So the light is always blinking and it is spinning up?
You can see which program is accessing the drive, which should help. First find the device node for the drive in question with a command like:
Which returns the following on my system:
tj@T-Bird:~$ dmesg | grep ATAPI
hdc: ATAPI DVD A DH20A4P, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
hdc: ATAPI 48X DVD-ROM DVD-R-RAM CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB Cache, UDMA(66)
You can then use the device (in my case, hdc) along with the "lsof" command (l
iles) to find which program is using it.
sudo lsof | grep /dev/hdc
The output will be all of the programs accessing that device file, as well as the user running it.