I have two CDROM drives at home. One didn’t recognize the CD at all, the other recognized it as audio but wouldn’t play it (all tracks zero length).
Reboot, try again (just in case it was a fluke), still no luck.
Did some research in how to figure out what kind of copy protection I was up against and found that most copy protection detectors need an ASPI layer to be installed in order to work, something that doesn’t come with Windows XP by default.
I installed the one at ForceASPI 1.8 (tried the one at Adaptec and it didn’t work… at least it wasn’t recognized by ClonyXXL) and rebooted. Put the CD in the drive (the drive that didn’t even recognize it to begin with) to inspect it…
…And it totally knew how to play it. No copy protection circumvention needed. Just installing the ASPI layer fixed it.
I’ve never heard of an ASPI layer fixing a drive against copy protection, so maybe the installation just corrected something that was wrong - replaced a corrupt driver or something. I’m not going to question it - the ends justified the means for me. Might be a simple first step for people having CD ripping issues, though. YMMV.