I'm a total noob too, Retro6, and I share your problem (hence, my post). Nothing that was suggested in that post worked for me, but the members of this forum were incredibly helpful nonetheless.
Like you, I cannot seem to get my drive to recognize my blank DVD-R media. My drive does recognize my blank DVD+R media and even my used DVD-R media... just not the [b]blank[/B] DVD-R's. Just like yours, my drive's LED flashes for approx. 10-15 seconds, then goes out.
The odd thing is that I found somebody (RiCKY2004) who was having trouble burning the same exact media in the same exact drive as mine, and when I did exactly what he did to fix the problem, it didn't work for me...
Anyway, I apologize that I don't have any answers for you as I, too, am in the same boat, and sinking fast.