What's wrong with my DVD Burner?

Or, maybe i should i say, what happened to it? So, i’m installing Linux in VMware off the install CD, and suddenly my computer freezes. I press the reset button, only to see POST stall before detecting the DVD burner. Eventually, i have to turn off my PC, afterwards i see the burner’s light flash. But, once i put a CD or DVD in it, it’s as if the drive shuts down. It fails to read anything, but what’s worse, it will NOT eject or open, unless i turn off the pc, again. My DVD burner is an HP DVD Writer 840i. Is the drive dead? If so, what’s a good (i.e. that will last for several years) DVD burner replacement?

Thanks in advance.