The ps3 will not load anything (cd/dvd/BluRay/games) The loading icon starts spinning and continues to spin without booting disc or showing up in the menu.
Ok, so I've figured out my own question so I'll post what I found out. Everyone will probably know this but maybe if some dumb smuck like me stumbles across this post it might help. I replaced the whole drive and the BR board and loaded a disc. Nothing... not even a spinning loading icon.
Therefore, if you have a spinning loading icon, the BR board must be married to the motherboard. (good news for me) I put the original BR board on the new drive and waala, fully functioning ps3! Now to figure out whats wrong with the old drive. BR laser perhaps?