As it turns out, a problem I was was having with my optical drives was the result of Nero deciding not to play well with the system. At first I thought it was only InCD, but whenever any of the Nero software is installed -- even without InCD -- inserting a disc in either DVD drive results in an initial spin-up but then the whole machine freezes. No Nero installed, no problem.
I'm using an NEC ND-2500A (master) and Lite-On XJ-HD166 (slave) on IDE2. Tried all sorts of master/slave and IDE1/2 combinations, and nothing works. DMA is enabled (UDMA2).
I tried uninstalling Nero, using the Ahead cleaning tool, and then reinstalling, but I get the same problem. And, this is after a complete reformat and clean reinstall of XP, with no Roxio products within 10 feet of the machine, so there can't be any remnants of long-ago Easy CD installs.
BTW, everything -- both XP and Nero -- is patched and up-to-date.
Does anyone have ideas how I can make this thing work? Not only do I want to use the software, which I bought retail for $80, but not knowing what's wrong is driving me crazy! I checked the Ahead support pages but found nothing useful.