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My PC stopped recognizing both my DVD and CD drives, help!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 16, 2009 5:52 AM PST

Last week my computer stopped recognizing both my DVD and CD drives, drives E and F on my computer. Does this mean that the slots on the mother board went bad or is it a software glitch? I used my recovery wizard and set my computer back to an earlier date when I knew all was working okay, but this did not help. What could possibly cause this? Any suggestions as to how I can check this out myself without taking my computer into a shop. I have a Sony (PCV-RS420), running a Pentium 4 (2.8 Ghz), running Windows XP.

--Submitted by Gary O.

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

(WARNING: Some recommendations suggest the task of editing your Windows registry, MAKE SURE you back up your registry in case you do something wrong and need to revert. If you are unfamiliar with this task, keep your hands off and let someone who is experienced in this field perform it. You don't want to accidentally delete/edit a file that is critical to your system--which can/will wreak havoc in your computer. So be cautious and know what you are doing before proceeding! Edit and Delete files in the Windows registry at your own risk. Thank you.)

"Lost" optical drives --Submitted by Zouch

Optical drives not recognized --Submitted fdispensiere

This should fix the problem --Submitted by jazacoop

PC not recognizing drives --Submitted by cavalier6

Cables and drivers --Submitted by will_mansfield

If you have any recommendations or solutions for Gary, please click the reply link and post away. Please be as detailed as possible in your answer. Thank you!
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Sony PC dosn't recognize DVD and CD devices
by arikbelkind / January 16, 2009 11:39 AM PST

Did you remove old tool for using the DVD an CD device? In such a case you have to download fro sony a patch that fix it. I had it when I change from Roxio to Nero.Arik

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Check to be sure you do not have SecuRom loaded
by Baer / January 16, 2009 11:45 AM PST

I am sure there will be many good answers but here is one reason I have seen computers stop recognizing optical drives. Check to be sure that you have not loaded a game that put SecuRom on your computer. This is a DRM sceme that some games load without your permission. While for some it does not cause a problem I have seen it cause this issue.

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DVD and CD drives not recognized
by duncan569 / January 16, 2009 11:49 AM PST

Had the same problem awhile back. Uninstalled I-tunes and behold, my drives returned. It's worth a try if you have I-tunes installed.

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by dmavericks / January 16, 2009 12:34 PM PST

iTunes is the problem. You can also fix it by editing the registry and removing the high and low filters. I do not remeber where they were located.
If anyone knows where they are located let me know.

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HKEY location for Upper and LowerFilters
by bboysen / January 16, 2009 1:17 PM PST
In reply to: iTunes

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\4D36E965-E325-11 CE-BFC1-08002BE10318

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missing CD and DVD
by bkato / January 16, 2009 8:14 PM PST
In reply to: iTunes

I had the same problem several years ago. Turned out to be caused by Roxio or Nero burner programs (can't remember which). The fix was editing the high and low filters in the registry. I knew a few other people that had the same problem at that time and the fix worked for them too. Try some Google searchs for high and low filters and registry and maybe Roxio or Nero and see if you can find the instructions for the fix. I don't think I have them any longer but I'll look around.

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Missing CD and DVD drives fix
by bkato / January 16, 2009 8:20 PM PST
In reply to: missing CD and DVD

Here's the info - hope its readable - I don't have a link to the site.

After you remove either compact disc (CD) recording software or other software from your computer, your computer may exhibit the following behavior: ? In My Computer, there is no access to your CD-ROMs.
? In Device Manager, the following error message appears in connection with any CD-ROM device that is part of your computer system:
The device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device (Code 31).
? Device Manager displays the following error message:
A driver for this device was not required, and has been disabled (Code 32 or Code 31).
You may also receive an error Code 39 message that indicates that the driver is corrupted.

