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Help, my PC has lost sight of its disc drives

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 4, 2011 7:33 AM PST

Help, my PC has lost sight of its disc drives

Hi guys! My PC (Windows XP) has lost sight of its disc drives. Both have power and will pop out to receive a disc if you press the button on the front. Device manager recognizes their existence showing Combo ATA/EDE232CO, LITE-ON DVDRW SHM-165565--each with a yellow backed exclamation mark.

When I connect an external disc drive via a USB socket, device manager sees it and shows it also with the yellow backed pling. Other items, (memory stick, scanner, printer) all work normally. The disc drivers fail to appear on the "My Computer" page. I have downloaded new drivers from the Web but this has made no difference. I can't associate the failure with any particular event but I did try a "clean up program" at some stage that could possibly be involved. Obviously I can't reload any programs since my discs are not accessible so I am completely stuck and beginning to suspect hardware. I am well into my retirement years and not computer literate but before I take it back to the shop I would like to know if there is any solution I could apply myself. Anybody help? Kind regards.

--Submitted by Mark M.

Here are some member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Missing CD or DVD drives --Submitted by: waytron

PC losing sight of drives in XP--Submitted by: terrys55

XP drives lost - Microsoft Fix --Submitted by: Dennis Brown

Help, my PC has lost sight of its disc drives --Submitted by: mparegian

Thank you to all who contributed!

If you have any additional recommendations or solutions to Mark's question, please click on the reply link below and submit away. Please be as detailed as possible in your answers. Thanks!
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Help, my PC has lost sight of its disc drives - New!
by mparegian / March 4, 2011 9:37 AM PST
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fix now
by dereksaunders9 / March 5, 2011 12:46 AM PST

awesome link ,i have used it before but totally forgot about (fix it ), fixed all my little annoying bits on my pc, thanx very much and take care ,,,derek

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Sometimes it is simple...
by JCitizen / March 5, 2011 2:45 AM PST

and just a matter of checking the ENABLE selection to enable it in device manager. It is very common for XP to brainfart and forget it has a CD ROM. Many of my clients have experienced this; me included. I suppose the "fix it" button is pretty handy though.

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by Andreas1292 / March 4, 2011 9:40 AM PST

Also had the same problem but with win 7 64bit.

uninstall the drivers of the hardware with the problem from device manager and reinstall it.
That should take less than 5 min.

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PC losing sight of drives in XP
by terrys55 / March 4, 2011 9:41 AM PST

This was common when XP was - the solution is to go to the device manager [right click my computer, and then properties, or go through control panel], and un-install the drivers for those drives, Re-boot, and XP will re-install [they're standard windows drivers] with the correct settings.

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by cody / March 11, 2011 10:11 AM PST

try this inside yourcomputer mite be bad cables or on plug your player an plug back in but first shut down the computer
then on plug your drivers then after there on plug start the computer up wait till everythiing is loaded up then shut down again then pug every back in now started up if that dont work replace the drivers cable then let me know if this helps

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by DADSGETNDOWN / March 13, 2011 11:30 AM PDT
In reply to: cables

Can't really understand your spellings, after the second typO and garbage interweb shorthand we stop reading.
This is as far I a get. sadly there are 5 mistakes just right there.

(try this inside yourcomputer mite be bad cables or on plug your player an plug back)

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This does not provide any accurate details.
by chefgolfer / March 11, 2011 8:11 PM PST

I had just followed these instructions to see where they would lead and it was no where. Please post something a bit more accurate and descriptive if you intend upon helping someone.


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Lost CD/DVD drives
by LostValley / March 4, 2011 9:44 AM PST

Many drives will not handle DMA speeds. Look under each IDE channels properties and go to the advanced tab. If there is a drive on that position you will see it populated. Then look at speed and try changing it to PIO only. Reboot and they should be seen. Good luck.

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Try this...worked for me
by TE7 / March 4, 2011 9:55 AM PST
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XP Drives lost - Microsoft Fix
by Dennis Brown / March 4, 2011 10:59 AM PST

Microsoft posted a fix for the problem and it works - I did not investigate what it did bbut the problem occured after I ran Microsoft Updates which may have included some HW driver updates (they create problems too often).

The Fix It link is:

1)Copy and Paste in you browser address window,
2)When the page comes up scroll down to the "Diagnose and Fix the Problem Automatically",
3)In the Microsoft Fix It - Click the Run Now button,
4) You may be prompted to install an ActiveX add-on, let it and you problem should be fixed.

If you're curious the page contains "more info" and manual instructions for a fix.
I would go for MS Fix It - After all they should know, they created the problem :-).

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This solution really works. Don't waste your time on others
by gcgjohnson / September 30, 2011 9:47 PM PDT

The problem is that the upper and lower filters need to be refreshed. I posted the solution on here but there are so many posts, it is hard to find it. You have edit the registry to do so. However, Microsoft posted an automatic fix I tried it and it worked.

