I've been experiencing this problem since the beginning of this year. My D: Drive (DVD RW Drive [SH-S224F from Samsung]) is not recognizing any disc that I will load into it. I've been using this drive since late November of last year. When I insert a DVD/CD it says the error message "Please Insert Disc". No matter how many discs I try, it comes out as the same message. I've uninstalled and reinstalled and updated the driver many times. I have tested to see if it is the laser by booting up from the optical drive on the BIOS menu (used Vista Home Basic OS Disc) and it worked as it should. Any ideas would be useful.
This might not be the easiest or best solution, so I hope I'm not the only one who tries to answer you. Perhaps the answer is to actually physically uninstall and reinstall the drive. I'm not sure if you'll be able to, if that voids the warranty, however. Is your computer still under warranty? And is your copy of Vista an actual Microsoft Windows Vista disk or is it the computer manufacturer's version of that disk (known as an "OEM" disk)?
I am lucky in my situation, in which I 'built' my own computer. I ordered parts from newegg, therefore all of my parts have separate warranties. Also, it would be just ten more dollars if I went to the near-by hardware store and buy a new optical drive. My copy of Windows Vista is from Windows, because as I said before, I ordered all my parts and put them together in a case. I will try this idea and then post later for my results.
Even though this was helpful, it did not solve my problem. I did Method 3 under General Troubleshooting (Uninstalling the driver in Device Manager and then selecting, under the Action tab, Scan for hardware changes. It then reinstalled the driver). I came up with no different results. I tries Method 1 under Advances Troubleshooting even though it was a problem with recording rather than reading. I opened My Computer and right clicked my DVD RW drive (D:) and selected properties. I then looked at the recording tab to make sure that my specific drive was used for recording. It was. Any more recommendations?