No, still not working. Done everything you suggested.
-it's a Toshiba Satellite (laptop)
-about 6 years old (that's why it's running XP)
-I pretty much only use it for offline work (as I have a desktop for online stuff)
-This problem occurred in the past, and although I'm sure I tried stuff to fix it, nothing really worked - but I kept on just trying it and eventually it just did. I wish that would happen this time, but so far it hasn't.
-Now it won't even open the DVD drive! After this problem started, I could press the button to make the DVD drive open and it would open. Now that's not happening, so I don't know how to try and make it 'try working'. (This happened before I followed the steps you outlined, so is just a random thing as far as I know)
-yesterday when I was putting stuff in the drive, it would, some of the times, make horrendous swishing/chugging noises (even without a disc in at all), but then it would revert to sounding comparatively normal
In summary, I have now updated my AnyDVD program on my laptop to the latest version (that installer you suggested wasn't helpful - just took me to a page with a list of AnyDVD programs: there wan't any instructions about what I should do when I got there. But I checked an old email I'd gotten from AnyDVD about updating my version, and that had instructions about how to do so). As it so happens, I did another search on my computer and this time I did find AnyDVD there, and reinstalled it from my own computer (first - before upgrading).
Downloading ImgBurn was a pain in the neck, what with it asking me to also install subsidiary programs that I'll never want every couple of seconds. And I don't burn stuff from the internet (practically not at all, even with my desktop), and was therefore thinking "so why am I even downloading this program?" But I proceeded anyway. After it was downloaded, I followed your instructions about removing the filters (an action that will probably come back to haunt me some time down the track, grrr), I then rebooted - but the computer still doesn't recognise the fact that there is very blatantly a DVD drive in my laptop. Which means that AnyDVD is completely moot for me now. How can it help play my DVDs (what I got it for - I have a number of DVDs that I purchased legally from DVD stores that are nevertheless in different zones: why should I not be able to play legally purchased DVDs on my own computer? That's stupid - but also another topic of conversation), when my computer doesn't even realise it HAS a DVD drive (this drive, when operational, will play and burn CDs, and play DVDs)!