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several things for troubleshooting
by si / March 4, 2011 10:34 AM PST

An exclamation point usually means there is a driver problem. I would try several things:

1. First, see if you can go into the "cleanup program" and UNDO whatever it did.

2. Try system restore, restoring your computer to a point in time before you had this problem.

3. Go into device manager and see if they appear. If so, select the drives one by one and uninstall them completely. Reboot. Windows will automatically "find new hardware" and reinstall them for you.

4. I had a CD/DVD drive fail once, which caused both of them to disappear, because they are both on the same ribbon cable. Open the computer and remove the ribbon cable from one CD drive, turn the computer on, and see if the problem resolves. If not, try removing the ribbon cable from the other and putting it back on the first; reboot and see the results. If one of them has failed, this will determine that for you.

5. While you're inside there, check all cables for good connection and clean out the dust.

Good luck!

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Before taking it to the shop, try this:
by juanhar / March 4, 2011 11:54 AM PST

XP has a program called "System Restore". Think back to when you first had this problem. Then establish a restore point a day or two before the problem started and your PC was working properly. This will reload all of your programs and files from that new start date. Click on Control Panel, look for the System Icon, click it and look for the System Restore button, click it and follow the directions. Try this DIY before taking your PC to the shop, it's free and can't do any harm.

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lost sight of its disc drives
by manteomama / March 4, 2011 12:12 PM PST

I had this same problem when trying to add multiple external hard drives. Acronis True Image has an option to "add a new drive" and this worked for me. By the way, Acronis True Image is an excellent backup program.

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Still Not Working?
by purposed / March 4, 2011 1:19 PM PST

If the suggestions to this point have not worked, you may want to try the following: select a different USB port and plug your drive in there. That may make it work. USB has self-protecting mechanisms that will shut down one or more ports under overload conditions. Sometimes the shutdown is "permanent", where permanent means that since you are not highly competent dealing with computers, you will probably have to get a professional to turn the "protected" usb ports back on.

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(NT) It's not his USB drive that is not working.
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 11, 2011 8:44 AM PST
In reply to: Still Not Working?
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CDROMS not showing up in My Computer
by KCTheDoc / March 4, 2011 4:45 PM PST

When ever i see a computer with XP that has lost its cdroms...
I use regedit to remove upper and lower filters for the cdrom's

Once those items are deleted i reboot and most of the time it fixes the issue, or you can google.. removing upper and lower filters and follw the search results to help you get to a Microsoft Fixit tool to automatically apply the fix for you.. hope that helps

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This is the one
by no_floaters / March 5, 2011 2:05 AM PST

I was looking thru all of the suggestions and this is the one that worked for me several years ago.

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Thanks KCTheDoc
by kariswg1 / March 12, 2011 1:53 AM PST

Thank you for giving me back my DVD burner. I have wrestled with this for months and finally gave up. CNET, keep up the wonderful forums.....

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Well, we know the worst possible thing didn't happen-the computer becoming unable to connect to the hard drive. Now, what are the specs (version of Windows, computer, hard drive size, computer, ram)? My only guess as how to fix it without any specs are to reinstall the drivers:
1. Go to device manager
2. Find the USB drive
3. Right click
4. Disable
5. Reenable
If that doesn't work, refer to these:
1. Go to device manager
2. Find the USB drive
3. Right click
4. Click uninstall
5. Reinstall
If that doesn't work for you, I don't know what. This worked for me when my USB cable for my old (but still well loved) Palm Zire 71 stopped working, but a support person showed me how to fix this.

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Lost sight of disc drive
by Nitramrodney / March 4, 2011 7:12 PM PST

I had same problem with new laptop and Win7 64 bit.
I uninstalled it per their instructions btu when it came to reinstalling it their list did not include a Device Type for the disc drive. so i was unable to install.
Fujitsu Help Desk said that there was a method but when i phoned again someone else told me that i had to reinstall windows.
That solved the problem but i lost all my applications.


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Missing CD or DVD Drives
by waytron / March 4, 2011 7:56 PM PST

A CD or DVD drive suddenly disappearing from My Computer is a very common problem and is typically associated with installing or uninstalling itunes or some other application that uses the optical drives. Fortunately, this is one of the few things that Microsoft actually has an automatic fix for that usually works. You can either choose to let Microsoft perform the Fix for you (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) or you can perform the repair yourself via editing the registry. If you choose to edit the registry yourself, please make sure that you use the export function to backup the registry first. I would also suggest setting a System Restore point prior to performing any system changes that could affect the operation of your computer.

Copy and paste this Microsoft Support link into your browser and Select RUN NOW, then shut down and restart your computer.


MANUAL FIX by editing the Registry yourself:

1. Click on START.

2. Click on RUN

3. Type Regedit and then OK.

4. Backup the registry by Clicking on FILE and then EXPORT.

5. Locate the following registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class/{4d36e965-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}

6. Click on UpperFilters entry to highlight it and select delete from the edit menu.

7. Do the same to delete the LowerFilters entry.

8. Quit the registry editor and shut down and restart your computer.

9. The Optical drives should now be listed again in My Computer.

Your problem was very specific as you have indicated that both of your optical drives did not show up in My Computer as well as any USB Optical drive that you plug into your USB port, so the above fix will most likely be the answer to your specific problem. Other forms of CD and DVD drive problems can often be traced to defective cables, improper jumper settings, missing drivers or in many cases, a defective drive.

