Sounds like either there is not enough memory in the laptop to handle what you want it to do, or the operating system needs to be restored. I would try the latter of the two, because that is cheaper, and then if that does not work, then upgrade the RAM
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Codec issue I bet, but could be graphics card drivers or poor graphics card even. For the spec of the laptop i would assume it just needs the right software. Download VLC player or cyberlink DVD or windvd, something like that usually cures the problem. Nero burning rom usually comes with software too. You can get copies of the "pay for" software really cheap if you look around. There tons of free players on th web
If these issues are related it's a power issue. Make sure you're not running on battery only. If not check security settings for browser and laptop. Update your DVD driver and DVD software. Or if the problem started after an update then roll back.
Both Dell Part numbers 18THT and 5W299 are 8X DVD-ROM Drive Modules. DPN 18THT is compatible with Latitude C series and DPN 5W299 is compatible with Latitude D series. The two drives have different and incompatible connectors.
Your Latitude C640 is a C Series Latitude. You can therefore not use DPN 5W299.
If you need a DVD drive module, get DPN 18THT or an alternative Latitude C series drive.
You probably need to clean out the pc. Get rid of programs that are not needed or used. Do a "Disk Cleanup", Defrag until it takes only about 1-2 min to complete. Get an Anti-spyware/malware as well as an Anti-spyware program and run it once a week.
You might want to also invest in more RAM. 512mb these days isnt much.