CDROM Icon Missing

Category: Hardware

When I go to My Computer the CDROM and DVD icons are gone. They were there yesterday, and working fine. It seems like this happened after I removed some CD burner software. Now I can't install anything from a CDROM, or play music CD's -- help!

CDrom disappeared... evil gnomes to blame?

Help, My CDROM Disappeared!

It's possible that evil gnomes have snuck into your computer and stolen the CDROM drive. Or sometimes they just loosen the wires, leave the drive in your computer, and then watch as the hilarity ensues. It could be a hardware issue, but more likely, it's a software problem. It's a known problem that certain CDROM or DVD software packages don't uninstall properly, and afterwards Windows cannot find the CDROM/DVD drive. Fortunately, that problem is pretty easy to fix.

But first, let's make sure that your CDROM drive is physically connected to the computer. Open My Computer, then click on View system information. When System Properties window appears, select the Hardware tab, then press the Device Manager button.

device manager   device manager

device manager
Click the "+" sign next to DVD/CD-ROM Drives. If your CDROM device is connected and has power, at least one entry should appear under that heading, as shown in this example. If you don't see a DVD/CD-ROM Drives heading, or nothing appears beneath it, you should open up your computer and check to see if both the power and data (ribbon) cables are securely connected to the CDROM drive. See photos for examples of the connectors and the back of a typical CDROM drive.

With the computer turned OFF, remove the two cables from the connectors on the back of the drive, then reseat them firmly. Check the other end of the ribbon cable to make sure it's plugged firmly into the motherboard. Sometimes it helps to make grunting noises during this process. After restarting the computer, if the CDROM drive still doesn't show up on the My Computer or the Device Manager screen, it's probably defective.

power cable   data/ribbon cable   data cable

The Software Fix

If you have eliminated gnomes, loose wires and defective hardware, there's no choice left: Blame the Software. As I mentioned earlier, removing some CD burning software can muck up your Windows system registry, preventing Windows from accessing the CDROM drive. And once in a while, a system file (driver software) may be damaged, leaving the device in limbo. If you are able to see the drive in Device Manager (see above), right click on the drive name and select Properties.

Does the Device status area show an error message that refers to a missing or corrupted driver, or Code 19, Code 31, Code 32, Code 39 or Code 41? If your CDROM drive was working, you could re-install the driver software from the manufacturer's CDROM. So that option is obviously not going to work too well. But if you can find the website of your CDROM vendor, try to download and install the most recent driver software for your CDROM drive. Sometimes that (and a system restart) will resolve the problem with Windows not "seeing" the drive.

The System Restore feature built in to Windows XP may also help. Windows periodically takes regular snapshots of your Windows configuration, settings, and program files. If you can remember the most recent time when your computer was working correctly, System Restore will roll back all system changes to that point. For help using this feature, see my illustrated System Restore article.

If none of those procedures revive the drive, we must put on the surgical gloves and hack the Windows registry. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Click Start, then Run, then enter REGEDIT to open the Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class entry
  3. Under the Class entry, double click on {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  4. In the right-hand pane, click ONCE to select the UpperFilters entry
  5. Make sure the UpperFilters entry is highlighted, press Delete, then Yes.
  6. In the right-hand pane, click ONCE to select the LowerFilters entry
  7. Make sure the LowerFilters entry is highlighted, press Delete, then Yes.
  8. Close the Registry Editor by clicking File, Exit.

registry editor

Restart your computer, and the CDROM drive should now show up on the My Computer screen. You may need to re-install your CDROM software if it's not working properly.

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Most recent comments on "CDROM Icon Missing"

(See all 131 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

28 Jan 2010

Man, you are a genius !!!
working brilliant !!


Posted by:

09 Feb 2010

Doesn't work for me. I can see the CD/DVD drive in bios. I can even boot up from a bootable cd. I just can't see it in Windows.. neither in my computer or in device manager. I don't want to reformat, unless it is my last option. Any suggestions anyone?

Posted by:

11 Feb 2010

there's no "upper filter" or "lower filter" option..what should I do in that case?

Posted by:

24 Feb 2010

wow, thank you very much for your guidelines. the problem is solved and it was work properly. once again thanks.

Posted by:

01 Mar 2010

i have lost my email icon to click on for email.Please help i do not know what to do.Thanks

Posted by:

27 Mar 2010

Hello Bob,
I got a IBM T40 laptop with XP OS. I replaced my dvd/cd-rw to dvd multi recorder/cd-rw. Now, the problem, it won't play movies and wont burn movies but it burn and play cds. I don't have a driver for this dvd multi recorder. Do you have any idea how to fix this problem? thanks

Posted by:

30 Mar 2010

Hello, I have a problem with my dvd drive. It plays and record cds but when I play movies there's no audio even volume is to the max and its in fastforward speed even the setting is only on normal speed. I already tried uninstalling and reinstalling the driver but still won't work. I also tried the upper and lower keys still doesnt work. Does anybody know how to fix it? Please help, urgent! thanks ps. I got IBM T40 with XP.

Posted by:

15 May 2010

Hello..i am Deepan From Thailand...sorry but i followed your instruction but i couldn't able to solve the problem.. i still can't see my DVD icon and when i try to instell new window it doesn't work. i checked the cable and all other things but still can't i try everyday but can't i don't know what happen? do you have another way to solve this problem..please help me....thank you...

Posted by:

11 Jul 2010

Thanks, You saved my life. Again thank you.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2010

I can't use my cd/dvd drive, it doesn't show up on device manager and there are no registry entries for upper and lower registers to delete, any other suggestions?

Posted by:

27 Aug 2010

I can't show the upper filters in my registry...

Posted by:

20 Sep 2010

thanks i had to save some files from cds & i read ur suggestions followed them & I SOLVED it ..

Posted by:

01 Oct 2010

there's no "upper filter" or "lower filter" option..what should I do in that case?

Posted by:

01 Nov 2010

hi....I am using Windows Vista Laptop. My CD Drive icon is missing from both My computer and from Device Driver. What do I do now?
Awaiting your reply.

Posted by:

01 Mar 2011

hey bob i tried the instructions above and now my touch pad doesn't work along with all of my keys on the laptop wont work. HELP . Im wondering if i might of deleted all the upper filters and lower filters
can you help me out

Posted by:

04 Aug 2011

i have the same problem, the device is not shown in My computer or device manager. please help with this issue.

Posted by:

dennis tebaldi
23 Oct 2011

MGI Photosuite III SE came bundled with my scanner.
When I open the program, the Internet Properties dialog box opens instead of the program itself.

This didn't happen until recently.
I'm using Windows XP SP3.

Thank you.

Posted by:

Jeet Gurung
19 Dec 2011

You can try the microsoft fix it for it which resolves all the Cd Dvd not working, icon missing, not burning issues.

download the fix it with the following link.

run it and restart your system, you will find your icon or all the error will be fixed.

Posted by:

Delson Sunday Musa
07 Feb 2013

Thanks Brother, God will give you much more to take care of his people. Your Blessed.

Posted by:

19 Dec 2013

I was having trouble since my DVD icon was disappear , but from your suggestion it restored back.. Thank you dude, thank you very much..

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- CDROM Icon Missing (Posted: 20 Jun 2006)
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