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You need to try a commercial cd of any kind. You just want to see if it reads the cd. Then you want to try a dvd and see if it reads that. If it reads the cd but has trouble with the dvd then the heads are out of alignment. It might still write a cd but not be able to write a dvd as that require more accuracy and it doesn't have it anymore.
You may still be able to use the drive but you will have to replace it. The symptoms you describe are typical of the driver going out of alignment so I would say you are heading for replacement sooner or later.
These are not cost effective to repair anymore so all you can do is replace them. Unless you can get it replaced under warranty you can replace it for under $50 at any local computer store.
1st step; Acquire/buy a cd/dvd rom drive cleaning tool kit from your local pc store.
2nd step; Install a dvd coder/decoder software, try Power DVD player software it has a trial version
3rd step; After installing the DVD coder/decoder from Power DVD player try playing a dvd movie rom disc it should work/play... hope these tips help ;-)
Have you copyright protected the file as you have burnt it, have you burnt it as a dual layer, or DVD 9 DVD (some programmes will not read these)? Also have you finalised the disc? It should not be a codec as all DVDs are vobs and there is a back compatibility with all, other wise they'd never load in normal DVD players.
It sounds to me like it is one of two things. More likely that you are using a very low quality DVD. Yes there is a difference in the media that you put in and too cheap is just that, cheap. Not all the dyes that are put into a disk are equal. You can try to buy better name brand disc and try that as well.
The other possibility is the that you are not finalizing the disc once it's been burned. I've noticed that on Nero the defaults tend to favor multi-session discs and use "write at once" instead of "disc at once." So try using the disc at once feature or finalizing the disc to see if that helps. I know that some legacy drives have a hard time with multi-session discs still.
I hope that helps. I know my Sony drives works great and I've been very happy with it.