My laptop (windows xp) doesn't recognize any type of cd or dvd

Hello,
I have Dell laptop (windows xp). It used to work... but now it doesn't recognize any type of CD or DVD! I wanted to play Sims 2, but iy doesn't recognize it!! :( it is my favoutite game! PLEASE help soon...I have this problem for months!!!
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  1. First is the CD/DVD seated completely and does it appear in device manager with no yellow flag? The CD/DVD drive is removable on some Dell laptops and if it is not seated will not function. Does it spin up when you insert a CD or DVD and close the door. If appears on device manager and spins up the pickup head may have failed. In that case you would have to buy a replacement.
  2. this maybe a registry problem we had it with a new laptop took it to pcworld 2 secs bloke had it fixed and showed us what it was in the registry causing the problem it was a while ago now so i cant be specific on which bit or what to do
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