How to Fix a Missing Windows CD/DVD Optical Drive

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This may be an old tip but the problem it fixes is so frustrating when it occurs that it is worth a reminder. For various reasons, the Windows operating system or Windows software may fail to recognize the CD/DVD optical drive. You look in (My) Computer and there is no CD/DVD drive listed. This may happen after uninstalling CD/DVD burning software, installing a Windows update, or for other reasons.

The problem is usually caused by one or more corrupted Registry entries. The easiest way to correct the problem is to go to a Microsoft site (link here) and use the Fix-it given there. The Microsoft site also gives explicit directions for dedicated DIYers who want to fix the problem themselves. There are solutions for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. There are also suggestions for cases where the Registry fix doesn't solve the problem.

For those who are interested in Registry things, here is the key that is involved:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}Two values, UpperFilters and LowerFilters, have to be deleted.

After applying the Microsoft Fix-it or editing the Registry directly, it may also be necessary to reinstall the software that you are using for CD/DVD burning.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's and tutorials, including  a computer education website and a site for learning about the command line.

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