I'm running Arch Linux on my computer and I found a Toshiba External SuperMulti Drive. Model: PA37610-1DV2
I plug it in and it doesn't work. Doesn't even detect it. The reason I'm using it is it's faster than my internal drive and my internal drive doesn't burn dual-layer. So... Any ideas to get this to work?
One thing springs immediately to mind. It's a bit of an off-chance, but it may apply to your situation.
If your DVD drive is USB and is powered completely by the USB port; (i.e. there's no external PSU required to power the drive.) You may need to ensure that it's plugged directly into one of the main USB ports on your PC rather than plugging into one of those composite hubs that expands a single USB port to provide three or four ports.
The only reason I mention this is because I have an external hard-drive which is powered solely by the USB (and it supports USB 1 and 2). And OK, it's NOT a DVD drive, but this could still apply! Anyway, for some reason it was not identified by any OS when it was plugged into my PC. The power LED on the drive was coming on, which made me think that everything was OK, but it just wouldn't spin up properly and was never detected by Windows XP, Ubuntu or Fedora.
I later discovered the problem was because I was plugging the drive into a USB expansion port on my USB keyboard. Plugging directly into one of the main USB ports on my PC fixed the problem entirely.
For some reason it seems that the drive wasn't getting enough juice from the port on the keyboard. And I knew there was nothing wrong with the port on the keyboard because USB memory sticks, joypads and other such devices worked flawlessly when plugged into that same port. I also tried plugging the drive into a different USB expansion hub and had the same problems. For whatever reason, the external drive simply would not work unless it was plugged into one of the main USB ports on the PC itself!
So on the very specific off-chance that your external DVD drive is powered via USB and you're also plugging it into a composite USB hub/device; Plugging the drive directly into one of the main USB ports on your PC might solve your problem!
Given the power requirements for DVD drives, especially burners, I would think it had an external power adapter to plug into a wall socket or power strip. If you are trying to power it directly from USB, then that may simply mean that there is insufficient power available for the drive to initialize and link to the system.