Alternative replacement for ct21n optical drive

Back in June of 2011 I posted the following:

I have an ASUS G73JH series laptop with a CT21N optical drive apparently made by LG. Darn thing can't read files that have been burned onto CD's (photos, PDF's). Very annoying. I have the latest drivers for Windows 7. The Chinese dude from ASUS said "no firmware upgrade" and no answers to be found on the Web for this issue. Commercial discs (dvds, games) seem to work fine. Help!?

Note that I have to put DVD & game discs in several times before it reads properly. I've received a few replies, mostly from folk with the same problem. I'm totally disgusted with this problem and need an alternative replacement for this piece of #@!*. Suggestions appreciated.

Asus G73jh laptop:
Processor: Intel Core i7 @ 1.73GHz
OS: MS Window 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
Version: 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601

Video card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870

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More about alternative replacement ct21n optical drive
  1. The most cost effective approach would be to get an external usb 2 drive for $30-40. A replacement drive would be more like $100.
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