|I assume nothing happens when you insert the CD or DVD.|
Go to "My Computer" and see if you can see the CD\DVD drive after a disk has been inserted. You should be able to right click and select Explore to see if the contents are visible.
If you can see the contents then it probably just a matter of making alterations in AutoPlay which might then work with whatever player you have onboard.
Depending on what you find we can pursue the reason VLC is not downloading. It is a good and versatile program but when we better understand your issue VLC might not be "essential".
Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks