Thank you for the responses.
I have tried uninstalling the drive from device manager (even while physically uninstalling the drive) and rebooting without re-installing and then rebooting with re-installing. That hasn't worked.
I've tried uninstalling the device another time and replaced the cable...no luck.
I've even tried uninstalling PowerDVD software and reinstalling....nothing seems to help.
Another thing to add....when placing a dvd of cd in the drive the drive tries to read it for about 1 minute before it quiets downs
A friend suggested that the laser has died and that I should just replace it......
anyone else agree and are there any suggestions for a replacement? (I don't want to get a dvd rw at this stage, no need at this time)