How to Use the Windows Registry to Fix a DVD Drive
By Chris Moore
Updated September 28, 2017
After installing or updating programs on your Windows PC, your operating system may not recognize your DVD drive anymore. You can fix this yourself with XP or Vista's Registry Editor. With the Registry Editor, you can remove certain keys and entries from the registry and then restart the computer to refresh the system and recognize the drive. Changing anything in your registry editor can be risky to your computer's operation, so only someone with knowledge of their computer and Windows operating system should try this.
Open the Registry Editor on your computer. On Windows XP, go to the \"Start\" menu, select the Run command, type in \"regedit\" in the Run text box and click \"OK.\" For Windows Vista, select \"All Programs\" in the Start menu, choose \"Accessories,\" select the Run command and input \"regedit.\"
Input your administrator password if a dialog box pops up asking for it, or click \"allow\" if it asks for confirmation. One of these will appear if you use Windows Vista.
Go to the editor's navigation pane and search the registry subkeys within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM. The subkey you want is 4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 (this is within brackets also). Click on this subkey.
Delete the \"UpperFilters\" registry entry by clicking on it within the editor's right pane, going to the edit menu and selecting \"Delete.\" A dialog box will pop up asking you to confirm the deletion; click on \"Yes\" when it appears. There might also be a \"UpperFilters.bak\" entry in this pane; do not delete this one.
Use the same procedure to delete the \"LowerFilters\" registry entry. Close the registry editor.
Restart the computer and see if your DVD drive is listed among the available drives. Go to the \"Start\" menu and click on \"My Computer\" in XP or \"Computer\" in Vista to find the list of available drives. If the DVD drive is listed, insert a DVD and see if you can play it.
If the DVD drive still can't be found, you can try to fix it by removing and reinstalling the drivers. Use the Device Manager in Control Panel's System and Maintenance options. If the DVD drive is listed but the DVD won't play, you probably need to reinstall programs on your computer such as iTunes, Roxio, Nero or Zune software.
Always create a backup of your registry before making any changes within it. Making any mistakes when altering the registry can permanently damage your computer.
Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.