Disk Drive Help

So my cd/dvd drive isn't working. I have windows vista. The computers fairly old, i'd say around 2 years old. Up until yesterday (even though last time i checked would have to have been about 2 weeks ago) the d: drive was working fine. Yesterday, i was about to backup some of my files (so then i could delete them off the computer, therefore gain more space) when i noticed there was no d: drive/ cd-dvd drive on 'my computer'. I opened up the drive manager this, and it didn't appear there either. I looked up on google what to do, and it said something about deleting 'upper' and 'lower' filters. I got up to that point (whilst completing it on my computer) when i read "there is always the precaution where your computer can completely break" i though 'i'm not doing that!

I then restored the settings to a restore point- 4 days before. That didn't work. My family are now saying that they are going to restore to factory settings, or change the main computer thing (sorry, i cant think of the name xd if i do manage to think of it ill add it in additional details). This means deleting everything on the computer without backing it up. I cant email myself the stuff i want to keep, (it doesn't seem to work) but i have put the pictures on facebook and there are not many files (i have backed up some stuff, including documents, before). But i have videos that i nt put on facebook because it'll take too long. We are trying to purchase a memory stick. But i don't really want to restore it to factory settings. I don't think it'll work. And then there are stuff that i'll never get back. Does anyone know of any way that'll bring back the d: cd/dvd drive. Without restoring it to factory settings. ?

What do the upper/ lower filters do, and what happens when i delete them?

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