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I have a CD writer/DVD player combo drive in my laptop. I have all the options configured into my kernel correctly to allow SCSI emulation. When I add 'hda=ide-scsi" to my Grub config, I am able to boot into Linux fine and I can see my drive with cdrecord --scanbus. This is great, but I'm not sure what to do next. I am not able to mount any CDs though--and I'm guessing this has something to do with my fstab not accommodating to the newly emulated CD drive. Furthermore, I am not able to get Grip to find my CD-ROM.
You need to give users read and write access to the cdrom device so that they can send the appropriate ripping commands to the cd and read the data back. It looks like you're using devfs, so you can just set the appropriate permissions in devfsd's configuration to make it save permissions over reboots.
Gentoo probably also has a cdrom group for users who have access to the cdrom. If they do, you can try adding the user to that group in /etc/group The user will have to logoff and log back in to get the new groups.