XP has SYSTEM RESTORE for you to try and if I suspect a hardware issue I test it with GEEXBOX which is some under 6.5MB download you find with google.com
I have run into a problem with my DVD-ROM drive. I just upgraded to XP Home and installed all the drivers necessary to get my system up to date. I ran a DVD two days ago and it worked fine, with no problems whatsoever. When I tried to put a movie in yesterday, I couldn't run it on my DVD program (PowerDVD XP). I tried with WinDVD and InterActual and no luck. Now when I went directly into the file system of the disc and selected a chapter of the disc, it was able to play, but with hardly any image, distorted sound, almost as it the disc were heavily damaged, which is wasn't. I tried other discs and all with the same problem.
Now regular CD's play on the drive with no problems whatsoever. The only conflict seems to be with the DVDs. Could it be the optics on the drive that's damaged? Is there any program that could verify the problem? Thank you!