You state that the drive works in other distros. Is this via dual boot or something like Knoppix (good way to test physical burner works)
Also. I am a bit rusty on my shell commands for direct command burning (don't typically work on small systems with DVD) but here is the shell script I ran to write from shell to the DVD device. Try this to eliminate a "GUI" issue.
# Version 0.9.1
# Ugly backup script to get backup of pertanant files done
printf Current date is $curDate
mkisofs -o /tmp/$curDate.iso /home
printf "Backup is now transformed into ISO format"
printf Now roasting Backup onto CD
growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvd=/tmp/$curDate.iso -speed=4
echo Backup is completed successfull! Please lable ejected CD $curDate and take offsite. Have a happy day. |mail -s "Backup is Complete" email@example.com
printf "Ejecting CD so it can be labeled and new one inserted"
echo "Weekly Backup $curDate complete" >> /var/log/messages
The think to validate if that does not work (or simple burn of some other ISO image you have) is to start validation of the CD burning driver stack. (I am not 100% certain of all the dependencies ... so those who know a bit more pipe in on corrections).
1) Sym Link:"ls -alh /dev/dvd" (slave IDE in my case)
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 3 May 12 02:50 /dev/dvd -> hdc
2) Check drive state: "cdrecord -checkdrive"
scsibus: -2 target: -2 lun: -2
Linux sg driver version: 3.5.27
Using libscg version 'schily-0.8'.
cdrecord: Warning: using inofficial libscg transport code version (schily - Red Hat-scsi-linux-sg.c-1.83-RH '@(#)scsi-linux-sg.c 1.83 04/05/20 Copyright 1997 J. Schilling').
Device type : Removable CD-ROM
Version : 0
Response Format: 2
Vendor_info : 'TSSTcorp'
Identifikation : 'CD/DVDW SH-S162A'
Revision : 'TS01'
Device seems to be: Generic mmc2 DVD-R/DVD-RW.
Using generic SCSI-3/mmc CD-R/CD-RW driver (mmc_cdr).
Driver flags : MMC-3 SWABAUDIO BURNFREE
Supported modes: TAO PACKET SAO SAO/R96R RAW/R96R
Now that you know the drive location, that sym links are set and the supported DVD modes that the drive supports you should be able to do test write.