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DVD / CD /DVRD or all very cheaply made and it doesn't take much for them not to read. Sometimes they don't like the brand of CD your using or there are fingerprints on it. You can also get a CD cleaner and run it through to see if it needs to be cleaned.
You can get a new one for about 29.00 - 39.00, so there not to bad to replace.
If not reading DVD is a pattern (it won;t read ANY DVD, no matter if it's a burned one or an original movie) then the lens is dead. I'm afraid you'll have to go get a new one (new drives are very cheap, usually around 25-30$)
the combo drive you listed above is a cd-rw/ DVD-ROM....meaning that it will play and burn cd, cd-r, and cd-rw disks. the dvd rom will only be able to play dvd-rom and dvd-r disks providing they are in the proper format. check that the disk in question is not a dvd-rw or (+2) disk. the drive will not recognize that a disk is in the drive if the disk isnt compatable. try a dvd movie, if that works then a dvd-r, if that works then try a dvd-rw +1. if the last option doesnt work then you will have to stick with the dvd-rom and dvd-r, or purchase a dvd-rw drive to install.
So it won't play movies most of the time? Time to replace the drive more than likely. When a laser gets weak, sometimes it wont read the DVD's, but will read regular cd's without problems. Eventually it won't read anything. The laser requires more power to read a dvd than a regular cd. The laser itself it adjustable, doesn't always work, but it's a sure sign that its on its way out. They are cheap to replace these days. :)
Assuming you have tried different makes of cd or dvd disks, it's a classic drive failure problem where the laser can no longer burn or read dvd's, but may still be able to read cd's only.
You will have to replace the drive, they are quite inexpensive, and very easy to fit.