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Plextor PlexWriter 24/10/40A

Date Reviewed: December 6, 2001
Reviewed By:
Jason Rabel
Price: ~$160 USD
Company: Plextor

 

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The Plextor PlexWriter 24/10/40A is a CD-RW drive that has the ability to burn a CD-R at 24x, CD-RW at 10X, and read a CD at 40x. As with all of Plextor's latest drives, this one also includes their technology. Just about all good CD burners these days incorporate similar technology, and when you are burning at such high speeds it should be a must have. Here's a quick list of all the read / write / rewrite speeds this drive is capable of:

  • 17X/40X (CAV read only)   2.6-6.0 MB/sec (Stamped/CD-R)

  • 24X (write only) 3.6 MB/sec (CD-R)

  • 20X (write only) 3.0 MB/sec (CD-R)

  • 16X (write only) 2.4 MB/sec (CD-R)

  • 14X/32X (CAV read only) 2.08-4.8 MB/sec (Stamped/CD-R/CD-RW)

  • 12X (write only) 1.8 MB/sec (CD-R)

  • 10X (rewrite only) 1.5 MB/sec (CD-RW)

  • 8X (read only) 1.2 MB/sec (Stamped/CD-R/CD-RW)

  • 4X (read/write/rewrite) 600 KB/sec (Stamped/CD-R/CD-RW)

  • 1X (write only) 150 KB/sec (CD-R)

And some other quick spec's:

  • 140ms Average Random Access

  • 4 MB Buffer

  • Capable of Digital Audio Extraction at 40X max

  • Supports CD-DA; CD-ROM (Mode 1); CD-ROM (Mixed Mode); CD-ROM XA (Mode 2, Form 1 and Form 2 and Mixed Form; CD-I; Photo CD; Video CD; CD-Extra; CD+G; CD Text

  • Supports Disc-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Variable & Fixed packet writing modes

Now with that out of the way, let's take a look at the product itself. The Plextor comes in the usual Retail box, however on the seam there was a big fat sticker saying, "Plextor Manager 2000 software is NOT XP compatible. DO NOT install if running Windows XP. For more information see www.plextor.com". Not a big deal for me since I am running Windows 2000, or so I thought...


(Click image for close-up)

Included in the contents are the CD drive (of course), a 24x compatible CD-R and a 10x compatible CD-RW, IDE cable, screws, and a little pin for emergency ejection of your CD's, instruction manuals, and the Plextor software CD. The CD itself contained a copy of Roxio's EZ-CD Creator 5 Basic, which you will need to download the latest patch if you plan on using it for Windows XP, and the Plextor Manager 2000 software.


(Click image for close-up)

The plextor drive is nothing flashy, a simple tray loader with a volume adjust, mic jack, and eject button on the front. On the back there is a small fan for cooling (pretty neat), a digital audio jack, analog audio jack, jumpers, IDE connection, and power connector. One thing I must complain about is the LACK of including an audio cable with the drive. I have always gotten audio cables with previous drives I have bought from other brands, and I was very upset that Plextor didn't bother to include such a trivial item. I must of spent about 30min tearing apart my computer room looking for my digital audio cable to connect this drive to my Sound Blaster Live. Thankfully I did find the cable, and I was able to hook this drive up to my sound card, as well as my other CD drive by using its analog audio connection. So now I can play music through either drive just fine.

The Plextor Manager 2000 software already said it wasn't compatible with XP, but was compatible with Windows 95/98/2000/ME and NT4.0. However, when I went to install the software, I first installed EZ-CD Creator, rebooted, and it was fine. Then I installed the Plextor Manager 2K software, rebooted, and my CD drives were missing from my computer listing!!! At first I thought it was just a coincidence because my windows was already dying on me and I needed to re-install W2K. So, not really blaming the Plextor Manager 2K software, I reformatted my HD and took the time to reinstall W2K and ALL my programs (VERY long process). Well, once again I got to installing the CD burning software, and Plextor Manager 2K once again made my CD Drives disappear! I looked in my control panel is the device manager mentioned something about the registry possibly being corrupt. (At this point I was NOT a happy camper.) I uninstalled all the CD burning software hoping that would fix it, but no luck with that. So I searched Roxio's website for help, I searched Plextor's website for help. Neither had ANYTHING mentioning this problem. Well I went to the Microsoft Knowledge base and by luck came across this article Q270008 that had a similar error. I tried their resolution by removing the Upperfilters and Lowerfilters values out of the proper registry key, and after I rebooted my CD drives came back! So I once again reinstalled EZ-CD Creator and just skipped installed the Plextor Manager 2000 software (since I wouldn't of probably used it anyways).

I'm curious to see how many other people had similar problems, my system is pretty standard, and I had also started from a clean install of W2K and it caused the same problem so I'm pointing blame at the Plextor Manager 2000 install program. I think it is overwriting something that it shouldn't be.

*UPDATE* I got several emails from people with the same problem as me, but I also got an email from a reader, who suggested to install the Plextor Manager 2000 FIRST, then the EZ CD Creator software. I tried his approach and it worked! The odd thing is, there is no mention of this on the Plextor site, Roxio site, or anywhere in the Manual.

 

Continue To Page 2 For Testing & Conclusion -->

 

 

 

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