Troubleshooting a CD/DVD drive problem

Here’s an example of how to resolve a problem where installing an older application on Windows 7 x64 created a driver compatibility issue that prevented the CD/DVD drive from functional. I tried to get an old CD-burning program installed in Windows XP Mode on a 64-bit Windows 7 workstation and my CD/DVD drives stopped working on the machine. I soon determined out that this happened because the CD-burning program installed an old and incompatible driver (W2K3x64, unsigned) which disabled the Windows 7 driver. The way I determined this was by opening Device Manager, opening the properties of the CD/DVD drive, selecting the Drivers tab, and clicking Driver Details. This showed that there were two drivers for the device: cdrom.sys (Microsoft’s in-box driver) and an additional third-party driver from the vendor of the old CD-burning program. Installing the vendor’s program under Windows XP Mode had disabled the cdrom.sys driver and enabled the vendor’s driver, but unfortunately the vendor’s driver was an unsigned driver designed for Windows Server 2003 x64 that didn’t work under Windows 7 x64. What to do? 

To get my CD/DVD drives working again, I had to delete the UpperFilters registry key found under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. That’s because installing the CD-burning program under Windows XP Mode had created this registry key in Windows 7. For more details concerning this issue and how to resolve it, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

Moral of the story: Don’t be cheap if you upgrade to a new OS, make sure you get upgraded versions of your apps as well.

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see

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