Wayland Computer

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by whobiggs / March 11, 2011 6:35 PM PST

Why don't Microsoft tell us about this autofix thingy? It should automatically be installed.

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Good Advice
by liguorid / March 13, 2011 10:55 PM PDT

Dana advises backing things up before manually editing the registry--always a good idea. I would suggest it wouldn't hurt to back things up even if you choose the automatic method. A seemingly innocent and simple automatic fix can have unintended consequences--though apparently it didn't in this case. Having a recent full backup is best, but a registry backup or restore point takes only a few minutes--and should be done in any case.

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Missing CD or DVD Drives
by dlsel / March 14, 2011 12:47 AM PDT

I have had this same problem on Vista. I have noticed that it occurs when I first installed Norton 360, and 2 times when I renewed the software. After some research I found the fix that some of the other posters have already posted. I am curious if Norton is what may have caused the problem on your computer as well.
The fix that I used was:

1. Click on START.

2. Click on RUN

3. Type Regedit and then OK.

4. Backup the registry by Clicking on FILE and then EXPORT.

5. Locate the following registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class/{4d36e965-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}

6. Click on UpperFilters entry to highlight it and select delete from the edit menu.

7. Do the same to delete the LowerFilters entry.

8. Quit the registry editor and shut down and restart your computer.

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UpperFilters and LowerFilters...
by angelikastyl / August 7, 2012 9:53 AM PDT

...there are none to delete. please advise!

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Help, my PC has lost sight of its disc drives
by ftrice / March 4, 2011 8:37 PM PST

I had a similar problem; my cd rom stopped working too. I thought it was a hardware problem and didn't want to put any money into the old boy. I am retired and not the brightest bulb on the tree either. What I did is put those cd roms into a lap top that was working and backed up the data to a memory stick. The memory stick was working on my desk top and so I got around the problem. Later, when I could afford it, I replaced the desk top.

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SOLUTION Refresh upper and lower filters in registry
by gcgjohnson / March 4, 2011 10:12 PM PST

I don't recommend automatic fix links. Someone may be trying to sell you something, spy on you, steal your identity or propagate a virus.

Here is a solution that works. I found it on Adobe forums.
Refresh the CD and DVD drivers list in the Windows registry.
Disclaimer: The registry contains system-related information that is critical to your computer and applications. Before modifying the registry, be sure to make a backup copy of it. Adobe doesn't provide support for problems that arise from improperly modifying the registry. Adobe strongly recommends that you have experience editing system files before you modify the registry. For information on the Windows Registry Editor, see the Windows documentation or contact Microsoft Technical Support.
To refresh the CD and DVD drivers list in the registry:
Important: After you refresh the driver list in the Windows registry, you may need to reinstall any other CD or DVD burning applications on your computer. If you restart Windows after this procedure and other CD or DVD burning applications do not recognize the CD or DVD drive, then reinstall those applications.
Uninstall your Adobe application.
Open Registry Editor:
On Windows 2000 and XP: Choose Start > Run. Type regedit in the Open text box and click OK.
On Windows Vista: Choose Start. Type regedit in the Search text box, and press Enter.
In the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class and select the {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} key, which appears as a folder.
Select File > Export (Windows XP and Vista) or Registry > Export Registry File (Windows 2000).
In the Export Registry File dialog box, select Selected Branch under Export Range, name the file (for example, CDDVDkey.reg), and click Save to save the file to the Desktop.
In the right panel of the Registry Editor, select the LowerFilters line, and then choose Edit > Delete. Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete dialog box.
Select the UpperFilters line, and then choose Edit > Delete. Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete dialog box.
Close Registry Editor.
Open Device Manager:
On Windows 2000 and XP: Choose Start > Control Panel. Double-click the System icon, click on the Hardware Tab, then click on Device Manager.
On Windows Vista: Choose Start > Control Panel, double-click System, then click Device Manager in the Tasks pane.
Click on the plus symbol next to DVD/CD-ROM Drives.
For each DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive listed, select the icon then choose Action > Uninstall.
Restart Windows.
Windows will automatically detect and reinstall your DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drives. You can verify that the drives are installed by viewing them in Device Manager (see step 9). If the drives are not present, open Device Manger and choose Actions > Scan For Hardware Changes.
Reinstall your Adobe application.
Restart Windows.
Important: If this solution doesn't resolve the problem with the application you reinstalled, then you should restore the CD and DVD drivers list in the Windows registry.
To restore the exported CD and DVD drivers list:
Double-click the registry key you exported.
Close the Registry Editor.
Restart Windows.

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I tried Microsoft automatic fix and it works.
by gcgjohnson / October 1, 2011 1:57 AM PDT

I am now running Windows 7 64-bit on a new solid state drive. Sure enough, after installing Adobe Premier, Encore, Nero, iTunes, and other burning software, I lost my drive. I knew the upper and lower filters needed to be refreshed.

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