Matshita UJ-845D Problems

Hi all,
I have an Acer 1694wlmi laptop which comes with a Panasonic (Matshita) UJ-845D DVD drive.
My problem is that sometime ago the drive started acting wierd, burning fails suddenly while writting, the drive is accessible and is working properly on the control panel, but it tends to be really slow trying to read the DVD’s - CD’s since i dual boot and have also Linux installed i gave it a try by booting a Linux installation cd, allthough the installation started it suddenly failed while trying to read the package contents for the installation selection.
Is the drive dying? I know a firmware is not available for this one, any suggestions or maybe a replacement for this one?

Clean the drive.