|PPO1L isn't the specific model number - that's an additional label assigned to several different Dell models -|
Latitude C500, or C510, or C600, or C610
Inspiron 4000 series - three possible mboards.
Enter the Service tag number on a Dell site to find what specfic model it is, and what particular components the laptop has.
If the hard drive has had Windows installed on it from a regular CD, sometimes the optical drive is not detected properly until AFTER the main chipset drivers have been loaded.
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
If the optical drive module has a contact problem, you could also try cleaning the contacts by wiping them off with a cloth or tissue, and/or using isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol; preferably a 99% solution, or methyl alcohol, or ethyl alcohol (e.g. vodka) on a cloth ot tissue to clean them.
Don't touch them with your fingers.
Usually you can easily see and get at the laser lens when a laptop optical drive tray is ejected - in that case wipe it off with something such as a tissue, cloth, or Q-tip.
"When I put either a data(burnt cd or dvd), dvd movie(factory made) or any other it doesn't show as loaded at all but the light on the drive shows it is trying. When I click on the cd drive icon in My Computer it opens to an empty file."
Is the former owner SURE he was able to read DVDs in the drive?? Going by info I found on Dell sites, this laptop may be old enough that it may NOT have come with an optical drive capable of reading DVDs, and it probably did NOT come with a drive capable of burning DVDs.
If the drive only did those things when a DVD is inserted, but behaved normally when a CD is inserted, those symptoms are typical when you try to read a DVD in a drive that cannot read them.
- if there is nothing wrong with the drive or it's connection, you should have no problem reading an original CD or CD-R burned CD, but a CD-RW or other type of burned CD or DVD may not read properly in a drive it was not made in.
- if it can read DVDs, it should have no problem reading DVD-R and usually DVD-RW disks, but it may be old enough that it may not be able to read other types of burned DVDs.
If the drive can't read any disk that's another matter - if fiddling with the contacts doesn't help, the circuits for it's board may be damaged, or sometimes a laser, or the circuits for it, burns out - a drive that can read DVDs has two lasers.
"...the light on the drive shows it is trying"
That's also typical if the circuit board or the laser isn't working properly.
If you can't get the optical drive to work, you can often find new compatible modules on the web for a reasonable price if you search using the Dell part number for the original unit.