So, let me make you a short story of what was going on. I purchased an <b>Acer laptop (model 1670</b>) which came with the afforementioned DVDRW drive; with which I had no problem whatsoever.
In fact, I never encountered a problem with this system before, although right now I am pretty mad at both Sony and Acer.
I was not really putting my DVDRW drive on overload. I used to burn a DVD or CD per day or so, with some rare days when I would burn as much as 4 CDs. But I am confident that I was not burning so many with it. In fact it was working perfectly until yesterday. Here is what happened:
Yesterday, <b>I started ripping a movie DVD (7.4GB long) into an image .nti file, using the Acer provided NTI Writer</b> program (which, after being a long time user, I prefer to Nero but not 120%. In fact I don't have Nero installed on this laptop at all). Since ripping was always a length job (and could need up to three hours depending on the circumstances), I went out with some friends. If it matters at all, <b>that disk was CSS encrypted</b> but I knew of ways to get around that and rip it anyway.
When I returned later that night, <b>the ripping was complete with no problems at all. So, I took the disk out and decided to load the movie to see it anyway. But the drive did a strange loading sound, like it was skipping and clicking</b> (similar to what a de-calibrated GCN does; read my FAQ), <b>and it would not load it at all</b>. I thought it was some kind of OS problem, so I simply shut down my laptop and went to sleep as I was too tired to be bothered over it and thought "it would be fine tommorow".
However, it wasn't. <b>The drive right now will not load ANY kind of disk or drive</b>. I have tried VCD, CD-ROM, CDAudio, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD+R, DVD+RW, mDVD+RW, mCD-R, and none of those types was able to run.
The process is similar on both CD type disks and DVD type disks. On CD type disks it clicks a lot and spins again and again, occasionally sounding like it is actually reading the disk, then stops. After 4-5 tries, it stops altogether with no CD recognised at all. With the DVD, the sounds it makes are slightly different, and it looks like it is entering in a strange very fast speed mode, then slows down, then again, until it gives up either way.
<b>I tried to check if the drive is running through BIOS, by making the CD the first boot choice, but I get the exact same results there. Additionally, if there is a disk present in the drive while I am booting Windows (something that did not happen before), the system locks up until I remove it.</b>
The only disk that I have managed to make it read, which somehow destabilizes any obvious theories you may have, is a CD-R (not recordable anymore) which had .jpg file types in it. It took a really long while to load it (3-5 minutes) but eventually it did. Access to the files was ultra slow, until a few minutes after it simply stopped working and threw a blue screen of death.
<b>I am running Windows XP SP2 Home, and I downloaded the latest update a week or so ago</b>. I tried reverting to previous Windows settings from a day, a week and a month ago respectively and there was no difference at all.
It might be completely irrelevant, but yesterday, BEFORE ripping the disk, I had removed (by using the proper uninstallation tool) Final Fantasy XII, Temple Of Elemental Evil, World Of Warcraft and Cubasis VST from my system. I would have tried to reinstall them, but as you can already see, I have no access to the drive at all and under any circumstances.
<b>I have not tried flashing it</b> with any version, for fear this will actually invalidate my warranty. My best course of action would be to return it, but this happens to me when I needed my laptop the most, with 2 university assignement due in 4 days, and I need my DVD burner to work! I am desperate. Can anyone help me?
PS: I already visisted this site and noticed several people have similar or even the same problem using DVDRW drivers from the same Sony made series.