depends on if this is an old cd drive that failed or if this is a new drive that doesnt appear. All newer drives should be plug and play... I havent had a single one that didnt.
In either case do as fihart suggests and get a replacement I would say. Or if its new you could try finding drivers (if you dont want a new one)
depends filhart. some laptops have a removable dvd drive (to swap out with floppy drive, etc). in such cases you could replace the drive in a laptop as well.