How to Fix a DVD or CD Drive Not Working or Missing in Windows 10
This might make you feel old, but CD/DVD drives for PC are now considered legacy hardware. As Windows 10 continues to modernize the operating system, support for such older hardware technology as optical drives is becoming increasingly spotty. This is unfortunate since many users still depend on CDs and DVDs. In fact, you might even need to use a DVD drive to install Windows 10 on your computer. One of the common complaints I have encountered among users is the loss of their DVD or CD drive after upgrading. This can be a result of a combination of factors: corrupt driver, out of date firmware, or a factory defect. Before you throw out your DVD drive and get a new one, here is a look at some troubleshooting steps you can try to get it working again.
Use Windows Update to Fix Windows 10 DVD Drive Issues
It’s not unusual for your optical drive to be working just fine in a previous version of Windows or Windows 10, then the minute you upgrade to a new version, it stops working. The first thing you can do is check Windows Update then install the latest drivers if there are any. For example, Microsoft released updates for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and version 1511 that resolved problems with optical drives. In this case, the cause of the problem was also the solution.
Click Start > Settings > Update & security. Make sure that your system is up to date and there are no hardware driver updates to install.
If you get a CD/DVD driver that works for you, you might want to consider stopping Windows 10 from automatically updating drivers in the future.
Reinstall or Update Driver in Device Manager
Boot to the Windows 10 desktop, then launch Device Manager by pressing Windows key + X and clicking Device Manager. Expand DVD/CD-ROM drives, right-click the optical drive listed, then click Uninstall. Exit Device Manager then restart your computer. Windows 10 will detect the drive then reinstall it. You can also use the option to Update Driver Software from within Device Manager.
Another option you can try – I notice this works for many users – involves removing and reinstalling the IDE/ATAPI drivers. Launch Device Manager again, click the View menu then click Show hidden devices. Expand IDE/ATAPI Controllers then uninstall each of the following:
- ATA Channel 0
- ATA Channel 1
- Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
There might be multiple entries listed for ATA Channel 0, 1 and PCI IDE Controller; uninstall all of them then restart your computer. Windows 10 will detect the drive then reinstall it.
Remove Virtual Drive Software
Virtual drive software, which is used to mount disc images (ISOs) can sometimes cause conflict with physical optical drives. If you have utilities such as Daemon Tools, PowerISO, ISO Recorder or similar software installed, remove them. Press Windows key + x and choose Programs and Features. Highlight the program and click Uninstall.
Check Your BIOS/UEFI Settings and Update Chipset Firmware
If your CD/DVD drive isn’t detected by Windows, make sure the drive is working and recognized in your computer’s firmware. Check out our article for instructions on how to load your BIOS or UEFI firmware interface. If you see your optical drive listed in the BIOS, that’s a good sign.
If you don’t see your CD/DVD drive in the BIOS/UEFI, then something is definitely awry.
Depending on the age of your system, there is a possibility your chipset drivers for your motherboard might be out of date. Check the manufacturer’s website for your computer and browse the downloads section for your particular model. Installing the latest chipset driver may resolve the issue with your optical drive not working properly or not being recognized in Windows.
You should also check if there are any BIOS or firmware updates for your system since these can improve Windows 10 compatibility with older hardware.
Edit Windows Registry to Fix CD Drive Issues in Windows 10
If the problem persists after exhausting these troubleshooting steps, then you can move on to making changes to the Windows 10 registry, which might restore functionality. Before carrying out any of these steps, make sure you back up your registry and create a system restore point just in case.
Press Windows key + x then click Command Prompt (Admin).
Enter the following command at the prompt, hit Enter, exit the command prompt then restart your computer.
reg.exe add “HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Controller0” /f /v EnumDevice1 /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001
Corrupt registry entries have also been known to cause problems with hardware such as optical drives. Removing these corrupt entries just might fix the problem.
Click Start, and type: regedit
Right-click regedit then click Run as administrator
Navigate to the following registry subkey:
In the right pane, click UpperFilters
From the Edit menu, click Delete then click Yes to confirm changes.
Repeat the same steps for LowerFilters.
If you don’t see an entry for LowerFilters, exit the registry then restart your computer.
Playing DVD Movies in Windows 10
Windows 10 does not include native DVD Playback, neither does it support Blu-ray media. If you want to do this inWindows 10, you need to install compatible software that supports your optical drive. Microsoft provides a universal DVD playback app for purchase from the Windows Store. If you don’t want to purchase software, you can check the manufacturer’s website to find out if they have supported software you can use to view your media. Third party software such as VLC Player might work with your media, and it’s free too.
How to Use Apple SuperDrive in Windows
The steps below outline installing Apple SuperDrive drivers for Windows so that the SuperDrive will function as expected:
- Boot into Windows, or get on the Windows PC trying to use SuperDrive if you have not done so already
- Go here to to the Apple Support Downloads site and locate the latest version of “Boot Camp Support Software” (5.1.5722 or newer)
- Download the Boot Camp Support Software zip file and unzip it on the computer
- From the unzipped “Bootcamp5” folder, navigate to \Bootcamp\Drivers\Apple\ and locate “AppleODDInstaller64.exe”
- Run the AppleODDInstaller64.exe executable file to install the appropriate drivers for Apple SuperDrive in Windows
These steps are intended to be from taken from Windows, however you could download the Boot Camp Support Software on a Mac and then transfer the zip file to Windows through USB, networking, or your method of choice if need be, or you could just extract the “\Bootcamp\Drivers\Apple\ AppleODDInstaller64.exe” (note it will be labeled “AppleODDInstaller.exe” if it’s 32-bit version) file on a Mac and transfer that exe installer to Windows. You must be in Windows to run and install the actual Bootcamp Drivers for SuperDrive, however.
This should work to get an Apple SuperDrive working on any modern Windows version, including Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. Note that if you’re on a notably older Windows release, you’d want to download an earlier version of Boot Camp drivers that contain the 32-bit exe rather than the 64-bit exe, and otherwise it should work the same as well.
Once the drivers are installed properly in Windows, the Apple SuperDrive should accept discs, read, write, and eject them as expected, just like it does on the Mac. Of course you could also just get a different external DVD-RW / CDRW drive too at less cost, as many of the other solutions either work immediately with plug-and-play in Windows and Mac OS, but the SuperDrive situation is helpful if you already have one from a Mac, or you want to stay consistent with Apple hardware. Why buy new hardware when you have something that already works, right? The same logic applies to using a Windows keyboard on a Mac, and many other common peripherals that are compatible with both a Mac and PC, even if they require some minor tinkering to get working as intended.
Hopefully, these tips can resurrect your optical drive. If you still cannot get the drive to work or show up in Windows 10, you can consider rolling back to your previous Windows version to see if it makes a difference; or consider purchasing a new drive. A convenient option is a USB external optical drive. This is not the answer many of you were hoping to hear, but its an option to consider (and will only set you back about $25).
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