Thanks, useful to know that's what it's supposed to be like and it's not faulty. As to the discs, I've tried it with verbatim 16x DVD+Rs burned with my dad's pc's Sony (liteon) writer, and with 8x verbatim DVD-Rs.
When I said it hung I know it's normal for it to take a while to recognise and open a disc, but it actually seemed to temporarily cut off all operations of the pc (like playing music), which I'm not used to.
I don't know if this is right thread to ask, but does anyone know whether or not this Sony 1615 (which is actually some sort of rebadged liteon drive) has a 'riplock' on it to limit the speed at which DVD video can be read? It wasn't video I was copying to the HD (in 11 minutes), but I'd still be interested to know, as I would like to use it for video ripping. If it does have a limit, could I use a firmware upgrade to remove it?
I see there is some firmware thing available to allow for the selection of read speeds on the drive or something.