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Games not being recognised in DVD Drive

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I'm trying to install FIFA 11 onto my boyfriends pc as a surprise, but it won't recognise the disc. I know a fair bit about PC's, but why this is happening has got my stumped! Here's an overview...

1) the disc works on other computers
2) Another game I have, The Sims 3, is also not recognised in the drive
3) A random movie DVD I entered is recognised
4) An old game (Monkey Island) is recognised.
5) I have tried a lens cleaner, nothing.
6) I'm using a HP 840b DVD Drive on windows vista SP2. Updated to the latest firmware.
7) I have tried hours of google fixes, including removing upper and lower filters from registry, and uninstalling the drive through device manager and letting windows redetect it. Nothing.
8) I did a fresh install of Vista on a 2nd HDD in the machine, still didn't recognise FIFA or The Sims.

So I figured the DVD drive or lens must be broke?

I went to the shop and bought an external DVD drive, plugged it into the USB.
1) Put in FIFA, not recognised. Put in Sims, not recognised.
2) Put in Monkey Island, recognised.

There's a pattern here :D

I can't understand why newer games won't work, but an old one does. And why would the same symptoms happen on an old DVD drive, to a new DVD external drive. That led me to think it must be the OS, but since I fresh installed and it still doesn't work, I'm stumped!

If anyone has any ideas, that would be lovely. Would a faulty IDE cable perhaps only allow certain games to work and not others? ;)

Thanks guys!

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