Should I buy used Plexwriter Premium-U CD-RW external (local)?

vbimport

#1

Hello,
Locally , I can buy a used Plexwriter Premium U external CD-RW
for about $25 (USD).
.
I am new here , and have seen good info here ;
and read good reviews of Plextor.

The seller says that the label has printed:

[ul]
[li] Plextor CD-RW Drive[/li][li] Premium-U[/li][li] May 2004[/li][li] TLA # 0005[/li][li]HKT[/li][/ul]
It has the pwr. supp. , printed manual & (2) installation CD s.
? Is this a good model & price ?
I have not looked at it in person yet.

As a LongTermProject , I plan on digitizing my music CD s
– about 700 of them – with this drive.
Using ExactAudioCopy to rip in Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit ,
I will playback in foobar2000.

Thanks in advance


#2

Welcome to the forum.

? Is this a good model & price ?

This is one of the finest optical drives ever made.

I am very fond of mine and consider it to be probably Plextor’s best drive. Assuming it is good working order, $25 is a bargain - especially for the external model - and I would get it without hesitation.

It is by no means perfect. Some more modern DVD writers are better CD readers, especially when it comes to reading damaged audio CDs. (A Mediatek-based Samsung or Lite-On DVD writer, or for certain discs a Benq 5232X, are my preferred choice for that.) And IMO a few are better CD writers.

But if the discs are in reasonably good condition (and you don’t mind it occasionally dropping the read speed down to 8x) the Plextor is very well suited to the task.

You can check how much use the drive has had (read & write hours) using QPXTool.


#3

Thanks for the reply.
.
Pertaining to the Plexwriter Premium-U , will it work in Windows 7 Ult. 64 bit ?

Pertaining to Mediatek - like these ? http://www.videohelp.com/dvdwriters?chipset=Mediatek


#4

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758720]Thanks for the reply.
.
Pertaining to the Plexwriter Premium-U , will it work in Windows 7 Ult. 64 bit ?[/QUOTE]
Should do. Mine works perfectly under Windows 8.1 (x64).

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758720]
Pertaining to Mediatek - like these ? http://www.videohelp.com/dvdwriters?chipset=Mediatek[/QUOTE]
I would suggest a Samsung or Lite-On DVD writer from the 18x era or later. I prefer Samsungs as they are quieter, also they don’t cache audio data. Later Lite-On drives don’t cache (iHAS/iHAP series?). Earlier ones do, but it isn’t a significant problem and many support FUA to defeat the cache anyway.

For me the great advantage of Mediatek drives is their superb concealment of errors (interpolation) when reading damaged CDs (e.g. worn out, ex-library audiobooks distributed on CD-R).

What drives (if any) do you already own? If the discs are undamaged and you can verify the result with Accuraterip, (almost) any modern drive is suitable for extracting audio.

I would be inclined to get the Plextor (if it is in acceptable condition), as the price is very good and you can have a lot of fun with it. If I had another, more expendable drive available, I would use that for the bulk of the CD reading so as not to wear out the Plextor. But if not, the Plextor should be able to handle 700 CDs without difficulty. The Premium is a well made drive.


#5

Ibex , thanks again for your input.
.
Probably won’t upgrade beyond W7 on my machine.

Will arrainge to look at drive this week or wkend.

The prodigious amount of info on this site is a bit overwhelming ;
I don’t know where to start.
? What free software tool tells the manufacturer of an installed drive ;
opening my case is a bit of a hastle ?


#6

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758756]Ibex , thanks again for your input.
.
Probably won’t upgrade beyond W7 on my machine.

Will arrainge to look at drive this week or wkend.

The prodigious amount of info on this site is a bit overwhelming ;
I don’t know where to start.
? What free software tool tells the manufacturer of an installed drive ;
opening my case is a bit of a hastle ?[/QUOTE]

Hi, positiveX. You can try speecy.

https://www.piriform.com/speccy

Download the free one at bottom of page. Hope this helps you.

Mr. Bill


#7

CD-DVD Speed will do. No need to install it, just run the executable.


