Why does a DVD/CD ROM stop working?
I've been using my computer for over 4 years now and the DVD/CD ROM has been working just fine until recently (about 3 months now) . I had a game CD ( The Lego Batman ) which I'd got from a friend and it specified that is PC DVD and my computer could run the game smoothly. Until recently where I purchased a Skyrim and a Dishonored game which specify the same ( PC DVD ) but do not seem to work. I've tried inserting it into other systems and it works so nothing wrong with the CD but I don't think anything is wrong with my drive either. It does run other disks that have pictures and songs in them but not these game CD's . The LEGO Batman CD has stopped working too. I've tried all common solutions like re-installing the CD drives, checking the wire connection and many others. Out of curiosity I did troubleshoot my PC hardware and Recovered the PC files and then when I inserted the Skyrim CD it worked, so I thought my Dishonored would work but did not seem to. On inserting the Skyrim CD back it did not work too. I tried repeating the process but nothing happened this time. I hope there is a reasonable explanation to this.
CD/DVD drives are finicky beasts at best. The read/write laser diodes are completely exposed and sit facing up (so dust can fall on them). They are mounted on a (relatively) massive platform that's moved along the disc (inside to outside tracks) by a rubber band or plastic teeth. This platform needs to be positioned beneath a spinning, possibly vibrating, disc with the precision of less than 1/100th the width of a human hair. There is a lot that can go wrong, from dust on the laser diodes, to grit inside the gears moving the platform, to teeth in the gears breaking off, to failure of the balance stabilization. Quite frankly, I'm amazed they even work at all.
The good news is, we've gotten so good at building them that they cost less than $20 to replace when they break. If you want you can try opening it up (not just open the tray, remove it from the PC and open up the drive) and use some compressed air to blow out any dust or grit But they're cheap enough I'd just buy a new one if a blast of compressed air shot through the tray opening doesn't resolve the problem.
If you want Blu-ray capability, those are still up around $70.