are your cds in ext3 fs format? maybe look at /etc/fstab and see if you cdrw is listed correctly with the correct fileformat and options.
maybe you have the wrong block device or something.
try 'ls -al /dev/cdrom'. that will tell you which block device belongs to your cdrw. if you have more than one cd/cdrw/dvd device, try:
ls -al /dev/cdrom
ls -al /dev/cdrom1
ls -al /dev/cdrom2
if the cdrw is configured as the master drive then it will have the lower block letter.
ie. hdb1 compared to hdb2 or hdb compared to hdc. if using scsi emulation and cdrw is configured as master, then look for something like scd0 compared to scd1 or greater.
[vjong@Tron vjong]$ ls -al /dev/cdrom
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 Sep 26 22:11 /dev/cdrom -> /dev/scd1
[vjong@Tron vjong]$ ls -al /dev/cdrom1
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 May 21 15:43 /dev/cdrom1 -> /dev/scd0
mines a tad funny in that cdrom1 is the master cd device while cdrom is the dvd drive. don't ask me why. that's just how redhat did it. if i didn't do scsi emulation, the ide device channel would be hdb for cdrom and hdc for dvd drive.