#8

[QUOTE=Ibex;2758722]<snip>What drives (if any) do you already own? </snip>[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Mr.Bill;2758760]Hi, positiveX. You can try speecy.[/QUOTE]

[B]Speccy:[/B]
Operating System
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
CPU
    Intel Xeon
    Nocona 90nm Technology
    Intel Xeon
    Nocona 90nm Technology
RAM
    7.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 199MHz (3-3-3-?)
Motherboard
    Dell Inc. 0XC837 (Microprocessor)    61 °C
Graphics
    DELL 2007WFP (1680x1050@60Hz)
    512MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700 (NVIDIA)    58 °C
Storage
    698GB Seagate ST3750528AS ATA Device (SATA)    35 °C
Optical Drives
    DVDRW IDE 16X ATA Device
Audio
    SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
...
Optical Drives
        DVDRW IDE 16X ATA Device
            Media Type    DVD Writer
            Name    DVDRW IDE 16X ATA Device
            Availability    Running/Full Power
            Capabilities    Random Access, Supports Writing, Supports Removable Media
            Read capabilities    CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL
            Write capabilities    CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL
            Config Manager Error Code    Device is working properly
            Config Manager User Config    FALSE
            Drive    I:
            Media Loaded    FALSE
            SCSI Bus    1
            SCSI Logical Unit    0
            SCSI Port    0
            SCSI Target Id    0
            Status    OK


#9

Looks like it is a drive with OEM firmware, so unfortunately the name doesn’t really tell us much. OEM firmwares usually give drives anonymous names so the likes of Dell can change drive models at will without anyone noticing.

I would guess it’s probably a Lite-On, but Dell also used a lot of LG OEM drives. But to identify it properly you would probably have to open up the computer and check the label on the drive itself.

If it is in good working order, I think that Plextor is a bargain at $25. Unless your CD collection is very badly scratched/damaged, it should be an excellent choice for the job. They are well made drives, designed with a high workload in mind. (The audio CDs my Premium-U had trouble with were old, heavily used & abused ex-public library audiobooks on CD-R.)


#10

It can be BenQ or LiteOn drive. Could you please post a photo of your drive faceplate?

[B]positiveX[/B], could you please also try to read the flash of your drive with LtnFlash 2.6.11 tool? If it will successfully produce a dump, please upload it somewhere.


#11

Bought it.
It came with the 2 CD s for installation , but they say Windows XP
.
Looking for the latest & greatest Plextools for Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit) ;
their www site looks like they removed support for optical dirves.
At [U]Plextor 's[/U] “[I]The Internet Archive - Wayback Machine[/I]” :
http://web.archive.org/web/20150506142512/http://www.plextor-digital.com/index.php/component/option,com_jdownloads/Itemid,55/catid,86/task,viewcategory/
<http://web.archive.org/web/20150506142512/http://www.plextor-digital.com/index.php/component/option,com_jdownloads/Itemid,55/catid,86/task,viewcategory/>
:
Files:
[B]PlexUTILITIES[/B] 1.3.3.1 Version:1.3.3.1
Date 2013-01-11
File size 19.51 MB

[B]Private Folder Manager Version:3.0 [/B]
This is utility to secure the folders on your Plextor Media Players. Note: this utility ONLY work with PX-MPMxxxU and PX-MPExxxU models.
Date 2010-03-04
File size 4.54 MB

[B]PX-Info Utility Version:1.24 [/B]
PX-Info Utility
(click for more info)
Date 2010-01-18
File size 481.32 KB

[B]Plextor GPL Version:2.0 [/B]
For free download of Plextor GPL
Date 2010-01-14
File size 138.36 MB

[B]Net-Tool [/B]
Software application for NAS Solution PX-NASxxxL
Date 2010-01-14
File size 908.25 KB

[B]PleXTools Professional XL Version:3.16 [/B]
PleXtools Version 3.16
Date 2010-01-01
File size 14.82 MB

? What (if any) above should I d-l from here ?

? Also , could I remove it from its external case to mount it internally ;
does anyone have pictures of this procedure ?


#12

Congratulations.

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758914]
? What (if any) above should I d-l from here ?
[/QUOTE]
PlexTools Professional XL Version 3.16. Originally this was the paid-for version, but at the end Plextor released it for free.

If you want to see how much usage your drive has had, download QPXTool. This can show how many reading & writing hours your drive has done. PXInfo reports the writing hours only. (See here)

You don’t need to install any of the software from the Plextor CDs supplied with the drive.

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758914]
? Also , could I remove it from its external case to mount it internally ;
does anyone have pictures of this procedure ?[/QUOTE]
I wouldn’t, it should work perfectly as it is.

The only downside it that huge brick of aluminium weighs a ton! (But the sheer mass means it does dampen drive vibrations very well.)

