It is very common these days to be using Windows 2000/XP/Vista and have your CD/DVD drive stop functioning. There are various causes; from loose power or IDE cables, to broken drives, to corrupt drivers. The latter is the most common.
Often times, someone has upgraded from a previous Operating System, or installed (incompatible) CD/DVD burning software, when this problem rears its ugly head.
The reasoning? The drivers from these types of applications are typically incompatible when you upgrade your OS. Alternately, itís not unheard of them to corrupt. When these drivers do not work--they take most, if not all, of the CD/DVD drive functions with it. It is pretty easy to identify these problems, if you check Device Manager, you will often find a '?' or '!' next to the device. Common error codes are 19, 31, 32, 39 and 41. Also, you may find that your drive disappears from My Computer altogether.
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Originally written by Adrynalyne.