Insert CD -- drive temporarily nonresponsive

When my friend inserts a CD into his CD drive, and the drive light comes on for a few seconds, and then goes out (normal). He then tries to access the drive via Windows Explorer, Explorer becomes unresponsive for about 2 minutes. When it finally comes back, everything is fine and he can read the disc. This problem did not occur when the computer was new, but he is not sure when it started happening. This also happens when he insert blank media. While Windows Explorer is unresponsive, he can click on icons on the desktop and select them, but he can’t start any programs.

I also recently added a DVD burner to his system, and it does the same thing, both with CD and DVD media. I was hoping it was isolated to the original CD-R/W drive.

OS is XP Home. This machine is a Dell which came preinstalled with Roxio Basic 5, which I uninstalled thinking there might be something that DirectCD was doing, but that didn’t help.

Win XP’s native burning capability is disabled.

Any ideas?