Sounds like it is operating in PIO mode, a very common problem.
To check (assuming you are using Windows XP) go to Device Manager, IDE/ATAPI Controllers, right-click on the channel your drive is connected to (usually the secondary) and select Properties. The Advanced Settings tab will give the current transfer mode.
If this is the problem then a quick search of CD Freaks should give instructions on how to fix it. I usually right-click on the IDE channel in Device Manager and select uninstall, then Action>Scan for Hardware Changes which re-installs it.