If the optical drive still appears in Explorer, then the most likey problem is that the lens is dirty. You can buy a CD/DVD lens cleaning kit fairly cheaply. Otherwise you can take the drive out of the computer, open up the top cover of the drive and carefully wipe the lens with a soft cloth and a little rubbing alcohol.
If you need or want to replace the drive (in a desktop case), prices for a CD+DVD burners have plummeted in the last year. You can get a top notch burner in black
(delivered in the US) for less than
$40.There is relly no pont to buying a drive that can only read DVDs (CD-RW+DVD-ROM) unless you really need to save that last $10.For 10 clams you can copy rip your favorite DVDs with DVDShrink and burn them to a DVD+R or a DVD-R with Nero, Roxio or Sonic. You can buy Nero 6.6 Suite
on EBay for less than
$6. I personally use Nero Suite 6.6 and love it. The same goes for my slightly older model NEC 3520A optical drive.
Edited by pascor22234, 04 May 2006 - 11:19 AM.