11:27 am
                                  User photo
                                  k1DBLITZ
                                  • No joy.
                                    I can't install from that download. Anytime I run it, I receive a message that says I need to make the changes through the add/remove programs/features in the control panel.
                                    I just uninstalling dot net, uninstalling the steelseries drivers through the whole process mentioned earlier, reinstalling .net, moving the mouse to a different USB port (still in the back of the computer as always) then reinstalling the steel series drivers.
                                    Initializes fails. :(
                                    Is there any kind of trace or additional logs I can view for the initialization process?
                                    December 12, 2012 04:12 pm
                                    User photo
                                    Randall B
                                    SteelSeries support
                                    • Hi *****,
                                      Please attach an error log from the Engine to help us diagnose the problem:
                                      1) Go to the Start menu -> (All) Programs -> SteelSeries -> SteelSeries Engine.
                                      2) Right click on "SteelSeries Engine" (the program, not the folder), and select "Create a shortcut". Drag the shortcut to your desktop.
                                      3) Right click on the shortcut, and select "Properties".
                                      4) You should see a field called "Target" in the new window, along with a directory path ("C:/Program Files...") in quotations. At the end of the directory (OUTSIDE the quotation marks) add the following: SHOWERRORS
                                      5) Launch the SteelSeries Engine using the newly created shortcut. If the Engine still crashes, you will get a popup message showing the error log.
                                      6) Press CTRL + C to copy the entire error message, and paste it into an empty text file. Attach this file to your response.
                                      We'll forward the error log to the developers, who will hopefully be able to assist us. Please let me know if you have any trouble with any of these steps, or if anything unusual happens. Thank you very much for your patience.
                                      Regards,
                                      Randall B
                                      SteelSeries Support
                                      December 14, 2012 01:26 pm
                                      User photo
                                      k1DBLITZ
                                      • Randall,
                                        I added the variable to the shortcut and launched the steelseries engine but it the popup message never appears after it crashes. Please see attached.
                                        December 17, 2012 08:23 am



                                        User photo
                                        k1DBLITZ
                                        • So, this is beyond ridiculousness. This case was opened nearly 3 MONTHS AGO!
                                          Without the steelseries engine software, this mouse is worthless to me as a left hander. I cannot configure the mouse for left handed mode which means I have to reconfigure the clickers for every game I play. I also cannot take advantage of the two buttons on the right hand side of the mouse because they are not recognized by anything without the steelseries engine.
                                          I am NEVER buying another steelseries product again and I will make it my life mission to make sure none of my friends buy steelseries products either.
                                          January 07, 2013 11:08 am
                                          User photo
                                          k1DBLITZ
                                          This case can be closed. I bought a Razer Taipan at lunch. The Sensei is going into the garbage where it belongs.
                                          January 07, 2013 12:30 pm


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