Ok - after an exhaustive search of just about every forum I was able to find I could not locate anyone who has had the same problem I'm having. I have a Toshiba Satellite M305 with Vista Professional 64-bit loaded (factory)and I have one of the most unique problems I've ever encountered. For starters, my DVD/RW drive will not read a CD or DVD, however it WILL recognize a blank disc of either type, respectively. I am able to burn to either media as well, but again cannot read a burned or bought disc of either type.
In addition, the ability to read a flash drive is gone as well. I cannot read flash drives from USB ports, but the computer will recognize that there's one there and update the 'My Computer' folder accordingly. The same goes for SD cards that I put into the reader slot in the laptop.
Joystick works fine. External mouse works fine. It's just localized to storage devices from what I can tell. I hope someone can help! Thanks in advance for reading.