I've been experiencing this for a while now. When I'd insert a DVD (or CD), windows would not recognize the inserted disk and freeze the window, so I'd have to eject it and Win would come back to life.
So I went out and bought a brand new DVD recorder and installed it only to find the same thing is happening.
Note that it I right click on the drive's icon and hit "explore" I *sometimes* am able to browse through the contents of the disc, but for a short while.
Both drives are IDE drives.
These didn't work: