Proper Software Is One Factor, Continued
Blindread/ Blindwrite can use its included Patin-Couffin IDE drivers to provide enhanced stability over the included Windows IDE drives. In our testing, we found that the Patin-Couffin drivers were stable under Windows XP, but according to feedback on the web, some users have experienced problems with the drives.
Blindread/ Blindwrite is able to handle a variety of protection schemes. We found that the documentation does little to explain what it can or can't do. However, the website does cover the process in a little more depth.
We have been using this program for some time now, and our experience with Blindread/ Blindwrite has been very positive. The addition of the enhance-weak sectors option during the write process was helpful in backing up some of the more difficult titles. Although it might be a bit inconvenient to have to use two programs to get the job done, we found that it still worked well and, because of the more simple interface, it might be a better starting place for beginning users.
Version - 220.127.116.11
Cost - $37.69 US
Elby's CloneCD is one of the most well-respected back up software programs that is available today. With CloneCD's new Version 4 makeover, the team at Elby has updated the look and feel of the software to be more like Windows XP.
CloneCD is able to use Windows's IDE drivers and that is perhaps one of its major advantages. It supports a variety of languages and is available (believe it or not) as a commercially boxed, off-the-shelf product. This lends considerable credibility to an already well-known product. CloneCD offers more options and more control over both the 'read' and the 'write' processes than Blindread/ Blindwrite does, and it offers them in an integrated, all-in-one package. The documentation included with the product is fairly thorough, and while it doesn't cover every possible scenario, it covers enough of the basics to get you started.
Another plus is CloneCD's large following on the web, and much of the information that is required regarding the proper settings for specific titles can be found there. The website does point out that, in order for CloneCD to be fully effective, the CDRW drive must be able to handle proper EMF encoding/ decoding. This is where the drive's firmware comes into play.
We consider CloneCD to be a great package with an incredible amount of features and options available to cover a variety of situations. However, due to varying country restrictions, the "Enhance Weak" sectors mode is not supported in every country, which can pose a problem with some titles. Nonetheless, it can be a very effective tool for backing up much of your software.