At this point, we will check the drive's ability to read and backup protected CDs.
- AudioCD protections
For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process on all protected Audio discs was carried out with Exact Audio Copy v0.9 beta5.
The protected Audio discs tested, were:
|Celine Dion - New Day Has Come
|Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island
||Cactus Data Shield 200
|Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter
||Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
The Cactus Data Shield 200, contains artificial errors that are not easily bypassed by the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session causing problems to readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).
The tested tasks are:
- Recognition of the inserted disc (Yes/No).
- Ripping all wav files(with EAC's Burst Mode) to the hard disk through copy&compare function.
- Listening to the produced wav files to detect any possible click/skips.
The drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track in the CDS200 disc,
and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the drive recognized the 13th track.
The test results are shown in the following table:
| NEC ND-4550A
|Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
||Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
The NEC ND-4550A managed to read/rip all of the above AudioCD protection schemes without any problems.
- Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a (Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter)
This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors which create problems during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected to specific chipset weaknesses.
| NEC ND-4550A
||CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
|Reading performed without any errors.
- Games Protections
To create the image of the various protected titles onto the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, in accordance with the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
Securom protection was not a problem for the ND-4550A drive. PSX ripping was a little on the slow side, however Safedisc protection continues to be problem for many drives and only Plextor burners appear capable of offering satisfactory results.
- Writing Tests
The NEC ND-4550A supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. To check the drive's EFM correction status, we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions, having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (at maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v188.8.131.5205. Two different discs were recorded for each title: one with the "Rectify Sub-Channel Data" enabled and one with the function disabled.
- Quake 4 SafeDisc v4.6
- Fifa 2004 - SafeDisc v3.1x
The drive failed to create working backups of the above protected games.