View Full Version : When a cd/dvd drive appears not to be working.

01-21-2009, 06:16 AM
Hi all,

I thought i'd share some insight into one cause for a cd/dvd drive appearing not to work or not be recognized.

In some cases a cd/dvd drive will appear not to work or be recognized because somehow the drive letter assigned to the cd/dvd drive has also been assigned to another device such as another local or network device. The new or last device to be assigned the same letter will not appear in the "My Computer" window device list.

I have seen this happen before with other device assignments - like between local hard drives or mapped network drives but they don't have to be unlike devices such as in this case between the cd/dvd drive and a mapped network drive. The system somehow assigns two devices the same letter, one takes presidence and the other device will disappear.

To test this case...
1. place a cd that has some know data into the drive.
2. display the "My Computer" window.

The cd/dvd drive icon may or may not be displayed. In any case, if you see another local or network device entry that does not belong there with the same letter that was assigned to the cd/dvd drive, double click on it. if you see the cd/dvd contents then dismount the bogus device.

2. display the Disk Management panel.

The device should appear in the lower center panel of the Disk Management window. Now look at the "Volume" column on the top panel center of the Disk Management window. As long as there is a disc in the drive, a volume entry should appear in that column. Right click on the entry and open the drive. The contents of the disc should pop up even if the drive entry is not displayed in the "My Computer" window.

Re-assign the correct letter to the cd/dvd drive then reboot the computer.

If things go as planned, the bogus device should be gone and the cd/dvd drive should work and be correctly displayed in the "My Computer" window.

01-21-2009, 12:06 PM
That's a nice one. Don't forget also the Upper/Lower filters problem often cause by older versions of iTunes will make optical drives "disappear"

01-21-2009, 12:37 PM
One of my full time tech friends took me on a nice tour of the disk management utility. I am going there often now.

I often have to use that when I connect a drive via a USB adapter to work on it and the drive is not recognized. Change the drive letter and viola! It appears in My Computer's directory.

I recently had a pulled harddrive that I wanted to format via a usb cable adapter but it rejected at the end of format each time I tried. Via the disk management I discovered that it had originally been installed and partitioned as an extended volume. Once I partitioned it as a simple volume, I was able to destroy the partition, repartition it and format it.

01-21-2009, 04:40 PM
I first tried deleting the upper/lower entries in the registry then un-installing burning software but it did not help. In this case the effect threw me for a loop (and caused about 1.5 hours of testing) because i did not notice the bogus device and that it had taken control of the cd/dvd drive.

It all started when the old cd/dvd drive went bad so i simply replaced it with a new one. Somehow the system assigned the new cd/dvd drive the same letter as the bogus device - and that is the key.

When a system somehow assigns two devices the same letter, one takes presidence and the other device will disappear.

Keep in mind that the second device need not be bogus, the system may have just goofed up and assigned two legitimate devices the same drive letter causing one device to disappear.