I just wanted to mention some results I got from a Hi-Val H401248A-15R that I picked up yesterday to replace my won’t-do-SD2.51-for-any-reason Yamaha 2200E. Since Hi-Val drives can be found at a lot of big retailers in the US (CompUSA, Best Buy, MicroCenter), I thought the US people here might be interested in a possible alternative to Plextor, LiteOn, etc., that might be a little easier to find and slightly cheaper.
This drive WILL copy SD2 and SD2.51.xx without AWS activated perfectly. I tried it on three different games that a lot of people have had trouble with here: SimGolf (SD2.51), Heroes of Might and Magic IV (Disk 2; SD2), and The Sims: Vacation (SD2.51) (all from my commercial originals), all using CloneCD 4b21 with default Game CD settings. All copies installed and played flawlessly.
The drive itself is pretty generic (Hi-Val jobs for a lot of bigger names (I picked up a Hi-Val DVD-ROM that was a rebranded Pioneer once; I have no idea whose internals are involved here). However, it’s a great option since it’s got a faster read speed than the Plextor 40x/12x (48x as opposed to 40x), and it was US$30 cheaper than the Plex at the CompUSA I picked it up at.
Just wanted to give a heads-up to everyone in the US about this possible alternative.