I recently had the same problem with an 8 month old TDK 48x16/24x48 (4800B). The drive would either never start burning or never get past 1%. The drive would continuously spin up and down for 5min+ before the burning app would report an error. Alcohol 120% would report that it failed to write the lead-in track and Nero would report that power calibration failed. I eventually tested the burner in a differnt comp with the same apps, but this produced the same results. I had no choice but to request an RMA from TDK. TDK eventually replaced the drive and included a letter that said they tested the drive I sent and determined that it was defective.
As for the media, when I first used the drive, I tried using TDK 32x CDRs, but they would only burn at 2x or 16x. A few times, the drive simply refused to write to these CDRs. At the time, I didn't think anything of it. I bought a spindle of FujiFilm 40x, problem solved. Last month, all of a sudden, the FujiFilm CDRs seemed to be causing the continuous spinning. So, I tried some leftover TDK32x CDRs...they worked, and at 48x too. O_o A week later, the drive refused to write to anything at all.
Hope this helps.