It's possible that the internal connector has simply come loose, but you'd want to take it to an Apple store or an AASP to get it looked at. The far more likely scenario is that the drive is indeed dead for all intents and purposes.
If you're still under warranty, call it in. With laptops you'll have to take it to a store or ship it to a repair facility. Otherwise, figure on it costing around $200-300 to get it fixed out of warranty.
My 2.33GHz C2D MacBook Pro running 10.6.3 has suddenly decided it doesn't have an optical drive installed!
If I put a CD or DVD in the drive it will pull it in, spin but fail to recognise the disc. It is impossible to eject the inserted disc by any means - except by using a piece of cardboard to stop it spinning after a restart. I have tried data, audio and video CDs/DVDs.
System Profiler says I only have a hard drive attached to Serial-ATA and have no Disc Burning devices installed.
Has the optical drive failed? If so why does it still spin up if the computer doesn't know the drive is there? Does the fault lie elsewhere?
Any help or thoughts gratefully received