These instructions will allow you to boot from a bootable diskette (a ) and get the CD drive to work.
Unzip the file and copy atapi_cd.sys to your a drive.
In a \autoexec.bat, put
MSCDEX.EXE /D MSCD001 /L E
the /L E indentifies the cd drive letter, in this case E -- change it if you want.
In config.sys put
device=a \atapi_cd.sys /D MSCD001
Put the bootable diskette in your a drive and reboot. After reboot, type E and press Enter. You should be able to see your cd working.