I have just discovered that my Wii can no longer read discs. Tried it with a new game I purchased and previous discs purchased. Trying to use a USB loader to install on my HDD comes up with lots of read errors. I blew compressed air inside, didn't work. Bought a lens cleaning disc but I don't know if it's working properly because I can't find a homebrew program that can play a CD. I have the Nintendo lens cleaning kit ordered. I'm hoping that will fix it because I don't want to spend time disassembling and finding parts to repair the drive, or $75 for Nintendo to fix it out of warranty (and softmodded).
Is there any way I can use my PC to rip the retail discs so I can copy them to the HDD? So far I've read that there are only certain brands of DVD players that can read Wii retail discs. Is that still the case? Is procuring one of these special DVD drives the only option? What is the technical reason why regular drives won't work?