How to Reinstall a CD-DVD Drive That Is Missing

By Alexis Lawrence

Updated February 10, 2017

If you attempt to play a CD or DVD on your computer and the computer fails to play the disc, it may be that your system is not recognizing the CD-DVD drive. This issue often occurs during an upgrade on Windows systems. Correcting the problem requires deleting some filters and a simple reinstall.

Delete Registry Filters

Go to the “Start” menu on your computer. Choose “All Programs” from the bottom of the menu. The window that opens will populate with every available program on the computer.

Double-click “Accessories” to open the accessory list and choose “Run.\" This will open a small command box. Type “regedit” into the box and click “OK” to bring up the computer’s registry.

On Vista, you can accomplish the same task by typing \"regedit\" directly into the \"Start\" menu search box.

Locate the registry subkey “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}” in the left pane of the registry window. Click the key, and the right pane will fill with data regarding that key.

Click “UpperFilters” in the right pane of the registry window, go to the “Edit” menu and choose “Delete.” You will be asked to confirm the deletion. Click “Yes” to delete the entry. Be careful not to delete the “UpperFilters.bak” entry.

Look for the “LowerFilters” entry in the right pane. Click the entry and delete it from the registry just as you did the \"UpperFilters\" entry.

Restart the computer. You must restart the system for any changes to the registry to take effect.

Play a CD or DVD. If the disc plays, your fix has been successful. If it doesn’t, you will need to reinstall some drivers.

Reinstall Drivers

Go to the “Start” menu and select \"Control Panel\" from the list of options. Double-click the “System and Maintenance” icon to open that feature.

Choose “System” from the list and click the “Device Manager” option. You will be asked to confirm that you want to proceed. Click “Allow” to continue.

Click the plus sign (+) next to “DVD/CD-ROM drives” to show the CD-DVD devices on your system. Right-click the device that isn’t working and choose “Uninstall.” Confirm that you want to uninstall the device by clicking “OK” when the warning prompt appears. This will remove the device from the system.

Restart your computer. As the computer is restarting, it will recognize the CD or DVD drive and automatically reinstall it with all the necessary drivers.


When you attempt to delete the \"UpperFilters\" and \"LowerFilters\" entries from your registry, you may find that they don't exist. In that case, simply reinstall the CD-DVD drive.