to burn a CD the burner needs to calibrate a lot of parameters to burn the media successful. The parameters differ from brand to brand and even from type of media to type of media. A lot of calibration data from many different brands and types of media are included in the firmware of the burner. Some brands and types of media are not included. This leads to the message you got, if the burner doesn't know how to handle this media correct.
At first i would buy some discs from a brand that is definitely supported by the burner and try to burn with these discs. Information about the brands and types of media supported should be available from Matshita.
Another reason why you get this message is, what David already mentioned, that the lens is dirty. So it could be possible that smoke from the wood burning stove made the lens dirty. If the drive cleaning disc works, i would use a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol to clean the lens by myself. But be warned, if you are not careful enough, you can damage the burner seriously.
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Thanks for your reply, I tried the lens cleaning disk around 10 times to no avail, Cheers Alison.
Also have tried buying different brands and type of media. No smokers in the house although we do have a wood burning stove.
try updating the bios from the manufacturers website.
von Geoffrey Voeth