It's a new one on me, however some drives have troubles in Dell Laptops and I beleive it has more to do with the IDE setup on a Dell Laptop than anything done intentionally. When the CD-ROM in my i8200 quit I bought an AOpen DVD-RW drive. The drive refused to work. So I cut my losses and then purchased a Pioneer DVD-RW drive that was also a slot loader. Worked PERFECTLY in my i8200. The Pioneer has since been transferred to my D820 where it works absolutely fine as well.
So depending on the make/model of drive you can have considerable difficulty in getting the Dell to put up with it. I have a Samsung hanging around somewhere that worked well too. So Pioneer and Samsung are two brands I'd reccomend.
Also, just for the sake of curiosity. What are the voltage and Amperage specs of the new drive vs the old one? It might be a long shot, but too much current draw could be to blame here.