A while back, my Windows XP CD-ROM and DVD AutoPlay feature quit working. I read the Microsoft articles "The AutoRun feature or the AutoPlay feature does not work when you insert a CD-ROM in the drive" and "The AutoPlay Function Does Not Work and the Current Media Does Not Appear in My Computer When You Insert a CD or DVD" , but neither article helped me solve the problem.
Finally, I tried inserting a CD-ROM, selecting My Computer, right-clicking the drive that contained the CD-ROM, and selecting Properties. I clicked the AutoPlay tab and selected the Select an action to perform option, then double-clicked the program I wanted to use to run the CD-ROM. This action launched the program on my CD-ROM. Note that simply highlighting the program you want to use and clicking OK or Apply doesn't work; you must double-click the program and force it to launch on the CD-ROM or DVD in the drive. My CD-ROM then ran automatically, using the program I associated with it on the AutoPlay tab.