DVD/CD Drives Not Seen and/or ACCESSIBLE

Discussion in 'CD/DVD/BD Drives' started by thenoo, May 18, 2008.

  1. thenoo

    thenoo Member

    I have XP Pro SP2 with 2 SATA H/D's and a CD a DVD drive installed.

    The other day , while attempting to install an Update for MS Word I was unable to access the CD Drive . On further checking I noticed that neither the CD or the DVD drive was showing in Windows Explorer and , on further checking , both drives also failed to appear in Device Manager.
    This was also the case in Safe Mode.

    When I booted into the BIOS , neither drive showed there .

    As I have experienced this symptom about a year ago I remembered a MS recovery process for this problem which involved removing the UpperFilters and LowerFilters entries in the Registry and then re-booting.

    No LowerFilter entries were found in the relevant section of the Registry but there was an UpperFilter entry which contained the phrase "GEARAspWDM".
    I deleted this and re-booted.
    Although this had cured the problem the last time I had experienced it , ( although I can't remember exactly what had appeared there then ) , it did not do so this time.

    I then decided to re-install a BootIt Image File of the C: drive which I had created and inserted the BootIt CD into the CD Drive ! - Strangely enough this drive worked and thus recovered the Image File of the C:drive which had been created before this problem had occurred.

    On re-booting the drives now once more appeared and were again accessible.

    However , after several subsequent re-boots to update data to the recovered C: DRIVE , the CD/DVD drives again were missing as before.

    I eventually switched the PC off last night in the above condition but , when I turned it on this morning , the CD/DVD drives were again visible and accessible.

    I checked the relevent Registry entries out of curiosity and found no reference to either UpperFilters and/or LowerFilters and no mention of the data entry "GEARAspWDM"

    So far I have not re-booted the PC as it was by doing so yesterday that brought the return of the CD Drive problem.

    Any comments on this would be of great interest.

    Incidentally , the phrase "GEARAspWDM" does still appear in the Registry but not in the path "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-...etc....} mentioned in the MS Troubleshoot advice- if that is significant .
  2. oldjoe

    oldjoe Well-Known Member

    Usually, uninstalling the drives in Device Manager and a reboot will remedy that situation. Not showing in the Bios would suggest a problem with cabling, or perhaps a failing piece of hardware.
    If the problem continues, I would suggest removing one of the optical units at a time and see if the problem reoccurs.
  3. thenoo

    thenoo Member

    Thanks for the reply.
    Since my post , the drives show up and disappear at irregular and , seemingly , random intervals.

    I've been reluctant to delve into the case as its under the desk and festooned with cables ( like most other PC systems ! )
    However its looking like I will have to do it to try to isolate the problem .
  4. thenoo

    thenoo Member

    On-Going CD/DVD drive Problem

    I have again had a re-occurrence of the above problem , this time with the phrase "GEARAspWDM" appearing again in the previously mentioned "UpperFilters" section of the Registry, Deleting this again did not solve the problem.

    It may be worth mentioning here that , in spite of the non-appearance of both the CD & DVD drives in Windows Explorer, Device Manager, Safe Mode and in the BIOS , if I insert a bootable CD into the drive , this works !

    It would therefore appear that the drive is there but is merely invisible .

    What is preventing it from being visible ?
  5. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    No one should ever randomly remove filters from one's registry.

    If a filter appears in your filter stack (in your registry), but the corresponding driver doesn't exist on your hard drive (in the appropriate place), windows will make your drives poof.
  6. thenoo

    thenoo Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    I don't think my removal of the filters from the Registry could reasonably be called "random". I was merely following the instructions listed in "http://microsoft.com/kb/314060"
    This action was successful in restoring my optical drives when I had experienced this problem some time ago so it was surely natural to try it again when my symptoms this time seemed identical.

    Unfortunately , this time , it didn't work.

    However , I have some more details of this problem since my last post.

    This norming , after re-booting the P.C ( I had it shut down during the night ) - the CD and DVD drives were , once again visible. On checking the UpperFilters in the registry , there were no UpperFilter or LowerFilter entries . The was , however . the driver "GEARAspiWDM.sys" in the driver Folder.

    I seem to remember that , when experiencing this problem some time ago , the drives also re-appeared after a morning switching on.

    Such occurrences would , perhaps , suggest that this problem was , somehow, due to overeheating but there has been no indication of any overheating .

    Could overheating make the optical drives become invisible ?

    Also , how can the fact that the CD drive seems to work when a bootable disk is inserted in spite of being invisible?

    I should also , perhaps mention here that I am using iTunes and the associated EAC software which asked me to instal a file called "VOB.exe" the other day which I think is associated with the GEAR driver .
    I have been reading , in my research into this problem, some comments regarding the possible link between optical driver problems and either/or iTunes or GEAR drivers.
  7. Frank

    Frank SlySoft Support Team

    Driver or BIOS ??

    It sounds very strange that you do not "see" the drives in BIOS which is something that should NEVER happen at that nuts and bolts level.

    It begins to look like your BIOS has a problem. Just for fun, can you plug the drives (assumed on the same IDE cable) to the other controller on the board?

    There is not much sense in looking at Gear or anything else at the operating system level as from there it is hardly possible to kill off a BIOS option since that interface is on the other side of the wall.

    If you can boot from the drive then this MUST appear in the "boot order" menu in your BIOS map. If you do NOT see the drive in the drive list then something is very much wrong with your hardware. ;)
  8. Webslinger

    Webslinger Retired Moderator

    Yeah, people who know what they're doing should completely avoid doing that. It causes more problems than it's worth. You end up having to reinstall software as a result. Again, if an item in your filter stack is listed, the corresponding driver must be installed in the proper place on your hard drive--or windows will make your drives disappear. Anydvd, Clonedvd, etc. do install entries in the filter stack in the windows registry. If those entries are removed, those programs will cease to function properly.

    But what Frank wrote is absolutely correct. I missed what you wrote earlier about your computer not seeing the drives at the bios level. That needs to be addressed--before you start messing around with Windows. It doesn't matter what you do in Windows if bios can't see your drives.

    Check cables on the back of your optical drives (replace them). It's more likely, however, that you have a hardware issue (possibly involving a controller on your motherboard).
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  9. thenoo

    thenoo Member

    I'll try swopping the drives around on the m/b controllers if it re-occurs

    I agree that not seeing the drives in the "boot order" is extremely strange and ominous , not to mention puzzling considering that , in spite of this lack in the "boot order" , the drive still boots from a boot disk .

    Could an IDE Controller have been corrupted here , I wonder ?
  10. Frank

    Frank SlySoft Support Team

    It would not be the first time that a controller on the MoBo has gone south.

    Please do what Webslinger and I have suggested and let's go from there - looking to getting this working from the ground up.