I have a Dell Inspiron E1505 and upgraded to Windows Vista, around the same time my CD/DVD drive stopped reading CD's that work in other computers. I decided that I didn't like Vista that much and went back to XP, but the still have the CD drive issue. I recently reformatted my HD and the CD drive had no problem booting from the Windows XP CD. I've looked around a bit as to what the problem may be and read that it might be a bad optical drive? I'm not too sure what the problem may be and looking for some help. On the device manager the drive is listed as a "SONY DVD+-RW DW-Q58A" if that helps at all.
The warranty is up on the computer so Dell won't be able to replace it. It does the same thing every time: makes some spinning and fan noises when it's first inserted for a good 30 seconds, then a CD picture shows up on my cursor tip showing that a CD has been inserted and trying to read, but then I click on "D:" to pull up the CD or to try to read it, it just opens a blank folder/drive. Normally, if it doesn't acknowledge a CD in the drive and you click "D:" then it will say please insert a disc. I've also tried changing the transfer speed on the drive to make sure that it wasn't going too fast/slow but didn't have any luck.
My guess is that it knows that it's there but can't read it? I'm somewhat of a novice to computer hardware.