In many instances connecting optical devices to a PCI IDE controller is asking for troubles...
With two hard disk, the commonly recommended setup is the one that you are describing, i.e. the HDs on one channel and the optical devices on another, but since you are saying that it doesn't work, you should try e.g. HD1=master/CDRW=slave on primary channel, and HD2=master/DVDRW=slave on secondary channel.
If you really want to use an additional PCI IDE controller, it is better to connect your HDs to it, and leave the ODDs connected on the mainboard's IDE, one for channel.