When you pull up the burn dialog box there is a window for the write speed. The only time this doesn't come up is if your hardware does not support multiple write speeds.
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I think you can do this in the Nero Toolkit. I've never actually done it, so I don't know. But if you go to options you can select a CD speed and click apply. I assume that will slow it down to the correct speed. The toolkit will also test the CD speed, and even if you have a high speed drive, it will find the speed that works reliably and then set Nero to work at that speed. There is also a way of forcing a slower speed, that is a bit more complicated, but it is described in Nero Help. Just do a search on "read speed" and then click on setting read speed.
Get EAC (Exact Audio Copy)... I was having huge problems ripping CDs until I picked that up. Turns out it was mainly read problems, not write problems, with my system. It takes forever, but the copies are much much cleaner than anything else I've tried... (And if you do choose to compress them to mp3s, you can download LAME and EAC will call it as an external routine).
Did I mention EAC is only $20 and LAME is free?