Ok, I was able to insert and play or rip CDs and DVDs in my HP Laptop's drive until sometime recently. Now, suddenly, Media Player does not recognize my drive at all, although I CAN see and access the drive (for recorded discs) and can even play native DVD media files on the disc (like .VOB files) in media player. However, there's no autoplay of inserted discs (I've already been through the control panel page for configuring autoplay, everything normal there). Same story for recorded audio CDs, can't play one in media player. When a valid disc is inserted, the drive never shows up in the Media Player library. Also, I can no longer burn files to a CD or DVD, the prompt that used to come up asking if I wanted to format the disc for data or music never appears and no burn functions of Media player work either. When I put a blank CD or DVD in the drive, windows tells me that it's not a supported disc type (I used these same discs previously to burn files with no problems). Also, there have been no software installations or reconfigurations on this computer that would have affected Media Player, other than standard windows updates.
I've stopped short of totally uninstalling Media Player and reinstalling, but will do so if that seems likely to help. Have tried all the Microsoft Hardware Troubleshooting and "Fix-it" programs, none of which had the slightest effect. And don't say that the drive is broken or that one of it's lasers is broken or that windows doesn't recognize the drive or disc. The disk is totally visible in Windows Explorer and the files ARE readable. Only Media Player is retarded and can't see the drive.
Any advice would be much appreciated!