I don't think you can. The drive has a different laser for CDR and DVDR, and whenever one works and the other fails (assuming it fails with several different media, which is the case here), this means that the drive is faulty.
Unless one of your burning apps seriously messes up something. You can still try to deactivate XP's built-in CDR burning, remove all packet-writing software, uninstall all burning apps, re-install only Nero and see if things change, but I doubt it.
If this fails, time to RMA I guess... - I had two 3540 (and a BEnq 1640) with this CDR failing issue, after a HD crash I could finally blame all this to the low quality PSU :doh: and since I changed the PSU no more problems.