I don't usually play movies on my laptop (prefer the standalone with the tv), but I tried to watch one the other night, and noticed playback was really choppy and had audio artifacts in places.
I thought it could be related to memory issues so I rebooted and tried again, but the results were the same. I considered that it could be an issue with the disc, so I tried to clean it but again there was no change.
I don't think the problem is with the disc, because I tried another disc and it also had the same problem. I don't think I've ever watched the second disc since I've had it, so it should have been safe in its jewel case. Also, there were no issues when I watched an episode off the first disc in my standalone player.
What I'm wondering is: are there are any (free) utilities that can check for issues with the drive itself? I looked around but most of the software I found focuses on integrity checks for the disc, not the drive.
I have had issues with this laptop recently (had to replace the keyboard when the cat damaged it while I was cleaning dust out and the machine was ripped apart, also replaced part of the chassis after I cracked it when I tried to open it not knowing a screw was still in it) so I may have just replaced the drive incorrectly. I'm going to check on this while I await an answer to this question.