Her computer is a Gateway tablet laptop, running Windows XP.
Just today, she went to play a game on her computer, and she could not locate the disk drive in My Computer. It is listed in Device Manager as functioning properly, but the pull down menu at the bottom of the general tab that allows you to enable or disable the drive is grayed out.
The drive does respond to the eject button, and the light flashes yellow when we open or close it like it is trying to read the disk. We have tried loading different disks in, and none of them are read. No error messages are displayed, the computer simply fails to load them.
She has not installed anything new recently. The only out of the ordinary thing with her computer is that it had a faulty power cord which wasn't charging well, so her computer was running on low battery for a long time - she just recently got a new powercord and her computer is fully charged.
The disk drive has worked before, but the last time she attempted to use it was a while ago, so she doesn't know when the problem began. She has no additional disk drives installed on her computer - it is unaltered from how it came from the factory. Her computer was not opened up or messed around with, so the hookup should be the same as it was when the disk drive was working.
As far as we can tell, there is no way to physically remove the disk drive. (With my IBM computer, I can eject the entire drive and then pop it back in to fix problems like this).
We have tried rebooting the computer, and rebooting the hardware (there was a pinhole button on the bottom).
Thank you for any help you can give!