Some quick questions

I just have some quick questions if someone would like to take the time to answer them.

I use a CenDyne(Lite-on repack) of the 52x24x52 flavor. now I’ve heard there are some “fun” and benficial firmware updates for this drive out there, I have yet to find any, can someone point me in the right direction here?

also I would like to have some things clarified. using this drive and clonecd I’ve never had a problem backing up my cd’s, so I’ve never really had need of spending time in a place such as this forum, or to take hte time to understand the particulars of making copies, it’s just always worked ya know? well I’m trying to learn now.
I was wondering, after reading alot of guides and stuff, at what point in the burn is the copy protection “defeated” to make a 1:1 copy? is it in the copy process or the burning?

it’s in the copy process yes?

I’ve always had to get cracks for my backups, I’ve never been able to do a 1:1 copy of anything, what might I be doing wrong? I guess maybe I’m just not understanding the process.

now I’m sure people are going to post guide links, but I’ve prolly already read them, they seem to be geared towards people who understand the whole process, and I don’t obviously since I can’t seem to do it.

I can copy my cd’s without problem, what I want to do is learn to make an exact, playable copy of my cd’s.

when I copy a cd to an image file, is there any way to know if I’ve succeeded? or do I have ot burn it first and test it?

ok that’s alot more then what I expected to write, I’ll start with this and see where it takes me.

I appreciate anyone who is willing to help an obviously uneducated noob