The advantage of an external drive is that you can place it in the most convenient position for changing discs. This makes quite a difference when you’ve got a lot of discs to rip. :wink:

Or even better in my experience, sit in your most comfortable chair (possibly in another room), put your feet up and use either a laptop or a long USB cable & cordless mouse. :cool:

(It’s a shame dBpowerAMP & EAC can’t be set to automatically rip the next disc when it is loaded. That would make life much easier. :()


#13

Thanks Ibex,
I am looking into those two Sftwrs now.


#14

The QPXTool : http://qpxtool.siteboard.org/t137f2033-QPxTool-windows-installation-instructions.html
says:
Plextor
CD-R Premium
f/w 1.05
.
Discs loaded: 350
CD read: 7:55:14
CD write: 0:48:19
! yea !

Now , I just have to configure EAC v.95pb3

Regards


#15

Could you tell us where this is available?


#16

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758999]
Discs loaded: 350
CD read: 7:55:14
CD write: 0:48:19
! yea !
[/QUOTE]
You can say that again… !Yea! :clap:

That’s low mileage for any drive, especially a Plextor. (I have a PX-716A with something like 340 DVD [I]writing [/I]hours on the clock! :eek:)

And $25 was a bargain (I would happily buy it off you for $75 :iagree:).

New in 2003/4 they cost £150. I’ve seen ratty old drives sell for >£100 on Ebay a few years ago, but these days a good example is priceless. IMO these days it is the most desirable Plextor drive of all.


#17

[QUOTE=positiveX;2758999]
Now , I just have to configure EAC v.95pb3
[/QUOTE]
The latest version of EAC is 1.1. :wink: (Although I much prefer dBpowerAMP.)

To speed up re-ripping you can disable caching using FUA (add [B]-usefua[/B] to the command line for EAC).

But if your CDs are in good condition there shouldn’t be much re-ripping.


#18

[QUOTE=durkinjt;2759047]Could you tell us where this is available?[/QUOTE]
QPXTool


#19

… DO NOT remove it from the enclosure if your machine is of a recent make, it will be a waste of time…
The reason is simple, that drive has a PATA interface (40/80 conductors), a standard that no longer exists in many new machines which comes equipped with the SATA interface (7 conductors). This interface succeeded the PATA and was first used in Plextor drives later when PX-716SA was released (if memory serves me right).

With the above said, you have done a great deal here, $25 is a steal, hands down. I have one (internal version) in my collection, and can confirm that it is not for ripping your really old abused, damaged discs. On the contrary I would say, this is an instrument for creating 100% bit perfect copies of your good CDs. The hardware and firmware incorporates DAE features stamped legendary excellence!

Be gentle with it, the $25 offers do not show up to often :smiley:

As far as scratched CDs goes, I think I will wote on competent models from other brands like others. Only half a Plextor really shines and that is the PX-230A, a rebranded BenQ 5232 and it has only this fantastic undocumented feature… No overreading, no nothing, but it reads your scratched CD, if at all possible.
A comparison to Plextor’s last CD-RW burner, confirms this.

Plextor Premium2:
Read time Audio CD, EAC secure: 6:54 min
1.2 mm long scratch, Read time / Quality / Errors: 17:44 min / 96.7% / 6

Plextor PX-230A:
Read time Audio CD, EAC secure: 5:36 min
1.2 mm long scratch, Read time / Quality / Errors: 0:29 min / 100% / 0

snapped from the net years ago but I failed in referencing the URL :frowning:
I do not have a BenQ 5232 so I can not say if Plextor’s firmware in conjunction with or if the hardware alone did the trick. The scratch used in the test is 0.2 mm wider than the standard maximum correctable and made to fail on all drives, it did not :slight_smile:


#20

[QUOTE=Ibex;2759050]<snip> To speed up re-ripping you can disable caching using FUA (add [B]-usefua[/B] to the command line for EAC). </snip>
[/QUOTE]
I was a mobile dj briefly , and an enthusist , so almost all of my CD s are in good shape. I estimate about 700 for me & my G.f. has about 200.
"(add [B]-usefua[/B] to the command line for EAC)" found info here : http://www.digital-inn.de/threads/eacs-command-line-options.31843/

[QUOTE=Ibex;2759050]<snip> But if your CDs are in good condition there shouldn’t be much re-ripping. </snip>
[/QUOTE]
I do have a couple that [S]are[/S] were favorites that skip when played.
I will start another thread for listing the ‘regular / DELL’ CD / DVD s that I have to get opinions on which would handle those badly scratched CD s.
.
Now I am looking on - line classifieds for a bigger HDD than I have .

? The PlexTools Pro XL 3.16 did not work – it hung up on the splash screen. I tried it with the CD on / off , connected / not to the internet. ?