UPDATE: After doing a bit of thinking, I noticed that the CDROM in the tray did in fact spin (since the label was always in a different position when removing the disc) eliminating mechanical failure as the casue, and I assumed the chugging sound was from the laser moving up and down. So then the most obvious reason for the problem was that the disc wasn't being read. Perhaps from a failure in passing the data, or retrieving it. Since I really wouldn't be able to do anything about electrical failures, the only other option was to see if the problem was in fact retrieving the data. Which would be either a problem with the disc or laser lens. Since all the discs I tried were being rejected, the lens was the prime suspect. I was thinking of purchasing a CDROM cleaning kit (and returning it if it didn't work) but I was thinking that it would be impossible for those kits to physically clean the lens. I actually took the drive apart but wasn't sure if it would do any good, so after snooping around a bit, I just closed the lid, and wiped off my credit card preparing it for a swipe at the local computer store. But immediately after reading a reponse to my post in another forum I decided "what the hell do I got to lose?" so I actually took apart the CDROM, removed the laser component and cleaned it off with my sunglasses cloth since I didn't have any lens paper handy. Putting it all back together, and hooking it up... IT FRIGGIN WORKED!!! And worked well. It was a pretty cool learning experience too, I have taken apart my whole computer many times before, but never had to fiddle with any individual components. If it wasn't for tinkering around I'd probably have wasted another $50. So if anyone every encounters such a problem, think about possible solutions and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty (if you've got nothing to lose - read - don't void your warranty unless its already run out).