Skips in audio file when ripped from cd


I have a bad problem with audio “skips” or “clips” in all the files I rip from cd. I’ve tried ripping to mp3 using iTunes, .wav using WMP 11, and even mp3 using EAC; ALL have rendered bad audio from rips. Therefore, I beileve this IS a hardware issue. I’ve even tried creating a .ISO file of the cd - and the skips and artifacts are in the .ISO file, too.

Interestingly - I have no problems ripping DVD, or burning anything.

I’ve verified that it’s not a playback issue - the skips are definitely in the files whether I play them on the PC or CD or iPod.

Also - I don’t think it’s specifically the optical drive - I’ve tried 3 different drives: Pioneer DVR-115D, Pioneer DVR-112D and an NEC NR-9100A (all with the latest firmware, drivers, etc. )

I’ve also tried several different CDs, most of them very new.

I’ve tested the HDD too, and it seems to be working normally.

Dell Dimension 4500 w/ XP SP2 (new install)
P4 2.8 GHz
HDD is Seagate 500 GB 7200

I’ve tried replacing the CPU - but that didn’t help.

At this point I’m thinking it could be a power issue - since it’s one of the only components I haven’t tried replacing.

This computer is about 6 or 7 years old, but I haven’t notice this problem until recently, so I don’t think it always existed.

Anyone have experience with something like this?

I should also note that the optical drive is the lone master drive on the secondary IDE channel.