ok.. lemme put this another way hehe.. the cdroms show up in the bios, but at random times aren't displayed in windows. When they are not displayed, they will not work. They don't show up in the device manager, because windows basically does not see them, cdrom drivers are loaded on the startup as with other hardware. It's not something that is installed because cdroms can use a basic driver. I've had this exact problem before and I think I messed with the cables and got them working correctly again, either that or I formatted.
My friend knows nothing about computers, so he's aftraid to open the computer up. So other than opening up the case or formatting, has anyone else had this problem and gone about it another way? w00t!