Technical Reference: FIX: Windows XP CDROM doesn't work - Device Manager shows Exclamation Point

Windows XP can have a problem where your CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-RW (any optical drive) does not show up as a drive letter, and Device Manager shows a yellow exclamation point.  (CDROM Device appears with a "!")

You've likely already tried the normal deletion of the device and a reboot, but with no fix.  The device comes back but still shows with a problem / error / fault status.

If you have extra hardware, you may have even replaced the drive thinking it was broken.  Or used a different brand thinking the drivers may be different.  Yet still none of these fixes work.

Here is one fix we've used often, and found fixed the problem with a simple registry edit and reboot:

  1. Click Start, then Run
  2. Type: regedit
  3. Drill down the tree to the following registry key:


    Note: There are a lot of keys starting with 4D36E... and ending with ...E10318, be careful to find the correct one.
  4. Find the two Multi-String values named UpperFilters and LowerFilters and blank out their values.

    Note: Don't delete the values or the key, just highlight the data and delete the contents.
  5. Reboot.  After the reboot, you should have a drive letter assigned to your optical drive and Device Manager should no longer show a yellow exclamation point!


For your convenience, here is a .REG file that can be saved to disk and imported into your registry that fixes the values above: Windows_XP_CDROM_Fix.REG

Microsoft's official Knowledge Base article describing the same problem and fix:

This may not fix your particular problem having this behaviour, but it's an easy step in the troubleshooting process.


This article viewed 34137 times as of 05/26/2024 --- First published on 06/14/2009 --- Last modified on 06/14/2009

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