? Device Manager displays the following error Code 19 message, which means that the registry returned some unknown result:
Your registry might be corrupted. (Code 19)
? You may also receive the following error message:
Windows successfully loaded the device driver for this hardware but cannot find the hardware device. (Code 41)

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this behavior, follow these steps: 1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
2. Locate the UpperFilters value under the following key in the registry:
3. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click OK.
4. Locate the LowerFilters value under the same key in the registry:
5. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click OK.
6. Quit Registry Editor.NOTE: After you remove the Upperfilters value and the Lowerfilters value, if you notice lost functionality in a particular program, such as CD recording software, you may need to reinstall that software. If the problem recurs, consult with the software vendor for assistance.

7. Restart your computer.

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Thanks - this worked for me (delete UpperFilters key)
by cjordahl / February 5, 2009 3:41 AM PST

Just wanted to post a quick thank you for this idea. I followed your instructions, found that my registry only had the UpperFilters key. Deleted, rebooted, and my optical drive has reappeared. Thanks for the tip.

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Same and new
by Grimfandango31 / August 16, 2011 7:12 PM PDT

Had same issue as Gary O.

I had already done above, and got the external USB drive to work, but now windows is not seeing the internal drive, this is not as a result of this fix, at least I don't think it is..

I am now setting to work getting the internal drive to be "Visible" to windows, if others have found this manifestation as a result of editing the registry look back here soon, I hope to have resolved my new issue and will post solution..

And thanks bikato Happy

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I agree that this could be the problem...
by AZL8AZ / January 31, 2009 11:27 AM PST
In reply to: missing CD and DVD

...as Nero done the very same thing to my CD Drive

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This Help for me ....please follow
by wdavis79 / October 5, 2011 2:31 PM PDT
In reply to: missing CD and DVD

. Tip & How To about PC Laptops CD-DVD drive is not detecting/working Posted by Amrendra Kumar Singh on Friday, September 16, 2011 Click Start button, type Device Manager in the Start search box and hit enter key. Device Manager window opens. Expand Cd-Dvd Rom devices. You will find Cd-Dvd driver listed here with yellow ! mark. Right click on the driver and select uninstall. It will get disappeared now. Now minimize the Device Manager. Click Start, type regedit in the start search box and hit enter key. Registry editor opens. Please locate then expand following subkeys : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Class Now please select the following entry through cursor. {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} Now look for UpperFilter or LowerFilter or both in the right pane. Right click on UpperFilter and/or LowerFilter and delete them. Press F5 key once and close the registry editor. Maximize the Device manager now. Click Action menu at top of Device Manager then click Scan for hardware changes. It will reload the Cd-Dvd driver without yellow ! mark and the issue is resolved.

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by mrppvrvd / May 18, 2012 11:43 AM PDT

Thank you for this post. Helped me out. The guy from Acer had NOT a clue.

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worked like a charm!
by kteliza / February 3, 2013 4:46 AM PST

Thank you, wdavis79. I followed those steps and my laptop is now recognizing CDs/DVDs again!

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no cd,dvd reading?
by rp527 / April 11, 2013 12:31 PM PDT

i tried this on top by wdavis79, one of my dvd went out i thought ,then the other like two or three days later so i looked it up an found this forum here jeees thanks i thought i was going to have to buy two extra replacements it worked great for me thank you so much they are still wrkin an being read by my pc again.BIG THANK YOU!!!!

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Had a problem with i Tunes also
by scarlet2007 / January 16, 2009 8:36 PM PST
In reply to: iTunes

After I deleated I Tunes from my computer I loss access to my CD/DVD player. I redownloaded I Tunes and low & behold...I got access back.
I have a Dell. Have you recently deleated anything?

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CD & DVD drives not working?
by anotherOne1 / February 21, 2013 1:58 AM PST
In reply to: iTunes

iTunes is the problem. You can also fix it by editing the registry and removing the high and low filters. I do not remeber where they were located.
If anyone knows where they are located let me know.

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PC hardware forum: My PC stopped recognizing both my DVD and
by clos2013 / May 17, 2013 5:16 PM PDT

it works thank you !

