One day you turn on your computer and cannot see the CD-ROM or the DVD-ROM drive in the My Computer window anymore. This problem is very common for laptop and notebook computers and might be caused by a failed drive or by corrupted software. You can try the following repair steps before you decide that your drive is bad.
• I found this solution on Microsoft website and it helped me many times to fix the problem with a missing DVD/CD-ROM drive. I always try to replace the existing driver first and if it doesn’t fix the problem I go with removing the registry entry. Method 1 worked very well for me.
• If the above mentioned methods didn’t work for you, you can try to reseat the optical drive. Overtime the CD-ROM drive connector might get oxidized and a simple drive reseating can fix the problem. Try to remove the drive from the laptop and put it back. See if it will fix the problem.
• You can also try to boot from any bootable CD to see if you laptop recognize the CD-ROM drive on BIOS level. Put any bootable CD (Live Linux CD, Windows XP CD, Windows 2000 CD, etc) into the CD-ROM drive and change the boot order to start from the CD-ROM drive. If you laptop starts to boot from the CD, then the drive is recognized in BIOS and most likely it operates properly.
In this case look for a software problem. It might be necessary to reload the operating system to fix the software problem. If you cannot boot your laptop from a bootalbe CD, then the drive might be bad itself.