sounds like you're missing a driver, the manufacturer may have the needed drivers, ere's a link to their driver download site for your Inspiron 1100
I have a Dell Inspiron 1100 that I recently replaced with a current laptop. I want to away/sell give it away, but it was my laptop for about 2 years and has personal info on it. I have a Windows XP disc and can easily get the drivers for the laptop, but the DVD drive tray doesn't read any discs at all, DVDs or CD roms. Is there any way I can wipe the laptop and reinstall XP with a faulty DVD drive?