Sloiw response from CD/DVD drives

I’m running OpenSUSE 11.1 on a 64-bit machine with two CD/DVD drives. They have different hardware, however. But for both of them, I have the same problem: status queries take a very long time, on the order of minutes. I first observed the problem with k3b, but when I tried hwinfo --cdrom I saw the same thing – the status query took several minutes to complete. I doubt if the drives themselves are the problem because (a) they work all right in Windows, and (b) it would be quite a coincidence for both of them to be acting up in the same way.

Here’s what hwinfo has to say about the drives (after thinking about it for quite a while):

32: SCSI 300.0: 10602 CD-ROM
  [Created at block.247]
  UDI: /org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/storage_model_COMBO_SOHC_5232K
  Unique ID: KD9E.YMmeFcYWq02
  Parent ID: rKvl.HREfZUY87W8
  SysFS ID: /class/block/sr0
  SysFS BusID: 3:0:0:0
  SysFS Device Link: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0f.1/host3/target3:0:0/3:0:0:0
  Hardware Class: cdrom
  Model: "LITE-ON COMBO SOHC-5232K"
  Vendor: "LITE-ON"
  Device: "COMBO SOHC-5232K"
  Revision: "NK04"
  Driver: "pata_via", "sr"
  Driver Modules: "pata_via"
  Device File: /dev/sr0 (/dev/sg1)
  Device Files: /dev/sr0, /dev/scd0, /dev/disk/by-path/pci-0000:00:0f.1-scsi-1:0:0:0, /dev/cdrom, /dev/cdrw, /dev/dvd, /dev/dvdrw
  Device Number: block 11:0 (char 21:1)
  Features: CD-R, CD-RW
  Drive status: no medium
  Config Status: cfg=yes, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #13 (IDE interface)
  Drive Speed: 52

33: SCSI 301.0: 10602 CD-ROM (DVD)
  [Created at block.247]
  UDI: /org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/storage_model_DVDRW_LH_20A1P
  Unique ID: nOPI.Tmrfq1DozH9
  Parent ID: rKvl.HREfZUY87W8
  SysFS ID: /class/block/sr1
  SysFS BusID: 3:0:1:0
  SysFS Device Link: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0f.1/host3/target3:0:1/3:0:1:0
  Hardware Class: cdrom
  Model: "LITE-ON DVDRW LH-20A1P"
  Vendor: "LITE-ON"
  Device: "DVDRW LH-20A1P"
  Revision: "KL0N"
  Driver: "pata_via", "sr"
  Driver Modules: "pata_via"
  Device File: /dev/sr1 (/dev/sg2)
  Device Files: /dev/sr1, /dev/scd1, /dev/disk/by-path/pci-0000:00:0f.1-scsi-1:0:1:0, /dev/cdrom, /dev/cdrw, /dev/dvd
  Device Number: block 11:1 (char 21:2)
  Features: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+DL, DVDRAM
  Drive status: no medium
  Config Status: cfg=yes, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #13 (IDE interface)
  Drive Speed: 48

What might be going on? And how can I deal with it?

Both on the same cable?
It’s some time since I used IDE, but I know there are sometimes issues. Maybe one needs to be Master and the other slave with the jumper settings on the drives and the cable attached accordingly.:\

Since the drives were configured as cable select, I tried changing them to master/slave and the problem went away. I then tried changing back to cable select and the problem did not return. So I conclude that the cable wasn’t seated properly – bad enough to cause erratic behavior, but not so bad as to cause it not to work at all.The fact that it almost worked was what confused me.