I wish I could be sure about anything... additional Safe Mode boots didn't do anything, but today, after doing nothing special (resuming from standby), DVD+RW recognition came back to life. But the drive insisted on halting soon after starting any burning job (KEY_MEDIUM_ERROR, but I'd never believe that it's the media's fault).
Add in more evidence like the exotic unconsistent sounds the drive made at some instances (it's nice to know it is trying hard to recognize the disc), and the unfortunate fact that it has a crappy reputation
- and I'm just not sure it's the software's fault.
But no, I didn't do any fresh install of that WinXP home. Worse, it's a refurbished unit (excluding the drive, as said above).
You know how painful reinstalling a whole computer is... I guess I just need a 'smoking gun' that'd justify formatting... anyone?