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Even though you bought the laptop used, you can try going to www.acer.com and leave a message they may be able to give you more advice.
I am thinking it could be the DVD drive or maybe even a memory issue, not really sure, maybe you need to add more memory, I think Acer will be able to help.
I once had a problem like this. It turn out that i just forgot to plug of my external drive. because of the lack of power of the device, it wasnt functioning properly. Try to see if you have two USB plugs, or one Usb plugs with a power cable. Re check if both of the plugs are indeed connected properly.
You can check the BIOS to see if the drive is recognized and even attempt to boot from the drive using a bootable CD to verify it is functional (if using the Windows disc - just verify it reads - DO NOT REINSTALL)
If the drive works use the following to get the drive back in Windows:
Always backup your registry before editing and use care to find exact key! Start Registry Editor (Start, Run and type in regedit then click)
"UpperFilters" and "LowerFilters" (and "UpperFilters.bak"
"LowerFilters.bak", if they exist) value under the following key in the
registry, and delete it:
Is the DVD drive listed in device manager under CD/DVD drives at all? If so, remove it and reboot. Windows might be able to re-detect and reinstall the drivers for it, but odds are the drive is bad. You can try removing the drive from the computer, and use compressed air to blow out the area where it connects to the laptop. Also check the connection on the DVD drive to make sure there isn't any physical damage, bent pins, etc.