Audio CDs won't mount

I'm working on a Dell Inspiron 530S running Win-7.

The SATA DVD-RW works properly for all purposes except that it doesn't recognize or mount audio CDs. It will spin the CD for a while then nothing. In Explorer the DVD-RW doesn't show up as having media inserted. I can mount and access data and installation CDs and DVD movies mount and play properly with sound. The owners state that this feature worked until recently. However, they have no input as to what might have happened when it stopped working.

I looked in the auto play applet in Control Panel and audio CDs are set to automatically play in iTunes. I changed that setting to WMP and the CD still wouldn't mount.

I've also tried to update the driver. Window's response was that I had the newest/best driver already.
mummer1Asked:
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r3nderCommented:
check the sound card drivers
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CompProbSolvCommented:
The really significant part here is that Windows Explorer doesn't see anything.  It doesn't matter what you have as the default player, how the sound card drivers are configured (or even if they are installed), nor how you have AutoPlay configured, you still should see .CDA files on the disk in Explorer.  The other issues may affect your ability to play the files, but that is a higher-level issue.

Have you tried a variety of audio CDs on this?  Are you using manufactured (not burned) commercial CDs?  Do you have the opportunity to (temporarily) install a different drive?
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mummer1Author Commented:
@r3nder - I went to the device manager and clicked 'update driver' on the Realtek HD Audio. Win told me that I have the newest driver after its search.

@CompProbSolv - I've tried four commercial CDs (from different sources: Columbia, Reprise, etc). Sadly, I don't have a spare SATA drive hanging around. I'll probably go get one if this doesn't get resolved soon.

Update: I've run a couple of troubleshooters, here are the results:
The Windows troubleshooter found no problems with the drive, but couldn't recognize the format of the audio disk.
The iTunes troubleshooter saw no problems with the drive, but claimed the drive was empty (with an Eric Clapton CD inserted).

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r3nderCommented:
Is this a standard drive on your Dell inspiron 530S (in other words - did it come with it)
If it did
go here and select your driver for the CD/DVD-RW drive - also select the sound card you have and install that driver as well.
This all comes down to drivers thats all
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mummer1Author Commented:
I just returned from Micro Center where I purchased a replacement drive (couldn't continue troubleshooting without it). I swapped the cables from the old one, and booted. When it was installed by Windows, Eric Clapton opened in iTunes and started playing.

It was the drive. Probably something in the hardware that went bad and rendered the drive unable to recognize an audio CD. That means that CompProbSolv gets the 125 points. Thank you for your assistance.

@r3nder - You had some good ideas, but it appears that drivers were not the problem. Thank you for your input.
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