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