Ok, I have a compaq prissario with a standard DVD/CD ROM, NVIDIA 8500 Graphics, and 4 GB RAM. For the past few months I have been having issues witht he CD/DVD ROM reading some of my disks, and the amount is spreading. It will load up the auto run for the games, I click start game, and it will start loading, then it says to insert the correct disk. It allows me to run through the whole installation but when I want to play, doesn't work, it has happened with quite a few games, from mercenarys 2 all the way back to Sim City 4, and Age of Empires 2, so I'm not concerned about the drive not being able to read newer disks. I'm tried taking it out and spraying it with dust off, nothing. Is it burning out? Is there anything short of buying a new one I can do? Or am I stuck? I'm thinking I'm going to have to fork over some money and replace it :(

What Pressario is it? How old is that drive? You can get a replacement DVD drive for 10 - 20 bucks on newegg. That shouldn't hurt your wallet too badly.

Only other thing I would try is to power down and reseat your IDE/SATA cable to and from the drive.

Remember, optical drives have moving parts and wear out quicker than other components.

I got it when I got back from iraq back in june 07 so a little over a year...

Personally, I'd just replace it. Replacement of an optical drive only takes a few minutes and you can get a DL DVD burner with lightscribe for $25 dollars shipped. Use this as an excuse to get the upgrade.