I have a Yamakawa DVR-Y08 DVD-RW that used for a little over a year with no problems. A few weeks ago I was copying a DVD (with Roxio) when the program appeared to freeze mid-burn. I rebooted and now the drive will not recognize a DVD. It will both read from and write to a CD-R, but it will not recognize commercial DVDs, burned DVDs, or blank DVDs at all. When I first put in a DVD it will act like it is trying to access it for about 30 seconds and then nothing. No error messages other than "no disk in drive" if I try and open it or anything.
I have tried uninstalling and re-installing Roxio with no change. I deleted the drive in Windows and let it reinstall it on restart. I finally decided to try flashing the firmware, which I did with Pioneer DVR-107d (no Yamakawa firmware available). Windows now recognizes the drive as a DVR-107d, but it will still only read/write CDs.
I am guessing it's a some kind of mechanical problem with the drive and have already ordered a new LiteOn dvd-rw, but I am still very curious as to what could be causing this. It seems strange to me that a physical problem with the drive would only effect DVD functions, but maybe not.