My CDRW drive stops responding after about 10 minutes of inactivity. To get the drive working again, all I have to do is restart the PC. If the drive is in use (installing games, burning discs) it will work fine until it stops being used. In Windows Explorer I can still click on the drive, but no data is shown to be on the disc. It's really annoying!
It wasn't such a big deal, but now it happens to another drive I just picked up, my DVD burner. It does the same exact thing.
Have you tried updating the firmware for the drive?
Do you have your hard drives set to go to sleep after ten mins (or whatever) of inactivity? If so try disabling that and seeing if it helps - not a permanent solution but it might help figure out what's wrong.
*Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.7 i815*