Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Get Windows To See Optical Drives Again*

“Reader writes and asks for help with The Case of the Missing Device…”

Sometimes Windows “Loses” The CD Player..

CDROM Q: “Paul I need your help. Yesterday I put a CD in my computer nothing happened. It has been working fine, and usually it will just start playing the first song. I put in a different disk and again nothing. I opened My computer and there was no icon for the DVD. Just icons for the Floppy A:, Local disk and no CD player. It just vanished! I rebooted and that didn’t help. What happened? How do I get my CD player back?”

A: The exact steps required will depend on the cause of the issue, so the following answers are ‘generic’, and may not apply to your particular situation.Read through the list to find the appropriate one for you.

1) Windows XP (and older) have a reputation for “losing” optical drives (but I have seen it occur in Vista) after uninstalling disc burning software — such as Roxio or Nero. (Sometimes.. after installing; but usually it is an uninstall failing to work properly, which leaves incorrect values in your Registry.
Sometimes, though less frequently, a Windows Update, or other software change can cause this as well.)

Sometimes Microsoft gets it right:
If this is you — you have uninstalled Roxio, say — the solution is to visit Microsoft Help & Support and click the “Fix It” button. (I have written about using the built in troubleshooter before, see Microsoft “One-click” Fixes) The appropriate Fix it page/button is found here. One click should do it!

———————————

2) If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you can next try restoring your system to a prior (working) state by using System Restore. Please read How To Use System Restore To Fix Windows for instructions.

3) If that doesn’t help, or isn’t appropriate..
Open your computer’s case and check to make sure the power wires, and the ribbon cable are firmly connected to the back of the drive and to the motherboard — they may have become loose or disconnected.

No? Then open your Device Manager. Right-click on “My Computer” and select “Properties”. In Vista, click on Device Manager in the left column; in XP, click on the “Hardware” tab, and then click the “Device Manager” button.

In Device Manager, find “Optical drives” on the list, and expand the category by clicking once on the “+” sign. You should now see the device and a yellow triangle – which is telling you there’s an error.

Right click on the device’s name, and click “Uninstall” from the menu which opens. Answer “Yes”, you want to do that. Then restart (aka “reboot”) your machine. Windows should “find” a “new” CD-ROM and install it for you, thus restoring functionality.

4) If these steps fail, there is something else going on (maybe malware) and I recommend you contact a knowledgeable repair tech.. such as myself (shameless plug).

Today’s free link: KidsEmail.org. Along with ZooBah, something to consider when your child wants their own e-mail address.

Today’s free download: GOM Player is a free multimedia player with popular video and audio codecs built-in. GOM Player supports file formats such as AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, XviD, WMV, ASF. Users don’t have to install codecs separately. GOM Player is capable of playing incomplete or damaged AVI files by skipping the damaged frames. It can also play locked or partially downloaded files.

* Orig post: 5/4/09

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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August 7, 2010 - Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, troubleshooting, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I would like to add that sometimes some people (like me) have gone into Explorer/Tools/Folder Options and checked the box next to Hide empty drives in the Computer folder and forgotten they had done so. :O

    Another recent issue was that an added mobile device (video camera) displaced my DVD drive and it disappeared. In that case, I had to re-assign a drive letter to it.
    Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management.
    If the drive is showing, right click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. In my case I had to delete the drive path, reboot, and reassign the drive letter to the DVD player. It’s a good idea to be very cautious when doing this, as a mistake could possibly format any of your drives.

    Like

    Comment by Rhian | August 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Rhian,
      All very good steps to check. Thanks for taking this tutorial two steps further.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I just added my last two tearing-my-hair-out episodes. :)

    Like

    Comment by Rhian | August 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the tutorial

    Like

    Comment by KAVAC | August 9, 2010 | Reply


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