cdplayer has nothing to do with it and I guess neither does sndconfig.
What soundcard do you have? Everything depends on that.
If your soundcard is not supported by linux ( possible cause of sndconfig's hangup )
You might want to check http://www.alsa-project.org
for 'unsupported' cards' drivers. I had a gigantic proble configuring my CF4280 and I found a driver there.