Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Hi John, sorry to hear you're having trouble.
This type of problem is often caused by a contaminated laser lens (specific to the write laser, not the read laser). You can attempt to clean it by blowing out the disc tray/slot area with a can of compressed air for dusting computers (keep the can upright only so you don't get chemical propellant on the lens).
If this doesn't help, you can try a specialty cleaning disc (http://amzn.to/1w1eNgB) which has little brushes that clean the lens more thoroughly.
If neither of these cleaning steps help, then this is more likely a hardware fault, which could include a bad laser emitter or pickup, faulty spindle motor or laser transport, etc. Any of these issues would require repair/replacement.
This would be consistent with the previously diagnosed bad drive, which would then need to be replaced.
Should it come to that, considering that you can buy a brand new unit for L240, getting updated features and a fresh warranty, I'd lean that way, to at least get another year of coverage out of it. If you invest in the repairs, another component could fail and bring you back right where you are. You could then of course continue using the older unit as is just as a dvr or for playback.