Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to: Make Windows Vista or XP recognize your DVD drive again

Ive seen this a few times over the years and thought I would document the fix. I've seen too many DVD replacements or OS re-formats due to this problem.

You are working away at your PC and decide to throw a CD in to listen to, or maybe pop a DVD movie in for an afternoon at the mini theatre. Maybe you just need to burn a copy of some files for work to CD. Anyway, you pop the CD and nothing happens. "Funny" you think, "I don't remember turning autoplay off". You double click on My Computer. There you see the C: drive and... well.... nothing. You try to think back to the last time you used the CD drive.. hmm been awhile... It diddn't seem upset. A quick check of the device manager shows that lovely ! symbol next to your DVD driver. You delete the driver and re-detect. No luck. Finally you hurl your laptop out the window.

At this point I might just tell you to install Ubuntu if I am feeling snarky, but I'm not. Instead I will show you how to fix this tragedy.

1) Click on the start menu.

2) a) If this is a Vista machine click the pearl and type the work regedit in the "start search" bar and run it. The program may not show in the list until you type the whole word.
b) If this is an XP machine click the Start button, select run and type regedit.
c) For goodness sake, select File from the top menu, and Export. Save the export as backup. This will save your butt if you delete the wrong key!

3) Below "Computer" is a few hives -- They look like folders. Start at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and keep navigating until you reach HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11­CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. In the right panel you’ll see a list of entries. These entries are called strings. Look for strings with the names “UpperFilters” and “LowerFilters”. Click on each of these “filter” strings and hit the delete key. In Vista you will get the scary "Deleting certain registry values could cause system instability" message. What does Vista know? Click yes to confirm delete. XP just asks to confirm. Do so.

5) Restart Windows and ensure CD-Rom operation.

6) Gloat.

If this does not work confirm that you deleted the correct entry. The key number {4D36E965-E325-11­CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} must be EXACT.

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