The optical drive is very much essential part of a Windows PC. It is used to play files from CD or DVD on any PC. Sometimes, Windows computer users face a common issue regarding CD/DVD drive i.e. optical drive is missing or not showing in My Computer/This PC/Windows Explorer section when the condition of the DVD/CD drive is fine, and it should be working properly. Another scenario may arise when Windows explorer shows the optical drive on My Computer/This PC area, but it is not functioning properly and unable to play any files from CD or DVD.
Possible Reasons of CD/DVD Drive Not Showing Error
If you mishandle the OS of your PC or if your Windows OS gets affected by any virus, you may face CD/DVD drive not working problem. Here I list few possible reasons.
- Windows Registry files are corrupted: Due to some malicious attack or virus infection on your computer, the configuration information in Windows registry entry of your PC may damage, resulting in Windows can not start the optical hardware device and the drive fails to work correctly.
- A problem with CD/DVD driver installed on your PC: If the CD/DVD drive is outdated or corrupted, or missing, then you may fall into trouble while trying to play files from the optical drive. If the OS can’t load the driver (which is required to make the device work) properly, you may get into a problem with your CD/DVD drive.
- The problem arises when the device driver of Windows is fine, but there is an issue with the hardware device (hardware device is damaged or missing).
- The optical drive of a Windows PC will not work if the device driver of the PC is disabled. A system administrator can disable it to prevent unauthorized file transfer from a PC. Sometimes, the device driver can be disabled by the virus.
What are the Possibilities of the Occurrence?
The corruption of the hardware device driver may happen when you try to install or uninstall a built-in program related to CD/DVD recording. Uninstallation of Microsoft Digital Image might be the main factor of damaging optical device driver in your Windows PC.
So far, I have discussed the possible reasons due to which the CD/DVD drive in your Windows is not working. Now, I have discussed the different possible solutions to get rid of “Optical drive missing problem”.
Solution #1: Check the BIOS Setting of your Windows PC
Accidentally, the Optical drive may be disabled from the BIOS/Chipset setting. If such, you can not find the DVD drive in your This PC/My computer section. Just, go to your BIOS setting and verify that all the drives (including the optical drive) are configured properly. If you find anything wrong in the BIOS setting, just enable the CD/DVD drive as your preferred optical drive. That’s all.
Solution #2: Run Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter to Fix CD/DVD Drive Missing Problem
If you are a Windows 7/8/10/11 user, you need to use Windows troubleshooter for fixing problems with hardware devices. To open troubleshooter in Windows OS,
Open Control Panel and go to search option of it.
Type ‘Troubleshooter’ and click on the ‘Troubleshooting’ option then.
Click “Configure a device” option which is just under the “Hardware and Sound” option.
Now, follow the on-screen instruction to solve the problem. If still CD and DVD drive do not work, you should follow the next solution.
Solution #3: Update or Uninstall and Reinstall CD/DVD Device Driver
At first update the device driver from the manufacturer’s website. If not available you can do that directly from the Device manager of your Windows computer. Let me show you the procedure.
Press Windows+R button together to open Run dialogue box.
Type devmgmt.msc there and press Enter button to open Windows device manager.
Navigate to DVD/CD-Rom Drives and expand it to open the optical drive connected to your computer.
Right-click on the ROM drive and click on ‘Update driver’ option.
If this does not work for you, select the “Uninstall device” option from the same right-click context menu and confirm the removal.
Restart your computer, and the driver will be installed automatically to your Windows after the restart. Alternatively, you can go through the “scan for hardware changes” option to reinstall the driver automatically.
If the problem that you face is related to the device driver, it should be solved after following the above step.
Additionally, you can uninstall and reinstall the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers from the same list of Device manager. You need to enable “show hidden files” option in the device manager to get IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers option in the list.
However, try the next step if the problem is not solved.
Solution #4: Fix Corrupted Registry Files to Solve CD/DVD Drive is not Showing Error
Don’t forget to backup Windows Registry to an external drive to avoid any problem on your PC.
- Open Windows Run dialogue box and type ‘Regedit’ there. Press Enter to open Windows Registry editor.
- Navigate to the following key:
- At the right side pane of the key, delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters strings (if you find any).
- Restart your computer now. You hopefully can access the optical drive of your Windows PC now.
I do not find any UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry entry on my PC. If you do not find any such entries in the registry, you need to create a registry sub key to bypass missing CD/DVD drive problem.
Solution #5: Create a Registry Subkey
Go to the following key:
and create a new subkey Controller0 under ATAPI.
Select the new Controller0 key and create a new Dword EnumDevice1 with value 1.
Close the registry editor and restart the PC. Hope, you can see the CD/DVD drive in your My Computer/This PC section.
ALternatively, you can use the command prompt to add the registry subkey directly. Open the command prompt as administrator and run the following command:
reg.exe add "HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Controller0" /f /v EnumDevice1 /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000001
If none of the above methods work for you, you can use a good antivirus to scan your PC for any virus infection that prevents you from accessing CD/DVD drive in My Computer section of Windows system.