Windows XP / Vista / 7: missing, lost or not found DVD drive

One of the most common issues using Windows 7 is that sometimes it seems that your CD/DVD drives disappears and there is no way to have them back!

This not only used to happen on Vista previously, but it was happening in Windows XP as well…


Missing CD or DVD

So, how do you fix this in XP?

Easy, you open the Registry Editor and in the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:


In the right pane, you should have UpperFilters. Click on it. You may also see an UpperFilters.bak registry entry but you do not have to remove it. Click UpperFilters only. On the Edit menu, click Delete and confirm the deletion by choosing “Yes“. If you do not see the UpperFilters registry entry, you still might have to remove the LowerFilters registry entry. Again, click on Edit and delete it.

At the end you can close the Registry Editor and reboot the machine. Problem solved…

How do you fix that in Vista? Well, in the same way… And how do you fix it in Windows 7? Mmm, again, in the same way.

So why is this happening? Is something that has not been properly fixed by Microsoft?

To be honest these keys are not normally created on a standard Windows 7 machines, but are actually related to Filter Drivers that allow the existing Microsoft CD/DVD drivers to use external modules to perform specific operations. Typical example is the filter driver installed by burning software. This kind of software needs to perform special operations that are not covered by the standard Microsoft drivers and that’s why they need to extend those functionalities.

In fact by deleting those keys you may then notice that some function of your 3rd party burning software is not performing as expected or that is not working at all. Reinstallation of the software will restore those keys and fix the driver (module) used to extend the standard Microsoft’s driver.

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