Guess what just happened!
I wanted to create an ISO from a CD using the very same model. When the message "Setting Samsung High Speed mode" appeared in the status bar, I heard a "pling!" coming from the drive. ImgBurn froze in that moment and so did XP. Drive dead.
I'm just glad it wasn't the Samsung burner I put the CD in but then again that's the reason why I have 2 separate drives - one for burning, the other one just for reading.
FWIW, the drive was connected as a secondary master to the nForce4 PATA controller (using the MS ATAPI driver) and was flashed with the latest firmware version TS05 (RPC1).
Anyway, I hope this setting gets removed.