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CDROm Fail
by vilhjalmur-halldorson / July 3, 2014 4:02 AM PDT

This happened to me when using WIN98 SE one year ago on a PII class computer.I believe that corporate propaganda has blinded the majority.I know what casues this to incur.In the readme file for win98 on the install disk it encourages to copy the cd to your boot drive or an extended drive and install off the hard drive.

Bad mistake as killer.exe will recognize the action as a bad opcode-and although killer reports its bad opcodes as a gpf-the cdrom is a primary emulated drive and does not require to have expanded memory to map as this is doen on the CD itself.The data on the drive has been emulated to data and tehn reintegrated to bits and bytes and copied.A CD is flawed and therewith requires emulation - he drive is the emulator and mscdex is the 32 bit emulation program to run off of the 16 bit real mode driver.

If the driver cannot recognize the cd-rom but the bios does the only 2 alternative is that :

the controller is fried
emulation of the drive is no longer possible through real mode

as such you have to either buy a new cdrom or if you are good with assembly use the CPU manufactures assembly directives to make the drive recognizable again by the driver which has somehow failed due to a vector hook or other form of exception error stored in the bios/cmos to prevent the real mode driver from recognizing the driver.

If the second is the actual erro it would eb a waste of money to buy an new one and not be able to use it-as such the first is the 99.9 % accurate cause of the problem-the BIOS is telling dos not to load the real mode driver because the bad opcode has been stored in one of the 16 bit registers and/or 8 bit registers to which communicate or intergraet the 32 bit emulation required fro buring a CD or reading a CD.

I have also noticed too that you have to be careful about Killer and Emulation Drives-USBs are safe.Also be careful of Smartdrv as well with emulated drives and with killer.Also Notons Diags is not compatable with Killer and Symantec does not support the killer.exe format and its diags will return an nonexception error-as killer will make its vector call f diags as a bad opcode so Nortons Diags just will not run with Kilelr loaded as a TSR.

If Peter Norton does not support killer than it really is not a required program but I have extracted some 16 bit GPFs using killer through windows 3.1 and win98 regarding SVGA and VESA as well as others.
I think it was provided with the last relese of DOS as an operating system [dos 7.10] in order to stop bad VCPI interactions by reserving real mode calls and then making a bad opcode if one attempts to access registers in use or tow hcih conflict or under exception error may cause conflict.Another action of killer is to counteract any 32 to 16 bit mode calls as well as 16 bit to 32 bit tow hich have conflict and as such a well formed mamory configuration would exempt these types of errors.
If VCPI cannot make a real mode call it returns to the prior operation if able to or recalls a badopcode to reboot the computer,.

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by kimghob / January 16, 2009 11:52 AM PST

Yes, I believe it is your MoBo which went bad. I had this happen just recently to my brand new MoBo which was an ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe, so when I called up ASUS about it, they told me to send it back to NewEgg where I purchased it and gave me a Case #. I did receive a new MoBo and I haven't had many problems with it.

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My PC stopped recognizing both my DVD and CD drives, help!
by rjf9999 / January 16, 2009 11:54 AM PST

I would disconnect the two drives and reboot. Make sure that they don't show up in the Device manager. Then I would reconnect one at a time and see if Windows XP recognizes the drive and if it works. If so, reconnect the other drive and see if the same happens.

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try this
by asiatazfree / February 5, 2009 9:20 AM PST

check the bus cables the jumpers and also confirm if power reaches the drives or connect one at a time.

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CD / DVD Drives Missing
by CMOS1 / January 16, 2009 11:55 AM PST

Try taking out the two drives and checking which one is the master. Because the controller on this drive is controlling both, it may be defective. Set the slave drive as the master and reinstall only this drive. Boot you system and check to see if it recognizes the drive. Other than driver or Bios problems this is one of the isolation methods I would try.

Good Luck !!!

