HP L2000 ntbk with Pioneer DVR-K15 optical drive problem - what to do?

Several months ago, I got a new HP L2000 notebook running WinXP Home. The optical drive is a Pioneer DVDRW DVR-K15.

Problem:
Stopped recognizing audio CD’s (media players won’t play them, and even in Windows Explorer it shows no disk in the drive). While trying to read the disk, the drive gives off a mechanical “click” every few seconds. I first noticed it after accidentally inserting a defective VCD disk, so I thought it might be an error-correction setting that got messed up.

At this point, the drive still recognizes DVD’s (not audio CD’s or data CD’s), but now they only play back really “jerky” like DMA is disabled or something. This is NOT a media-player software problem, a volume problem, or a bad disk problem.

Things I’ve tried:
Cleaning the drive.
Verifying that my Primary and Secondary IDE channels are set to use DMA if available (they are).
Under the drive’s Properties, disabling “Enable digital CD audio for this CD-ROM device” (disabled/enabled made no difference).
Uninstalling the drive, then rebooting and allowing Windows to reinstall the drive (which it did but that didn’t fix it).
Allowing Windows to search for an updated driver (it says it already has the most current one).
Deleting the upper and lower filter Registry entries.

The computer is only a few months old, and the drive has seen very light use, so I would think drive failure isn’t too likely.

I vaguely remember having a problem like this with a drive in the past (possibly under an earlier version of Windows) and having to reset some kind of error counter for the drive. But I can’t remember the details of that and don’t know if it applies to XP Home.

Please help! Not sure what else to try. . . and I’m in the middle of freakin’ Africa at the moment and can’t just send this bad boy in under warranty.

I’m having the same problem, How can i fix this?

Do the Lappy have still warranty?

I had to replace my drive in the end. . . that whole process was the first steps of it dying!

Sorry. . .

no i don’t. Where can get a cheap drive?