Tip

How to fix CD/DVD-ROM issues in Windows 2000 and XP

Many third-party programs that control CD or DVD burning (as well as some player applications) install CD- or DVD-ROM filter device drivers into Windows. These filter drivers are meant to allow for low-level hooks into the hardware, to allow for functions such as packet writing (where a CD-R/W or DVD-/+RW can be written incrementally, like a hard disk).

How CD/DVD issues can occur

These filter drivers sometimes have problems that can cause the CD or DVD drive to stop working correctly. The device entry for the CD or DVD drive in the Device Manager may show up with an error descriptor that reads "The device could not start." Additionally, there may be an error message that reads "One of the filter drivers for this device is invalid." The devices themselves do not show up in Explorer. Error codes for the device include code 31, code 32, code 19 or code 39, and sometimes the even more ominous warning "Your registry might be corrupted" appears.

Fixing the CD/DVD problem simply involves deleting the filter entries for the third-party device drivers. These entries can sometimes become damaged (which is what produces the "corrupt registry" warning).

How to fix CD/DVD issues

To delete the offending keys, open the Windows Registry and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. . Delete the keys named UpperFilters and LowerFilters

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and reboot.

Several of the products made by Roxio are infamous for causing this problem, although in fairness to the company the most recent versions of their Roxio CD/DVD writing software (6.2 and higher) do not have these problems. Users of 5.0 or 6.0 editions of the Easy CD & DVD Creator product, which has been bundled with many new PCs in the past, should upgrade to 6.2 or better. Other programs can also cause this problem, with the same solution.

Note that after you do this, you may lose functionality in the program that uses the filter drivers, which may need to be reinstalled.


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About the author:
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Insight, (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.


This was first published in April 2004

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