CD-ROM installation "the data is invalid"

I am trying to get a CD-ROM working on an HP n600c laptop running Windows 2000.  The o/s correctly identifies the drive and gives it a letter but it fails to work and the hardware list shows a driver error.

I have tried removing the driver and reinstalling: it goes through the wizard, I pointed it at the INF directory and it claims to find a newer driver.  It says this has not been signed, do you want to continue - said yes and it then claims the driver failed to install as "the data is invalid"

I have tried refreshing the INF directory in case it was corrupted by coping across drivers from an identical machine but same result.

Any ideas?
domszantoAsked:
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I think your OS is corrupted, with so many unrelated problems cropping up.  Perhaps it's time for a repair install?  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;292175  This will keep your current data and programs intact.
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CallandorCommented:
Is this an external USB drive?  If so, you need sp4 for USB 2.0: http://www.usbman.com/Guides/Win2000%20Service%20Pack%204%20USB%20Bug%20Fixes.htm
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domszantoAuthor Commented:
No, it's the standard HP one which sits in the multibay.  It's a Compaq CD-224E.
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CallandorCommented:
If you have an identical machine, swap the drive and see if the old drive fails also in the other machine and if a new drive works in this one.  If so, the drive is shot and needs to be replaced.
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domszantoAuthor Commented:
Tried that.  This is getting stranger.  The CD does actually work now - but in the Hardware list the driver is still listed as missing and everytime the machine boots up it detects it as new and runs through the hardware wizard.

In addition I tried a USB storage key (USB 1.0) and it comes up with the same error on trying to install: "The data is invalid" even though it finds a useable driver.  Only in this case it doesn't give a drive letter and you can't use the key.
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domszantoAuthor Commented:
Incidentally, apologies for delay on trying this last suggestion - user has gone away for a few days!
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domszantoAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Callandor for trying - points awarded anyway for the rather definite solution of "reinstall the O/S" !

A note to anyone later reading this - although Callandor rightly said that it will keep the data intact (and it did), I would always recommend a backup just in case, as "it shouldn't have done that" doesn't get your data back!
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