Windows won’t recognize DVD: 6 solutions to fix this problem

By: Elsie Otachi
6 minute read
Windows won't recognize DVD

Have you ever tried to use your CD or DVD drive and received a message prompt saying Windows doesn’t recognize DVD?

Most users who get this message may not know what to do in the first instance, and it can be nerve-wracking trying to figure it out, or find support through other channels of assistance.

But there are several solutions to resolving this issue, and we share these with you in this article.

Signs that Windows doesn’t recognize your DVD drive

Before we go through each solution to fixing the Windows doesn’t recognize your DVD drive issue, it is good to know the symptoms that manifest prior to this.

If you see any of these signs, then it means Windows doesn’t recognize your DVD drive:

  1. If your DVD drive is not visible on File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer in Windows 7 and earlier versions)
  2. Your device is marked with a yellow exclamation point in Device Manager
  3. After opening Properties for your device, you get one of these errors under Device Status
  • Code 19: Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information is incomplete or damaged
  • Code 31:The device is not working properly because Windows cannot load drivers required for this device
  • Code 32: A driver (service) for this device has been disabled. An alternate driver may be providing this functionality
  • Code 39: Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing
  • Code 41: Windows successfully loaded the device driver for this hardware but cannot find the hardware device

These are the most common errors under Device Status, and they can be brought about by three main issues: undertaking a Windows OS upgrade, installing or uninstalling DVD recording programs, or uninstalling Microsoft Digital Image.

In order to resolve the Windows doesn’t recognize DVD issue, here are six solutions to get you started:

  1. Use Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
  2. Reinstall or update the driver
  3. Remove and reinstall IDE/ATAPI drivers
  4. Fix corrupted registry entries
  5. Create registry subkey
  6. Check BIOS settings and chipset drivers

Solution 1: Use Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

In order to fix the Windows doesn’t recognize DVD problem by using Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, do the following:

  • Right click on Start button
  • Click on Run
  • Type Control in the Run dialog box
  • Click Ok, or press Enter
  • Locate the Search box in the Control Panel
  • Type Troubleshooter
  • Click Troubleshooting
  • Go to Hardware and Sound
  • Click Configure a device
  • A new pop up set up box will appear
  • Click Next
  • You will immediately see the set up trying to detect problems
  • If it finds your DVD drive and recommends a solution, click ‘Apply Fix’

If this doesn’t resolve the Windows doesn’t recognize DVD issue, try the second solution.


Solution 2: Reinstall or update the driver

In order to update your driver, locate the driver on the official website of your device manufacturer’s website, then follow the instructions to install it.

In order to reinstall your driver, take the following steps:

  • Right click Start button
  • Click Run
  • Type devmgmt.msc in the Run box
  • Click OK or press Enter
  • You will see the Device Manager box
  • Go to DVD/CD-ROM drives and click on the arrow to collapse the list
  • Right click CD and DVD devices
  • Choose Uninstall
  • If prompted to confirm removal of the device, click OK
  • Reboot your computer

Your CD/DVD drivers will be installed automatically once your computer reboots.

Try solution 3 if this one did not resolve the issue.


Solution 3: Remove and reinstall IDE/ATAPI drivers

IDE/ATAPI are software development tools used to write and test programs or software. Some users have said the IDE/ATAPI interface is obsolete today because newer motherboards don’t have it anymore, and has been replaced with Serial ATA, found on most desktops and laptops.

However, in order to remove and reinstall the IDE/ATAPI drivers on your computer, take these steps:

  • Right click Start
  • Click on Device Manager
  • Click View on the menu
  • Select Show Hidden Devices
  • Click on the arrow next to IDE/ATAPI controllers to expand the list
  • Select and right click ATA Channel 0, and click Uninstall. Do the same for the other entries on the list
  • Restart your device or computer
  • Your drivers will be installed automatically once your device or computer restarts

If Windows doesn’t recognize DVD drive even after doing this, use the next solution.


Solution 4: Fix corrupted registry entries

The reason this problem occurs may be because there are two Windows registry entries that have been corrupted.

Follow these steps to use your computer’s Registry Editor to remove and delete the corrupted entries:

  • Right click Start button
  • Click Run
  • Type regedit in the Run box
  • Click OK or press Enter
  • If a password or administrator permission is required, click Yes or Allow
  • Find and select this registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  • On the right pane, choose UpperFilters (if you see UpperFilters.bak, don’t remove it)
  • Click UpperFilters (you can also remove LowerFilters if UpperFilters doesn’t show)
  • On the Edit menu, select Delete
  • Select Yes if prompted to confirm deletion
  • Select LowerFilters in the right pane

Note: if LowerFilters doesn’t show under registry entry, use these steps:

  • On Edit menu, select Delete
  • Confirm deletion by selecting Yes
  • Exit Registry Editor
  • Reboot your computer

In order to use this method, you need to have logged into Windows as an administrator.

If you want to verify that you are logged in as administrator, do the following:

  • Right click on Start
  • Click Control Panel
  • Select User Accounts
  • Select Manage User Accounts

Note: The steps outlined above for Registry Editor must be followed carefully because any incorrect modifications to the registry may cause serious damage to your computer.

Before making any changes, backup the registry for restoration in case of any problems.

Sometimes, this method may cause CD/DVD recording software to have bugs or not work correctly. In case this happens, try to uninstall and reinstall the affected app, and check with its creator for an updated version.

If this method still didn’t work to resolve the Windows doesn’t recognize DVD issue, go to solution 5.


Solution 5: Create registry subkey

In order to create a registry subkey, take the following steps:

  • Right click Start button
  • Click Run
  • Type regedit in the Run box
  • Click OK or press Enter
  • If a password or administrator permission is required, click Yes or Allow
  • Find and select this registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesatapi
  • Right click ATAPI then point on New and select Key
  • Type Controller0
  • Press Enter
  • Right click Controller0 then point New and select DWORD(32-bit) Value
  • Type EnumDevice1
  • Press Enter
  • Right click EnumDevice1
  • Select Modify…
  • Type 1 in Value data box
  • Click OK
  • Exit Registry Editor
  • Reboot your computer

In order to use this method, you need to have logged into Windows as an administrator.

If you want to verify that you are logged in as administrator, do the following:

  • Right click on Start
  • Click Control Panel
  • Select User Accounts
  • Select Manage User Accounts

Use this method on Windows 7, 8/8.1, or Windows 10 (version 1507). These issues are not found in Windows 10 version 1511 or later versions.

Note: The steps outlined above for Registry Editor must be followed carefully because any incorrect modifications to the registry may cause serious damage to your computer.

Before making any changes, backup the registry for restoration in case of any problems.


Solution 6: Check BIOS settings and chipset drivers

If you’re unsure about how to check your BIOS settings, contact your device’s manufacturer, because BIOS systems differ, such that one device may not have similar settings to another, so you need to do this to verify that your drive is activated in your device’s BIOS.

You can also check with your device’s manufacturer whether your device came with the CD/DVD drive, or it is purchased separately and that the chipset drivers are up to date, or current.

Your manufacturer should be able to assist with any further troubleshooting issues you may have if the first three solutions didn’t work.

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