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CDROM Icon Missing

Category: Hardware

"When I go to My Computer the CDROM and DVD icons are gone. They were there yesterday, and working fine. It seems like this happened after I removed some CD burner software. Now I can't install anything from a CDROM, or play music CD's -- help!"

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Help, My CDROM Disappeared!

CDrom disappeared... evil gnomes to blame?
It's possible that evil gnomes have snuck into your computer and stolen the CDROM drive. Or sometimes they just loosen the wires, leave the drive in your computer, and then watch as the hilarity ensues. It could be a hardware issue, but more likely, it's a software problem. It's a known problem that certain CDROM or DVD software packages don't uninstall properly, and afterwards Windows cannot find the CDROM/DVD drive. Fortunately, that problem is pretty easy to fix.

But first, let's make sure that your CDROM drive is physically connected to the computer. Open My Computer, then click on View system information. When System Properties window appears, select the Hardware tab, then press the Device Manager button.

device manager   device manager

device manager
Click the "+" sign next to DVD/CD-ROM Drives. If your CDROM device is connected and has power, at least one entry should appear under that heading, as shown in this example. If you don't see a DVD/CD-ROM Drives heading, or nothing appears beneath it, you should open up your computer and check to see if both the power and data (ribbon) cables are securely connected to the CDROM drive. See photos for examples of the connectors and the back of a typical CDROM drive.

With the computer turned OFF, remove the two cables from the connectors on the back of the drive, then reseat them firmly. Check the other end of the ribbon cable to make sure it's plugged firmly into the motherboard. Sometimes it helps to make grunting noises during this process. After restarting the computer, if the CDROM drive still doesn't show up on the My Computer or the Device Manager screen, it's probably defective.

power cable   data/ribbon cable   data cable

The Software Fix

If you have eliminated gnomes, loose wires and defective hardware, there's no choice left: Blame the Software. As I mentioned earlier, removing some CD burning software can muck up your Windows system registry, preventing Windows from accessing the CDROM drive. And once in a while, a system file (driver software) may be damaged, leaving the device in limbo. If you are able to see the drive in Device Manager (see above), right click on the drive name and select Properties.

Does the Device status area show an error message that refers to a missing or corrupted driver, or Code 19, Code 31, Code 32, Code 39 or Code 41? If your CDROM drive was working, you could re-install the driver software from the manufacturer's CDROM. So that option is obviously not going to work too well. But if you can find the website of your CDROM vendor, try to download and install the most recent driver software for your CDROM drive. Sometimes that (and a system restart) will resolve the problem with Windows not "seeing" the drive.

The System Restore feature built in to Windows XP may also help. Windows periodically takes regular snapshots of your Windows configuration, settings, and program files. If you can remember the most recent time when your computer was working correctly, System Restore will roll back all system changes to that point. For help using this feature, see my illustrated System Restore article.

If none of those procedures revive the drive, we must put on the surgical gloves and hack the Windows registry. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Click Start, then Run, then enter REGEDIT to open the Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class entry
  3. Under the Class entry, double click on {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  4. In the right-hand pane, click ONCE to select the UpperFilters entry
  5. Make sure the UpperFilters entry is highlighted, press Delete, then Yes.
  6. In the right-hand pane, click ONCE to select the LowerFilters entry
  7. Make sure the LowerFilters entry is highlighted, press Delete, then Yes.
  8. Close the Registry Editor by clicking File, Exit.

registry editor

Restart your computer, and the CDROM drive should now show up on the My Computer screen. You may need to re-install your CDROM software if it's not working properly.


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Posted by Bob Rankin on June 20, 2006 12:19 AM


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Related Keywords: Hardware   cdrom   dvd   missing   icon   registry   driver  

Most recent comments on "CDROM Icon Missing"

(See all 99 comments for this article.)

Posted by:
Jan
04 Oct 2008

I have a missing CD/rom Icon missing. I can't find the lower filter and upper filters. What should I do?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Did you try removing, rebooting, and then re-adding the hardware (and software drivers)?



Posted by:
pen
12 Oct 2008

thank you bob your last idea of regedit really worked.


Posted by:
Peter
31 Oct 2008

Thanks for providing this help on the www! I have a problem while following your software fix..

1st. i've searched for upperfilters and Edit/find... has found it in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Enum\PCI\VEN_1106&DEV_8305&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_00\3&61aaa01&0&08

Edit/find... found lowerfilters in another location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Enum\Root\MS_NDISWANIP\000

...i.e. different locations to yours deatiled above..

2. when i've tried deleted them, warning message:
'Unable to delete all specified values appears'

Do you have any remedies for the 2nd problem?..hoping the 1. point isn't much to worry about; just a difference between our computers?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'd be leary of deleting those keys without having a registry backup, just in case they do something else.


Posted by:
Tony
02 Nov 2008

Used fix and it worked great. Thanks


Posted by:
peter
02 Nov 2008

long story short: cd rom access returned after i started to un-install the various cd writing programs on my laptop. downgraded to default (for my laptop production edition) windows media player 9 and after restart, it was back :-)


Posted by:
elaine
09 Nov 2008

do i really need to reinstall operating system? i've got this problem once on my DVD-RW and this fix have helped me, but today my DVD-R is missing. i tried to follow this steps again and i can't find the upper and lower filters that i have to delete. unfortunately i don't have the installer for this, i think this is a plug and play device. i tried to check my device on the properties of my computer, it's there but when i re-scan for changes, it's now gone and the DVD-RW is the only one left.. i'm afraid i really need to re-format again =(


Posted by:
costi
10 Nov 2008

Your solution is very good.Now everything is normal.Thank you


Posted by:
Pat
15 Nov 2008

I've tried this solution and it has restored the DVD-ROM and CD-RW icons. When I insert a disc, the icon changes to show that a disc is inserted. However, if I double click on the icon a window will pop up telling me to please insert a disc into the drive. The icons that show up are generic icons--for instance, purchased CDs with specialized icons will only show the simple CD icon. Interesting thing is that is if I go to Device Manager (right click My Computer, click on Manage) and pull up the drive information, the CD drives will then be able to access the CDs. I'm not making any changes in Device Manager, I'm just looking at the info. Do you have any suggestions? I can access the drives but I would love to be able to do this without first bringing up Device Manager. Thanks for the help.


Posted by:
Tomom
19 Dec 2008

I did everything, still can't get back my CD Rom. I won't see it in my computer..
Please can anybody help me !!!


Posted by:
behan
28 Dec 2008

Worked great, although, i could'nt see any LowerFilters to delete but deleting the upperfilters alone did the trick, Thank you.


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