Sometimes communication does go awry no matter what we do, doesn't it? That said, let me re-pose you two a question: the final Win Explorer for 98SE is v. 4.72.3612.1710... is that the one you're both using? I do remember having seen optical drive phantoms but I never investigated it further, since I use optical media mainly for backups, so that I don't insert and remove CDs/DVDs much too often. But I think it was more common with previous versions of explorer than with the final one...