Travis has an old Dell PC that has Windows XP and has been bit by viruses. What he'd like to do is not only start over, but start over with Linux. But unfortunately, his optical drive isn't working right. Leo says that even if the optical drive is seen by the PC, if it's not reading a disc, it's likely their broken. Could it work if he clean out the dust? Leo suggests to use a small hand vacuum to suck out the dust, that would avoid static electricity. But also check the connectors themself. But a DVD drive is very cheap to replace. Avoid blowing dust, that creates static electricity.
But Linux is a great option ... Leo recommends Ubuntu.