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If the disks you insert DO work on some other computer,
then it's time to spend $40 and buy a new CD/DVD-writer,
to replace the "dead" unit.
The "working properly" part is ONLY an indication that the hardware has been detected, and the correct software device-drivers have been loaded; it makes no guarantee that the unit will work.
Compare it to having a car -- it looks like a car, but if won't start, it still is a car, although it cannot be used as a car.
Use a high density CD-R or DVD-R disc not the RW (read-write) ones to sustain quality. Also, when you are using Nero, check the option "Verify Disc integrity" before clicking the "burn" command so that the disc will be verified on its data integrity after the burning process is completed.
If the CD or DVD disks you inserted work in some other reader, then your reader is the problem -- even though it is properly connected to your computer, and Windows has the correct device-drivers, it is the "hardware" that is the problem.
When you insert a disk, rotate it to some position, i.e., top-lettering goes in first, and close the drawer. Do you hear the drive start to spin the disk? Open the drawer. Is the disk in the same (non-rotated) position? If so, then the motor that spins the disk is the problem. If the disk does spin, but nothing happens, then it is the "laser" part of the mechanics that is not working.
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.
you can try two solutions
1) go to device manager and uninstall the primary and secondary ide controller under the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and than restart the system and than chk it if that works out
2 ) if the first option doesnt work try to update the firmware of the drive
Harry, two possibilities that are immediately apparent. One, the lens on the drive is dirty. Stop by a department store and buy a CD/DVD laser lens cleaner CD and put it in the drive several times, making sure that it tries to read it each time. This can brush away the debris on the lens and it may work again. Two, the drive motor or lens assembly (that moves) has failed. My experience is that these drives have a 2-3 year life span. Luckily, they are now bargain-priced and you can pick them up at your local discount store and replace them yourself.