My main question tho is if I get another DVD player, does it have to be a dell or will any DVD player work? I have heard that dell is mostly proprietary and you have to use their stuff.
Generally speaking things like cd-roms, dvd-roms, hard drives, floppy drives, etc. are "generic" so to speak. The proprietary things you'll run into will be chipsets, onboard audio/video/nic devices, etc.
With that said, you may want to try and troubleshoot the problem before spending money on new hardware. From the sound of it, it seems you may be having a problem with supermount, or the mounting of the disk in general. This could be a supermount problem, or a memory problem, can you pin down the times you've had the problem? Can you recall what exactly you were doing with the machine when you had the problem?