Sorry, I don't use VMware in Windows. I used it in LINUX. Runs flawlessly, who say VMware is slow. Runs Windows 98 the same speed if I had it running in its native environment. I also did not have any problems with Windows XP although its slow because it does not cache as much as Windows 98. Windows XP was also slow in its native environment even though every fancy feature that it has is turned off.
In Windows XP, you have to change the permissions for the CD-ROM drive to be used for VMware (I think). VMware handles CD-ROM, ZIP, JAZ, and LS-120 (aka Super Disk) at low-level. Also is DMA enabled for your CD-ROM in Windows. VMware has a setting in its own BIOS. Setting to 32-bit or DMA will help. You could run VMware as an admin, but be careful. You might trash your computer.
The fstab file located under /etc mounts the desired mediums upon boot up. Are you having problems mounting the floppy disk drive too. If so, you could have a problem with supermount.
I suggest you do a dual boot instead of running LINUX in an Virtual Machine like program. If you want to try out LINUX with out installing, use Knoppix or any CD based distributions.
BTW, I suggest people that are using VMware should have 512 megabytes of memory or more to really get a good use of it.