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How to Fix a DVD or CD Drive Not Working or Missing in Windows 10

This might make you feel old, but CD/DVD drives are now considered legacy hardware. As Windows 10 continues to modernize the operating system, support for such older hardware technology as optical drives is becoming increasingly spotty. This is unfortunate since many users still depend on CDs and DVDs.  In fact, you might even need to use a DVD drive to install Windows 10 on your computer. One of the common complaints I have encountered among users is the loss of their DVD or CD drive after upgrading. This can be a result of a combination of factors: corrupt driver, out of date firmware, or a factory defect. Before you throw out your DVD drive and get a new one, here is a look at some troubleshooting steps you can try to get it working again.

Use Windows Update to Fix Windows 10 DVD Drive Issues

It’s not unusual for your optical drive to be working just fine in a previous version of Windows or Windows 10, then the minute you upgrade to a new version, it stops working.  The first thing you can do is check Windows Update then install the latest drivers if there are any. For example, Microsoft released updates for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and version 1511 that resolved problems with optical drives.  In this case, the cause of the problem was also the solution.

Click Start Settings Update & security. Make sure that your system is up to date and there are no hardware driver updates to install.

update and security

If you get a CD/DVD driver that works for you, you might want to consider stopping Windows 10 from automatically updating drivers in the future.

Reinstall or Update Driver in Device Manager

Boot to the Windows 10 desktop, then launch Device Manager by pressing Windows key + X and clicking Device Manager. Expand DVD/CD-ROM drives, right-click the optical drive listed, then click Uninstall. Exit Device Manager then restart your computer. Windows 10 will detect the drive then reinstall it. You can also use the option to Update Driver Software from within Device Manager.

Another option you can try – I notice this works for many users – involves removing and reinstalling the IDE/ATAPI drivers. Launch Device Manager again, click the View menu then click Show hidden devices. Expand IDE/ATAPI Controllers then uninstall each of the following:

  • ATA Channel 0
  • ATA Channel 1
  • Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller

There might be multiple entries listed for ATA Channel 0, 1 and PCI IDE Controller; uninstall all of them then restart your computer. Windows 10 will detect the drive then reinstall it.

Remove Virtual Drive Software

Virtual drive software, which is used to mount disc images (ISOs) can sometimes cause conflict with physical optical drives. If you have utilities such as Daemon Tools, PowerISO, ISO Recorder or similar software installed, remove them. Press Windows key + x  and choose Programs and Features. Highlight the program and click Uninstall.

Check Your BIOS/UEFI Settings and Update Chipset Firmware

If your CD/DVD drive isn’t detected by Windows, make sure the drive is working and recognized in your computer’s firmware. Check out our article for instructions on how to load your BIOS or UEFI firmware interface. If you see your optical drive listed in the BIOS, that’s a good sign.

If you don’t see your CD/DVD drive in the BIOS/UEFI, then something is definitely awry.

Depending on the age of your system, there is a possibility your chipset drivers for your motherboard might be out of date. Check the manufacturer’s website for your computer and browse the downloads section for your particular model. Installing the latest chipset driver may resolve the issue with your optical drive not working properly or not being recognized in Windows.

You should also check if there are any BIOS or firmware updates for your system since these can improve Windows 10 compatibility with older hardware.

 

Edit Windows Registry to Fix CD Drive Issues in Windows 10

If the problem persists after exhausting these troubleshooting steps, then you can move on to making changes to the Windows 10 registry, which might restore functionality. Before carrying out any of these steps, make sure you back up your registry and create a system restore point just in case.

Press Windows key + x then click Command Prompt (Admin).

Enter the following command at the prompt, hit Enter, exit the command prompt then restart your computer.

reg.exe add “HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Controller0” /f /v EnumDevice1 /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001

Corrupt registry entries have also been known to cause problems with hardware such as optical drives. Removing these corrupt entries just might fix the problem.

Click Start, and type: regedit
Right-click regedit then click Run as administrator
Navigate to the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

In the right pane, click UpperFilters

From the Edit menu, click Delete then click Yes to confirm changes.

Repeat the same steps for LowerFilters.

If you don’t see an entry for LowerFilters, exit the registry then restart your computer.

 

Playing DVD Movies in Windows 10

Windows 10 does not include native DVD Playback, neither does it support Blu-ray media. If you want to do this inWindows 10, you need to install compatible software that supports your optical drive. Microsoft provides a universal DVD playback app for purchase from the Windows Store. If you don’t want to purchase software, you can check the manufacturer’s website to find out if they have supported software you can use to view your media. Third party software such as VLC Player might work with your media, and it’s free too.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these tips can resurrect your optical drive. If you still cannot get the drive to work or show up in Windows 10, you can consider rolling back to your previous Windows version to see if it makes a difference; or consider purchasing a new drive. A convenient option is a USB external optical drive. This is not the answer many of you were hoping to hear, but its an option to consider (and will only set you back about $25).

Did we solve your Windows 10 CD drive problem? Let us know in the comments!

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3 Responses to How to Fix a DVD or CD Drive Not Working or Missing in Windows 10

  1. Steve February 25, 2017 at 5:27 am #

    My Win 10 doesn’t have the channel 0,1, or dual channel listings in the first step.

  2. Manny Robles April 11, 2017 at 10:28 am #

    I finally solved my windows media player while using windows 10 problem. Windows media player is NOT compatible with Windows 10.
    The media update listed in this article does apply to Windows 10 users.
    The app you recommend purchasing from the app store, “Windows DVD Player” is not available for Windows 10. A windows tech forwarded that app to me, I purchased it, we downloaded it only to find that it is not compatible with Windows 10.
    Finally the only app that worked was the VLC media player, and it’s free. A Microsoft tech downloaded it onto my Windows 10 laptop and it works perfectly. I hate that I wasted so much time trying to figure this out, when Microsoft knew along Windows Media Player isn’t compatible with Windows 10.

  3. fabijoe June 28, 2017 at 11:56 pm #

    I have done all the tips above in order written. My DVD driver is not available still. It is in BIOS, it is in device manager with it’s most new driver installed, and it can be seen in filemanager also, but does not work. Although it was after some time after finishing above procedures last restart that for my surprise it was working again, but the next restart had brougth it away again.
    I suspect, but I cannot confirm, that the cause was the latest windows update last week, but the drive does not went wrong immedaitely after update, but only some days later.
    I have to try yet to turn back to last savepoint before last update.

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