Years ago when you created CDRs you didn't use the machine during recording. Today some software can cause the machine to run slowly or appear to pause.
The DMA setting of the IDE channels can affect this too.
As such, nothing seems broken yet.
I have noticed that when burning data the CD-ROM freezes the whole computer up just before finishing up the last part or 3 or 4 minutes of the burn. (usually says finalizing the disk) have to shut the computer off by holding in the button. I would like to purchas a reasonable one that will last more than a couple of years an not spend a ton of money. Does this sound like it is junk? I did go and lower the settings from fastest to 48X. maybe that will help.