Reading this reminded me of when someone I know (not me) completely destroyed his optical drive using AnyDVD.
He did it by (successfully) playing (in VLC media player) a copy-protected region 1 DVD on a DVD drive set to region 2. This was while AnyDVD was running in the background. For fun, he then exited AnyDVD while the DVD was still playing, to see what would happen. What happened was he broke his DVD drive. It refused to read discs after that and it never worked again.
What I wonder is how was AnyDVD able to break the optical drive? How can an optical drive be susceptible to software?