problem wuth optical drive

For some time past (earlier there was no such problem) I am facing problem while
burning CDs (my Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop cannot burn DVDs)— both data and iso-image.
While burning was progressing well till 89MB of the total 693MB when suddenly the
bar on the device-buffer collapsed and showed 0%. Moments later K3b gave the
message ERROR. Is it a defect of the optical drive? But while playing VCD/DVD on the
same tray there was no problem. What is the way out?

If you open a terminal and type: k3b

What output is there.

Also do

rpm -qi k3b k3b-codecs

What is result

I’m now on my debian-5.0.4 OS and will get back to you later. Incidentally the same is happening also in debian.

Optical drive is borked! For sure.

I guess that in that case I have to use an external optical drive.
Are they all compatible for all OS like Windows and linux? Or I have to check
whether the item is compatible with linux?

They should just work. But may be not so well for a boot device, I’m not sure.