Yes. Normally, WIn 95/98 are plug-n-play OS too! But
1. this "first time" plug-n-play was not perfect. Windows2000/ME/XP are really plug-n-play.
2. The drive is manufactured AFTER win95/98 were written. So it is likely that they don't includ the driver in their database.
SO, the OS will understand the drive of course, but it will see it as ATAPI IDE device (CD-ROM) probably. That's why i said a driver will be probably needed.
Of course there is a posibility of defect cable. But this should self-understandably have been checked first, before we speak for other possible problems.
A question that the user should answer, is: "Can he/she use the drive as a normal CD-ROM with no problem?" (not as writer, as a simple cd drive). If not, there in no drive letter in his/her "My Computer" window. Then "there is no cd-r drive installed at all" !