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Windows 7: Optical drives have disappeared

02 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
Optical drives have disappeared

My two optical drives have disappeared. I've searhed this and other forums for solutions and the ones that are Wizards from MS can't seem to find anything wrong. I'm pretty sure this has happened after a big string of Win 7 updates or some other software update I can't remember. Any thoughts other than those on-line MS auto troubleshooters?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

My first question in this case is when the computer is booting, have you checked to see if the drives are detected by the BIOS? (Usually DEL or F10 or F2 will bring up the BIOS) If they are, then I would suggest doing a System Restore to when they were detected to see if this fixes the issue. If not, look in Device Manager (in the Control Panel) and see if anything shows up under DVD/CD-ROM Drives. Is there a question mark next to the devices, if so, double-click on them to see the error code.

If they however are not showing up in the BIOS at all, then most likely it's a hardware problem. Check the cables to make sure they are properly plugged in. Are these SATA or IDE optical drives? If SATA, try them in a known good working port to see if the BIOS can detect them. If not, you may have bad drives. Also try a different SATA (or IDE) cable if you can to see if this solves the issue. If you have another PC, you may also try these drives in a different PC to see if they are detected there or not. If they are, you may have a problem with the connectors but if they are not detected in another PC, then the drives are bad.

Include as many details as you can and let us know if any of this helps you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

One drive is SATA and one is IDE. Yes, the drives do show up as normal in BIOS. However there are exclamation symbols in Device Manager and during one attempt to fix this thing I got a message saying there was a driver problem so I uninstalled both drivers and got them reinstalled by rebooting Win 7. If one drive had disappeared I would quickly assume a drive problem or failure but both drives simulaneously and suddenly? A stretch for me that one. Let me know what else I can tell you. Thanks Darician.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

Bingo, I googled this problem once again before unhooking and hauling the machine out to my shop and almost immediately found a posting from over seas that recommended a registry edit:
cdrw-cdrom drivers dissapeared from windows xp
I rebooted and the problem was gone. Now I remember doing this 8 or 9 months ago and it fixed the same problem but I had completely forgotten what I had done. Hope this helps someone else who has the same head-scratcher! And thanks to you who have tried to help...........a big thank you. Hope I can return the favor someday.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Optical drives have disappeared

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