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by sorahl / January 16, 2009 12:06 PM PST

Even if you haven't touched the inside of the case cables can come unseated or logically lock up.
i would power off the pc, remove the power cable, open up your pc, remove and reseat the cabling to your optical drives.
then close it up, connect the power and reboot
load to the BIOS immediately and verify that your bios is seeing the optical drives.
watch the boot statements as it starts up. it will show you what drives it sees connected.
IF you do see the drives registering there and THEN YOU DON"T see them when windows is loaded it's a driver problem.
grab fresh copies of the device drives from the manufacturer (or your PC maker) website, throw them on a usb drive or DVD you burn.
go to your device manager and remove the optical drives
Windows should redetect your optical drives. IF it asks you for drivers pop in your usb key and use those drives, other wise it can use the drivers in windows itself.
You may have to do some searching in google to figure out how to follow these steps i laid out, if you are not 'saavy' (read geek <grin>)

good luck


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PC not recognizing multiple drives
by utjsh83 / January 16, 2009 12:11 PM PST

You would have to define not "recognizing" drives. One problem I've run into recently was my computer not allowing me to open the drives but the link to each drive was visible in the "My Computer" window. For some reason a new windows update or who knows what is trying to autoplay all of my drives when I double click them. To side-step this issue you just right click on the drive instead and click on "Explore." If your computer is not booting up at all then you definitely have a more serious problem. Please provide more details or error messages and someone may be able to give you a better answer. Hope I could help.

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My PC stopped recognizing both my DVD and CD drives, help!
by gallow1 / January 16, 2009 12:14 PM PST

It could be the power source going bad or the cable. Check both if you have a extra dvd or cd drive.

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My PC stopped recognizing both my DVD and CD drives, help!
by ShSimpson / January 16, 2009 12:16 PM PST

I had something similar happen to me a couple of weeks ago and had a hard time trying to figure it out. A techie friend of mine told me it had something to do with the upper and lower filters in the registry. A trick that he employed in the past was to install a piece of software that would employ the use of the DVD. In my case I simply installed Nero's trial version and my DVD was back and functioning. It gave me an error window along the way that had something to do with these filters.

I am not one to try and **** with the registry but if you do an internet search for upperfilters you will find links that may direct you to the solution. One such link is http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314060 .

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HP Officejet Pro L7700 All-in-One Printer series
by eaadams / January 31, 2009 6:58 AM PST

Same thing happened to me when I uninstalled a HP Officejet Pro L7700 All-in-One Printer series.

Called HP tech support and they refused to help claiming it was my computer not their printer.

Last time I buy a HP.

Issue was fixed with a major regedit.

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Lost optical drives
by jdbarton / January 16, 2009 12:18 PM PST

I have that machine...and usually like it. Since both drives went away together I'm highly suspicious that it's hardware, not windows for a change. You'll need to open the case. If you are not comfortable with that perhaps you have a friend who isn't. The easiest possiblity is that the ide cable came loose from the motherboard. Both optical drives are on the secondary ide channel. If it is securely socketed on the main board, check each drive. Depending on how they are configured one disconnect can disable both. Next would be to confirm that the power connectors are firmly inserted. They rarely come loose. You should have a spare 5 connector power pigtail. If nothing has worked so far, carefully remove the power from the top drive and insert the "spare". Be sure to put the color codes the same or the drive will be toast. If that does not work, there is a tiny chance that both drives failed. Connecting a known good ide drive set to master to the cable end connector. If we're still no go, take it to a shop...I would suspect the mainboard has a problem.

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Drives Not Recognized

Are the Drives recognized in the BIOS? If not, have you opened the computer and reinserted the the cables to each. If that doesn't help try different cables(you would need to rearrange cables for the power cables which would be a part of the Power Supply)Still no luck buy a newer DVD drive get a rewriteable which in most cases will allow cd's to be played, burned, etc as well as the same for dvd's.

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CD/DVD Not Working
by Fi0S-Dave / January 16, 2009 12:23 PM PST

The first thing I would check is to make sure that the data cable that connects both drives to the motherboard is properly seated at all three places.
Since the only things common to both drives are the data cable and the motherboard connector, check there first.
You might also want to check the BIOS settings to make sure that nothing has changed.

Good luck!


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