Laptop Dvdr/rw drive not reading dvd's anymore

Hi all,

    My Sony Vaio VGN-A197XP laptop suddenly decided to stop reading dvd discs no matter what region. Ive tried numerious dvds but it just wont read them.  I tried dvd data discs and its the same thing.  But the drive works fine with normal cd roms.  It used to work fine with dvds untill 2 weeks ago, when all of a sudden it just stopped reading them.  Is this a physical problem with the drive itself or is their some software related issue?
 Thee Dvd drive model is Sony DVD RW DW-U55A

Kind regards,
       Marcus Pisani
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I suspect you have a broken drive. DVDs and CDs use different laser wavelengths, so you have 2 different lasers built into your drive. So if the DVD Laser stops working you can still read CDs with the CD Laser.
did you update the drivers for the drive recently? if so then try to rollback to the last version. if the driver is the same then goto sony's site and download the latest driver and install that. if you are running the latest driver then just reinstall, somehow i think the aspi cd/dvd drivers are corrupt and windows does not recognize it as a dvd rom.
wlennonVP of Domestic & Int'l OperationsCommented:
Hello Genius_xp, here is the latest firmware for your drive:

There is also a Patch you may need if using the Pre-Loaded software if you have upgraded to XPSP2. for the Vaio Media Enhancements.

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>>>>when all of a sudden it just stopped reading them.  

You didn't say if you see any error messages. Trying manually exploring the DVD to see if it shows the contents.

If not, mostly it's a malfunction with the lens.

genius_xpAuthor Commented:
How can i manually explore the dvd, if the drive cant even read it.......
Jared LukerCommented:
If you wanted to get extreme, you could install windows into a different directory and install your dvd program into the new install.  That would rule out whether it's a problem with windows or drivers.

when you say not reading dvd's anymore, do you mean as in Movie DVD's or just any dvd's ?

If you mean movie dvd's , it might be because you have changed the region code too many times and it has locked you out and doing a firmware upgrade providing you have the exact firmware upgrade you need should work. Make sure to read the readme file that comes with the firmware update and check the version of your drive matches the version of the firmware upgrade to a T ! Otherwise it might kill the drive, I know this because I had to do this when I was making my dvd rom drive region free.
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