First things first -
Great to find this forum and -
thanks in advance.
I'm a (unemployed) s/w engineer and pretty knowledgable on systems, and I am willing and able to do the homework and rtfm for any and all products discussed here. Yet, as everyone, I too have a life so I seek to minimize time spent running down info and trouble shoot hardware. I'm willing to buy software, I just want to know it works first. I'm willing to accept a piece of hardware sucks, I'd just like reasonable proof. Obviously once I get a real job again things will get easier, but for now - cost counts more than ever. I'd like to share info, and ask some questions as I'm pretty new to the burner world. That said -
- WIN 2000 Prof. w/latest SP's
- Abit KT-7 RAID, VIA (KT133?) chipset. Athlon TBird 850Mhz. RAID disabled, occasionallly enabled for hard/mirror backup.
- 256MB RAM, 1GB virtual.
- 7200 rpm hard drives, should be running with ATA100 on their own IDE channel. 30GB System drive, 80GB data drive.
- Buslink DVDRW/8X DVD +-R/+-RW (new) IDE0 Master (secondary IDE channel, ATA/33 I believe)
- TDK Velocd CDRW 40/12/48B IDE0 Slave
- As best I can tell DMA is enabled (VIA - has auto setting) for all disk devices.
- USB printer and joystick/wheel, thumb drive - all work, but USB is early VIA v1.0 and its VERY flaky. Printer often goes wacko.
- Adaptec 2940 UW SCSI, currently unused, but occasionally external SCSI devices (ie: Jazz) connected. I don't believe I'm running their ASPI, but I may be. I think WIN2K likes to use its own (How to check/confirm?)
- Creative SB Live Platinum w/ live drive
- ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon graphics (AGP)
- Firewire PCI interface card.
- 3Com 10/100 PCI Ethernet card.
That's about it. Everything is working pretty well (knock on wood). No overclocking currently.
My questions are these:
1) New DVD burner. Which DVD copy tools do you recommend?
(see my list below)
VSO's CopyToDVD is problematic - got it to burn once I backed off the write speed to 2.4x (DVDRW), and 4x on DVD+R media. My main question here (# 2 below) revolves around creating a backup of a few games - even just the play cd's. I may want to use the DVD drive to read these game cd's because my TDK might be too old (1-2 years?) to support some of the tweak utilities' parameters discussed here.
2) Games backups:
Again - what tools do you recommend?
- Epic/Atari's UT2004. I understand the Play CD uses Securom technology. The copy I made using BlindWrite5 was rejected. Conversations with vso basically said to use BW tweaker. I'd like to try it with my new DVD burner, but the trial period has expired. I'd like to see this program work before paying for it - any suggestions?
- EA's Need for Speed Underground -
Same issues essentially.
Lucasarts' Armed and Dangerous -
Final points -
I have the following CD/RW tools installed:
- ClonyXXL v188.8.131.52
- Alcoholer v4.1
- BW5Tweaker v1.5.6
- CloneDB v184.108.40.206
- Nero v220.127.116.11 (for my TDK drive only)
- Roxio CD Creator
(I'd like to have BlindWrite5, see above)
Many of these tools are pretty useless without BlindWrite5....
DVD tools installed:
- vso CopyToDVD v18.104.22.168 (problematic but moderately functional tool, not yet registered and soon to expire)
- Sonic MyDVD
- CloneDVD v22.214.171.124 (seems like a decent tool, not yet registered and soon to expire)
- DVD Shrink v3.1
Finally - which of these do you recommend keeping - is BlindWrite5 reliable and worth buying?
I'd like a good set of procedures for doing these backups with a reliable set of tools - obviously so I can minimize the coasters and not waste money on redundant or nonfunctional software.
In closing - I'll keep future posts brief - just wanted to list the essentials and get it out of the way..