My previous setup was as follows:
Asus P4T533-C (rev. 1.03, f/w 1011) (850E chipset)
P4 3.06 GHz 533 MHz FSB
1024 MB Kingston 1066MHz RDRAM (non-ECC)
Asus Radeon 9600XT/TD 128 MB @ AGP 4X
M-Audio Audiophile 24/96
Promise Ultra133-TX ATA controller with four HDDs
Plextor Premium (f/w 1.05) & Plextor PX-712A (f/w 1.05) on the internal IDE ports (each a master by itself)
Win2000 Pro w/SP4
M$ IDE drivers
Last week I swapped the Asus mobo for an Intel one - D850EMVRL. The old one developed issues with Soundblaster emulation under DOS/Win98 after some experiments with trying to plug the PC speaker lead into the SBLive! soundcard earlier this year. There were some sparks and the system appeared to go dead for a few minutes. Heh.
Nevertheless it recovered just fine and I burned many a quality CD and DVD on it thereafter as well as doing lots of other intensive stuff. I experienced no problems whatsoever under Win2000; it just seems that some part of the board that handles NMI (non-masked interrupts) got affected, hence problems with DOS apps.
So as soon as the new mobo was in, I did a fresh install of Win2000 and got to some testing. To cut the long story short, the PTP’s CD/DVD Copy problem remains even with the latest version (2.18). It is only natural to rule out the hardware as the culprit, 'cause if there is something wrong with the h/w how come v2.12 produces perfect copies every time?
All you folks that reported that recent versions work fine must be either doing Copy on-the-fly or copying CDs that are in pristine condition. I had success with one of those; then had a few goes at my lightly abused copy of Phish-“Rift” and none of the tracks’ CRC matched the originals’. Copying on-the-fly worked, but I’m extremely reluctant to use that mode. I am strictly a copy-to-image-burn-at-your-leisure kind of guy =).
I have a hunch that the problem is that when writing image files error correction either does not kick in on trouble spots, or else is broken in the recent versions.
To sum up, the latest version of PlexTools Pro that is guaranteed to produce faithful audio CD copies is v2.12. That is the version that comes on the DVD-ROM bundled with PX-712 drives (or you can PM me for details). Install the 2.12 first, then rename the executable PlexTool.exe in your Plextor directory (typically %system%\Program Files\Plextor) to something like PlexTool212.exe and go ahead and install the latest version over it. Should you need to copy an audio CD, shut down the current version completely (so that it doesn’t show in the sytem tray) and fire up the 2.12. I’ve done this for a while and experienced no adverse effects.