Lose my CD / DVD Drives

Recently I experienced several little problems with my Windows XP desktop. It started with losing the sound and the inability for Skype to answer. After trying various things, I rebooted, which brought back the audio and seemed to have corrected Skype. Unfortunately, I then lost my 2 CD/DVD drives plus one virtual CD/DVD drive.

Losing the virtual drive should have been the clue, which I initially missed. They all displayed in the Systems hardware window, but with error 31 messages. After looking for and installing new or replacement drivers, I still had the same problem. I finally ran across a knowledge base article from Microsoft.
You can no longer access the CD drive or the DVD drive, or you receive an error message after you remove a CD recording program or a DVD recording program in Windows XP: "error code 31"
The solution was to delete two apparently corrupt Registry entries and then re-install all software that have a burn CD and/or DVD feature. A pain to go through the re-install, but it did do the trick. Here are the steps to the Registery keys (also available from Microsoft KB article):
  1. Go to Start Menu >> Run...
  2. Enter Regedit and click OK
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE >> SYSTEM >> CurrentControlSet >> Control >> Class
  4. Click {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  5. Right-click on UpperFilters and select Delete
  6. Right-click on LowerFilters and select Delete
  7. Reboot

It's been smooth sailing since the fix.


radioguy said…
I ran into this problem at work, but the registry fix (upper & lower filter removal) didn't work for me. More digging led to an online post pointing to the Sony/BMG DRM rootkit that was in the news a few years ago. Sure enough, running Sony's remover utility did the trick. The user of this machine had played a CD that was one of the ones with this infamously bad copy-protection scheme, and Windows auto-run had dutifully installed the rootkit when the CD was accessed.
The post that helped me: http://tinyurl.com/4urg8w

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