I did a little trouble-shooting and hm, well as it turns out, changing my drive letter on that drive allows me to view files on whatever disc I put in there again. If I change it back to it's original drive letter, I get the same "can't view any files using windows file explorer" but the autorun works and I can erase a RW disc so I'm pretty confused. I guess for now, untill I hash out which of the 10-15 programs I installed in the past 2 days screwed me I'll just move it to a different drive letter...
anyone ever had this happen. Part of me things it's ANYDVD that screwed up my windows.
oh and when autorun-ing this one disc I got a popup window with ??????autorun.exe????? yes or no. So obviously I"m running virus check right now... hopefully it's not home brew and my scanner will find it after obviously missing it the first time