Strange errors and connections with 2 dvd burners

Ok, Im not entirely sure where to post this. Its one doozy of a pickle I tell you.

I have a liteon ldw 411s. Some time ago it quit reading any dvd of any type. Reads cd’s ok, doesnt seem to burn them anymore tho. Well today after about 6 months of it being in a closet I took it out and put it back into a system. (windows vista ultimate)
The pc recognized the device, its in device manager and the bios and explorer just like it should be. I inserted a blank sony dvd-r and it recognized the disk. I wanted to see if maybe it magically corrected itself so I used windows explorer to burn a data disk. It started to “prepare” the disk, which Im guessing is just windows way of saying formatting the disk. It stopped after a few seconds and said it couldnt prepare it and ejected the disk.
Thinking to myself, " Ok it didnt format the disk is still good " I put it into my other dvd burner.
My other dvd burner is a samsung sh-w162Z. This morning, the drive worked flawlessly. Used the drive to load oblivion this morning and everything was fine. After I put in that disk from the liteon drive however, it stopped working.
Its recognized in windows, bios etc etc but no matter what I put in the drive it doesnt read.
Windows says theres nothing in the drive. CD DVD burnt or original, I get nothing. Most of the time windows says insert media and ejects the disk but every so often I get an “application not found” error.

I must assume the disk I tried to use somehow damaged my drive but I dont know how thats even possible. The samsung drive is hardly a year old (sammy wont replace it, neither will liteon even though I suspect their drive broke it)
The things I have tried to do to fix either drive are:
Reflashing the original firmware on the liteon
Crossflashing the liteon
RE-reflashing the liteon with the original firmware
Flashing the samsung with the original firmware
Deleting the upper/lower filter reg keys
Swapping both drives to multiple computers on multiple ide cables
Using dvdinfopro and such to get any ideas but nothing so far

The samsung drive isnt even spinning up as far as I can tell, and I wasnt able to boot a windows install disk (cd and dvd).

Windows device properties say both drives are working properly. I am completely stumped. I even tried using linux to see if it was indeed a windows problem but it wouldnt load the live cd, go figure.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Perhaps theres a diagnostic program Im unaware of that i could use to see if theres anything im overlooking.
I hope theres something.

Nobody has any ideas mmm?