Well...that DVD drive...has what seems are an awful lot of complaints from Dell users.
To me, that would mean that I would consider replacing it.
...and it appears to me that it might be 3 years old, which may also contribute to my considerations. Some optical drives last forever, some don't. I don't expect one to last more than two years, myself.
To answer your question...yes, it is normal for all optical drives to use the same driver
. This driver is supplied by Windows, not the system manufacturer.
Have you tried cleaning the optical drives...with one of those cleaner disks available anywhere that sells CDs/DVDs? It's possible that the lens is dirty and thus cannot read the disk properly.
Does the drive read any disks properly...XP install CD, music CD, video DVD?
You have ensured that the DVD itself is clean, free of debris, etc.?