Posted 14 June 2009 - 04:00 AM
The simplest way to find out if the fault is in the DVD drive itself (which is probable), or in the Windows installation, is to try to boot from a bootable DVD eg Windows installation DVD or Linux Live DVD like many computer magazine cover disks. If the drive cannot recognise a DVD to boot from, the drive itself is the problem. A lens clean is the only thing you could then try, otherwise the DVD section of the laser is normally what has failed (the CD section of the laser still functions), and the drive would need to be replaced.
Not everyone wants to try to manually clean a laser lens. If you have or can borrow a lens cleaning disk, it is not as effective as manual cleaning, but can be effective against dust/fluff on the lens. A cleaning disk designed for a CD player should be used here, as the drive still reads CDs for you.
Top 5 things that never get done: