After seeing the puppy cd working on the thinkpad I think it's safe to say the optical drive is dying on the sony vaio. Thanks for all your help and when I replace the drive I'll post another topic if things don't work out.
No need to start a new topic unless it is a different issue completely.
Besides we would like to know good or bad if the replacement of the drive is the issue in the end.
fair enough. It will have to wait for a little while. Palm springs and some other things are on the front burner at the moment but when I get around to it, I will post here.
Thanks for wishing me luck and i will keep you up to date