My optical drive is not reading any type of disk.

Open the Device Manager (click START, right click on COMPUTER, left click on MANAGE, choose DEVICE MANAGER on the left, an alphabetical list of hardware will populate on the right). Click to expand the listing for DVD/CD-ROM DRIVES. Are the drive(s) listed but with a yellow exclamation mark as in the image below?

Or when double-clicking the optical drive, does the status report read "This device cannot start. (Code 10)" or "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)"? (Follow the link at the end of this article for more common error messages related to this issue.)

If yes, then your optical drives may not be present in Windows Explorer and will not be able to read or write to any disk. This occurs with Windows systems (2000, XP, Vista) when software with CD/DVD authoring capabilities (burnware) such as iTunes or Nero is installed or uninstalled. It also occassionally happens when upgrading from XP to Vista. Essentially, the problem is Windows registry key corruption, but it can be fixed by following the steps below. This utility also repairs the missing Recording Tab issue in XP systems.

NOTE: if you do not run the Drivefix file in Safe Mode, it likely will not work. This is because UAC or antivirus softwares can block changes to the registry.

  1. Download the VM Drivefix v2 utility.
  2. Reboot the system in Safe Mode (this step is important, do not skip it!) and then run the utility there.
  3. When completed, restart the system in normal mode and test your drives.

This fix is only temporary. Though not very common, the problem may return as the offending software may recreate the issue. The closest things to a permanent solution to this issue is to not use the software that causes the corruption.

For more information about this issue, visit Microsoft's Support Site: