How to Restore Missing CD Drive in Windows XP

by Jennifer Claerr

A missing CD drive in Windows XP is typically caused by corrupt registry entries. While you can edit these registries yourself, if you make a mistake, you may have to reinstall your operating system. Always back up your registry before making any changes. After deleting your registry entries, you can uninstall and reinstall your missing CD drive without having to open your computer case.

Log into your computer as an administrator. Click "Start," then "Run." Type "regedit" and click "OK."

Click "File" and "Export" in the "Registry Editor" window. This will create a backup of your current registry settings. Name the file something like "regbackup.reg" and click "OK."

Select the plus sign next to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" to expand the sub-menus. Expand the sub-menus under "SYSTEM." Next, expand "CurrentControlSet," "Control" and "Class." Continue navigating through the registry editor sub-menus until you come to the key marked {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}.

Select the "UpperFilters" entry from the right pane. Delete the entry and click "Yes" to confirm. Delete the "LowerFilters" entry and confirm again. Restart your computer.

Click "Start" and "My Computer." Determine if your CD drive is in the drive list. If it isn't, right-click the space in the "My Computer" window and select "Properties." Select the "Hardware" tab and click "Device Manager." Click the plus sign beside "DVD/CD-ROM Drives" to expand the sub-menu. Right-click the name of the drive that is causing the problem and select "Uninstall." Click "OK." Restart your computer and reinstall the CD-ROM drivers.

If the problem persists, run "System Restore." Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Performance and Maintenance" and "System Restore." Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click "Next." Choose a date when your missing CD drive was working properly. Click "Next." Your computer will restart to complete the restore process.


  • check If you accidentally corrupt the registry by making improper changes, click "File" and "Import," then select the backup file you created to restore the registry. If you feel uncomfortable editing the registry manually, download a file from Microsoft's website to make the changes automatically. When the download begins, click "Run" and follow the onscreen instructions.

About the Author

Jennifer Claerr is a web writer who has written for online sites such as Demand Studios,, and She has a degree in art from the University of Texas at Arlington. She writes on a variety of topics, including holidays, health and fitness, travel, computers and art.

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