My 3-year-old Hewlett-Packard PC stopped playing optical discs a couple of months ago. Not only were the built-in DVD and CD-ROM drives out of commission, I couldn't even get a brand-new external DVD drive to work. I searched and searched for driver updates, but came up empty. It wasn't until I happened upon a Registry patch on Chris Pirillo's great Lockergnome site that I got the machine to recognize the optical drives.
The patch was provided by a volunteer who had no affiliation with HP, Microsoft, or the drive vendors. It's not uncommon for PC experts … Read more