How To Fix A Missing CD or DVD Drive

A CD or DVD drive may become ‘missing’ – but this problem is often simple to fix. A common problem seen in our computer repair business is where a CD or DVD drive suddenly no longer appears in My Computer or File Explorer and other programs like Nero and Itunes.

The user can’t play or access a CD/DVD even though the drive continues to eject alright, and they hear it spinning when they insert a CD. The most likely cause of this problem is a fault with (or conflict between) different CD burning programs on your computer.

Such programs often install their own software called ‘filters’ that should allow better integration with your drive. Unfortunately, as you install more CD burning programs you may end up with several of these filters which ‘compete’ with each other to access the drive at the same time, causing the drive to ‘lockup’ and not be recognized in Windows.

This will continue until the offending filters are removed. To remove the filters you need to edit the Windows registry. Note: after doing this you may have to reinstall your CD burning program (e.g. Nero or Roxio etc.)

Warning: The registry is a very important database containing Windows configuration settings. Before editing it you should always create a new System Restore point in case you need to revert back to before the changes.

1.  Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the letter R to open the Run command

2.  In the Run command type the word regedit and press OK to open the Registry Editor – you navigate down it by opening the folders and subfolders in the left panel (double click to open or click on the + sign to open subfolders and the – sign to close them)

3.  Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

4.  Highlight this key by left clicking on it once.

5.  On the right hand side right panel, right click on UpperFilters (if it is not there just move on to the next step) and choose Delete and OK to delete the value.

6.  On the right hand side right panel, right click on LowerFilters (if it is not there just move on to the next step) and choose Delete and OK to delete the value.

7.  Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Your CD/DVD drive should now be showing again in My Computer and other programs :-) Remember to test your CD burning software and if it doesn’t work then uninstall and reinstall it (use the latest version of the software available).

How To Avoid This Problem In Future?

1.  Don’t overload your computer with several CD burning programs. Choose one and stick to it e.g. Nero, Roxio, iTunes etc – the more such programs you have installed, the more likely they are to cause this type of problem.

2.  Keep your CD burning software up to date – upgrade to a newer version when available to ensure better compatibility with Windows and other programs. Many of the problems we see are caused by software that is years old and has never been updated – even though updates are often free for registered users.