The problem isn't the drive, or a Sony big brother association to the RIAA, it has to do with the crappy software Acer includes and forces you to run on the laptop! I have fixed my laptop and hope this helps any of you out there!
I have had many and MULTIPLE issues with the Acer 5100.
Most of the issues related to crappy software from Acer and Vista updates making them crash. Like an update eliminating my laptop from recognizing and accessing my hard drive, and a computer is pretty hard to run when it doesn't have access to a boot drive!
My latest frustration occurred recently when I installed the latest Vista service pack. I started having multiple issues with both my hard drive recognition and also eht eData security suite pre installed on my Acer 5100.
I started having MULTIPLE like 8-10 error pop up windows for eData Security. So I decided to uninstall it since I was running a different program to protect my laptop.
Well then iTunes started acting weird, not recognizing CD's and also not playing song files.
So I then wiped my system clean of eData, rebooted, rechecked there were not references to eData in the Regedit trees, and did a hard shut down, and a clean power on.
I then reinstalled eData and now my system is working smoothly.
Hope this helps.