cd and dvd drives have gone missing on xp sp3 - Now Fixed!!!

By mystified ·
I have lost access to both cd/dvd drives on home pc running Windows xp Home Edition with Service Pack 3: a nec nd-3550a and a lite-on 52327S.

Edit: fix for this and I suspect many other instances where devices have gone missing is posted

As far as I know, the only change to my pc between the time I last used the dvd and the failure was some Windows Patches downloaded from Microsoft and an upgrade to the latest Firefox.

Below is the list of all that I have tried so far. Either the fix is laughably easy or this is a unique bug.

I have convinced myself that the hardware is ok, BIOS is ok and the problem is in some Window Driver File ? but of course my CD/DVD Drives don't work so I can't just reload from a backup cd or anything.

I have tried most if not all the usual steps - detailed below - with no success.

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated.

What I have done:

1) Followed instructions at Microsoft for Missing cd/dvds:
ran Microsoft Tool to automatically fix the problem? which didn't

2) manually checked register ?HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}? looking to delete the 'upperfilter' or 'lowerfilter' but they don't exist.

3) manually uninstalled the drivers and rebooted to allow Windows to find the drives again. Each drive failed with the following message: ?Cannot start this hardware. Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver maybe corrupted or missing (Code 39)?

4) tried to manually update the drivers using Device Manager ? failed with the Code 39 error message as before.

5) in Device Manager verified all the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers showed as functioning properly

6 Downloaded latest driver from NEC and tried to flash the dvd and it fails with the following:
?Target NEC NC-2550A is not found correctly?

7) Installed registry patches for this problem:
- cdgone.reg patch:
- eHow Patch:

Physically removed both drives, uninstalled in Device Manager and rebooted; powered off and physically connected both drives but this time changed the Master/Slave jumper and rebooted:
- Same failure as before but Device Manager does show that the Master/Slave has changed
- tried to install directly using the NEC driver tool with same results as above

9) Uninstalled all the ghosts and hidden cd/dvd entries from Device Manager

10) Tried to use a previously saved 'Restore Point' but even though I have several going back several months, none of them will restore. They all fail to restore followed by the Code 39 Failed to Install Hardware message.

11) Ran a simple hardware diagnostic test and both drives are found, status shows 'OK' on both, they are correctly identified etc.

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I didn't see anywhere in your troubleshooting steps...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to cd and dvd drives have go ...

... where you unplugged both drives, turned the computer back on, then off again, then plug only ONE drive in and turned the computer back on.

I also don't see anywhere in your steps where you've actually tested either drive on a known good PC.

And, I don't see anywhere in your steps where you've tested a known good CD/DVD in this PC.

Finally, the fact the controlers 'show' in Windows as working properly doesn't mean they actually are. It just means Windows can see that it's there on the motherboard and communicate with it. And, Windows can't test the data cable nor the power leads.

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Thx ThumbsUp2....comments below

by mystified In reply to I didn't see anywhere in ...

1) Yes, I did unplug both drives, rebooted, powered off and plugged on one drive back in - the results were the same...."Can't start this Hardware - Code 39". That is when I swapped the M/S jumpers and Windows Device Driver recognized that the Slave was now the Master....but still would not install

2) No, I did not test the current drives in another pc or a known good drive in this one. I don't have resources but this might be a good time to go buy a new drive I have been looking at :-)

Two drives failing at the same time with the same symptoms kinda led me to believe there was one source problem effecting both drives but that is certainly an option to pursue

3)Until I get another drive to test - IF we assume that the new drive will fail with the same symptoms then I guess the problem will be in the controllers as you mentioned or in Windows. Assuming again that a new MotherBoard will be required to fix the controllers, is there a process to determine if Windows is not the real culprit before going off and buying new hardware?

Question, when Windows installs the cd/dvd drivers, are they installed in Windows OS or on the controllers themselves?

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