Real CDROM-drive? Wouldn't be my first choice - they are loud and slow, cdrom-images are working much more smoothly. But, yes, if you just want to try-out a game for a few minutes then it might be waste of time & disc space to record images...
As by now, loading games in no$psx from real cdrom-drive requires wnaspi32.dll - which might work only with win9x, or maybe it can be also installed on windows versions, but it isn't standard (if you do have that driver working: Click the "CDROM" button in the "Insert CDROM..." Open File window).
Later windows versions are shipped with SPTI drivers instead of ASPI drivers. I suspect that the actual commands that are getting sent to the drive are same, so it might require only small changes to squeeze the commands through this or that driver, but I don't know what to change exactly.
Would be great if somebody could give me some beginners info on how to port ASPI to SPTI.