I've spent a lot of time looking around and so have already tried several things. I have tried using system restore back to times when the DVD ROM worked. I have tried following the instructions on this page. I did have a LowerFilters registry entry which I deleted, though no UpperFilters entry. After restarting my computer, the DVD ROM still didn't work.
The next thing I tried was uninstalling my drivers and having them automatically reinstall. And here's where it gets weird. Device manager lists my DVD drive as "SU3800T YQQ140W SCSI CdRom Device." The manufacturer is listed as "(Standard CD-ROM Drives), the driver is listed as provided by "Microsoft" with signer "microsoft windows" (written in lowercase.) The version given is 6.0.6000.16386. Now, being as no such DVD-ROM exists, I have to think that the driver got pretty scrambled or something.
I tried uninstalling the driver, but all that happened is that Windows reinstalled the same driver, and the DVD-ROM still doesn't recognize discs. I'm out of ideas at this point, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
EDIT: I did some poking around in the registry, and found that my DVD-ROM is actually a Sony CDRWDVD CRX880A. There are a few places where it is referred to this, and a nearby entry refers to the "SU3800T YQQ140W." I tried updating the firmware for that drive using the updater from Dell's site, but it does not recognize my drive as a Sony CRX880A.
Edited by Saikuba, 05 February 2010 - 01:01 AM.