Importance of AWS

I am looking to purchase a new writer and have always been pleased with Plextor in the past. I have noticed in the latest Plextor reviews on this site that the latest drives only make a fully functional SafeDisc 2.5+ copy with the Clone CD Amplify Weak Sectors (AWS) option turned on.

What is the significance of this? Is this copy any better or worse than the copy made by a Lite-on drive that does not need AWS enabled to produce a working copy? Is there a speed difference to enable AWS?

A copy that needs AWS is not a real 1:1 copy, but it works just as good as a 1:1 copy. Only thing you need CloneCD installed on the comp you’re gonna run the game on. It’s not any slower either.
Most people here find the use of AWS irritating cause they want “real” 1:1 copys when they can have them :slight_smile:

Why is Clone CD required to be installed on the machine that is running the AWS copy? Is there some option that needs to be enabled on the machine that is trying to run the AWS copy?

It isn’t…

If CloneCD is not required on a machine to run the copy made with AWS enabled, is there any way to distinguish a copy made on a unit that requires AWS to be enabled from one that can correctly copy the CD without AWS enabled?

What I am trying to determine is whether or not there is a significant reason to purchase some other manufacturer’s drive over the Plextor (which will need AWS on).

It is possible to check for the use of AWS on weak sectors (protection method used by SafeDisk, a protection used on a lot of games), but luckily games (still) don’t use AWS detection routines.

Let’s clarify some things. There are three modes in CloneCD when it comes to handling ‘weak sectors’ as found on the SafeDisc 2 protection, in general:

Ignore: the mode for Lite-On recorders and the likes. CloneCD does not have to be installed on the system, but when playing the back-up from your CD-writer you need to enabled Hide CDR Media in the CloneCD tray. This is because of the ATIP protection.
Amplify: the mode for Plextor recorders and other ‘1-sheep’ recorders. CloneCD does not have to be installed on the system, but when playing the back-up from your CD-writer you need to enabled Hide CDR Media in the CloneCD tray. This is because of the ATIP protection.
Emulate: the mode for ‘0-sheep’ recorders. When playing the back-up from any drive, Hide CDR Media has to be enabled in the CloneCD-tray. This would mean that CloneCD has to be installed.

In general Plextor recorders need amplify weak sectors when dealing with SafeDisc v2.51.021 and higher versions. Older version can be done with either the ignore or the amplify setting.