Of the times I have received a laptop for repair because the system doesn't recognize the optical drive
a)but it functions perfectly in POST!
b)the function is verified in another laptop
I have in every case been forced to reinstal the Os to correct the problem
But I should note that if I prove "driver corruption" I DO NOT install the OS on the original HDD
because in my experience coruption of that nature is often the fault of the hard drive
If you need to reinstall the OS, especially if you have to buy a new copy of the OS it seems
silly to trust a $120-$200 operating system install to a HDD that can most kindly be
characterized as "suspect"
A new 320gb HDD is only about $50 from most online retailers. and if you wait for a "sale" you can usually either get a 320gb drive cheaper, get a faster (7200rpm) drive or get a larger (500gb or larger) HDD.