Cd writer "locked", won't recognize CDs



Wasn't sure where to post this question; new to the Forum but fairly comfortable with CD burning. Apologies if this has been covered before, but couldn't find exact same problem by using Search procedures...

Here it is: I have a Gateway PC, with an IDE-CD R/RW 4x4x24 writer. Easy CD Creator software was originally installed on PC - works, just crappily so. I had used Nero before (on PC at work) so I d'loaded the demo version and it worked wonderfully. So I purchased serial # for upgrade to full version.

Immediately after I installed the full version of Nero, my CD writer stopped recognizing blank CDs when inserted into drive. Spins up as usual, then makes clicking noises every 10 seconds or so (trying to recognize disk?), continues this for about 20 tries, then stops. Will still recognize any other CD when loaded (i.e. purchased CDs, blank ones already burned, etc.), just not unused blanks. Doesn't matter which CD media type I use (and I have tried using three - Mitsui, Memorex, and Verbatim).

Had almost exact same problem last week, caused by spyware program C-Dilla, which was surreptitiously installed on my PC by Half-Life: Opposing Force. This program was apparently designed to prevent illegal copies, and would "lock out" the CD writer - could get it to work occasionally after reboots, but not much. After researching, I tracked down and removed all files associated with C-Dilla, and everything worked great again.

So, am I faced with another software problem similar to C-Dilla which was caused by installing full version of Nero? Or do I have some kind of conflict between Nero and Easy CD Creator (which is still installed)? I am leaning toward the latter, as I have Gateway GoBack installed on PC, and was able to revert the entire hard-drive back to a point in time just prior to when I installed full version of Nero - but no change in CD recognition problem.

Someone with more brains than I, please help!!!