Hi all, I wish my first post wasn't about such an exasperating problem! I have a LDW-811S, with firmware HS0R. I've been running it in Windows XP Pro, SP 1, since March 2004. I have used it almost constantly since then to burn DVDs using a combo of DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink (w/ Nero 6 Ultra Edition 188.8.131.52). I have had no problems, except for the odd firmware update or DMA to PIO switch. I have used Ritek G04 and Taiyo Yuden TY02 DVD-R media exclusively with no problems whatsoever. Now, two nights ago I was backing up my Monty Python collection. Everything went fine. I went to back up my Kung Fu collection, and decrypted Master Of the Flying Guillotine using DVD Decrypter in ISO read mode with no issues. I went to burn it in ISO write mode, and all was fine until it hit around 72%, then it failed. I tried again, and made a second coaster. I tried a different media, but alas, another coaster. I gave up at that point and went to back up The Five Deadly Venoms using the same method. This time, it failed during the read mode. Right after this series of events, the drive stopped reading anything at all. I tried factory DVDs, CDs, data discs, but every time, you could hear the drive spinning, then it would make a quiet clicking noise. Then it made a grinding noise that I didn't like at all. If you left the disc in there it would just repeat this cycle endlessly.
I tried restarting the computer, then I uninstalled the drivers and restarted again. Still nothing. Then I took it out of the tower, opened it (don't worry, it wasn't under warranty anymore), and checked to see if the tray or the laser was out of alignment. All looked fine and dandy, so I reinstalled it, praying that just by me taking it out and touching its insides would miraculously heal it... No such luck. It still wouldn't read anything. I tried restarting the comp with my Windows bootup disc in there, to see if it was the drive or some Windows IDE problem, but it hung up between BIOS and Windows for a minute, then went straight to my Desktop. So, I'm flummoxed! Does this sound like a dead drive/laser to you experts out there? Any advice would be much appreciated!