TP600X: drive not ready

My daily driver is an IBM TP600X. W/ Suse 10.2, everything works. I created an install DVD for 11.0 and 11.1, but, both fail to install properly. They both “lose” the CDROM drive after the first boot ("/dev/sr1 is not a block device"). Tried installing w/ brokenmodules=ata_piix. No real help there.
Just tried booting w/ a “live CD”. It either can’t find the HD, (ata2.00:status:{DRDY} or, w/ other kernel prompts, can’t find the CD.
Does anybody think there is any hope of running 11.0 on this laptop?