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you can do is reseat the power connector at the back of the drive if that doesnt work ... change the power connector u may have an extra in the tower and than try ... if that doesnt work u have a faulty drive
Sounds like more of a software problem, I've had my dvd drive only show up as a cd drive but i think that was only in windows 98? Many problems will start showing up when your disk is very full. Try deleting some old files until you have 25% free space (only 75% full) or 20% free (80 full) at the minimum, then defragment. I recommend using a 3rd party program such as Diskeeper, since windows defrag Isn't very good. If you can not free up enough space because all of your things are too important to delete, think about buying an external hard drive to back up too, or simply look for a bigger hard drive of the laptop and copy the old hard drives contents to the new one using something like norton ghost. Most likely you would need a laptop hdd to desktop hdd converter, which is like $5 or less, so you can copy the contents since laptops can only have one hard drive (usually). If you can't do this or don't want to try it, bring your laptop to a pc repair shop and they will transfer your data to a bigger hdd for you for a nominal fee. Remember, I do not guarantee this to fix your dvd problem, but it is a good idea to do it anyways to increase performance and reliability.
I also have the same problem. I've tried all the above plus some added info. The floppy still works when I swap it with the DVD. Occasionally it works for a short time right after a hard boot but soon after it appears to uninstall. I have searched the net for answers to this problem without success. I tried the registry correction without avail. There has been some online comments that the problem appeared after an auto update from uSoft. I believe the problem is software or firmware related.