I'm an advanced user.
This seems to be a third-party software conflict or Windows registry issue, I'm not exactly sure. It isn't a drive issue, but it could be how Windows detects drives. I can use the same modular drive in another notebook and it works fine. I insert a different CD+-RW modular drive and get the same problem.
Windows recognizes it, can read from it, no errors in Device Manager. Nero InfoTool reports the drive and characteristics properly. Both ImgBurn and WMP11 both display "no burner detected" and "insert burner and restart WMP", respectively. This was working before, but for how long am I uncertain.
I've tried several things. Uninstalling and reinstalling in Device Manager, uninstalling Daemon Tools Lite (which I thought was a strong candidate for 3rd party conflict). I've combed through MSCONFIG looking for "unusual" suspects.
I also did some googling for the product, and found that there is a firmware upgrade. I illogically tried to upgrade the firmware even though it doesn't seem to be a device specific problem, but the application can't find the drive. I don't know if it's because the app is written poorly or that it's running into the same issue the other programs are.
I've assigned this the highest point value because if this doesn't get resolved in a week I'll need to reformat/reinstall. Thanks in advance for your help.