I didn't intend this to be so long...
I wish I had been here a bit earlier but, I highly doubt it is your cd-rom drive.
1 Check the jumper settings and try setting then definetly ie Master or Slave instead of Cable select. If they are detected in the bios this probably wont help. use next step
2 The culprit is most likely your mainboard not the cd rom drive,
3 I would just get a nec or lite-on drive as sony drives are rebranded drives anyway. and you pay for the name sony. (ps nec and lite-on drives are $30-$40 dollars on newegg.com (sony's are not better quality) (I have used multiple sony drives and they all died a short time after about a year. with mild use. Necs and lite-ons about a year some two with extremly heavy use. (2 dvds a day everyday at least up 10 per day) and after every burn I do a bit check to make sure the disc was burned properly!!! (but typically at 8x although 16x supported (less errors))
4 Bois updates help
Probing SCSI devices: [LOADED]
No ide channel found
Searching for the loop image: /dev/sda1
I typed in mount:
/dev/root.old on /init type ext2 (rw,nogrpid)
/dev/shm on / type tmpfs (rw)
[those 'none on...' listed directories after them]
This is very important it says no ide channel found!!!
Third of all where is your system description (in your signiture)?!?
Are you using intel amd or what?
If intel you may have a mainboard with no ide channels, sata instead.
If you have a sata cd drive. Only the elite can help you as to this day, you can't install windows from a sata drive. <- might be a bit over board here (i think you can install linux from sata cd drive. dont quote me on this.)
Anyway on the potential solution.
Check to make sure your drivers are included on the disk.
Try a suse livecd.
Try loading knoppix ( a live cd).
both of the previous ones are very popular. Find which drivers are used and get them on the other live cds.
Typical names from the thing you look for in /dev are
dvd *dvd* cdrom cd* hd* sd*
* = wildcard (anything)
the hd and sd usualy have a single letter after the prefix (ie sd or hd)