DVD Drives Not Recognized in W2000

For some strange reason, all of a sudden windows 2000 refuses to recognize both of my DVD drives (NEC 3500 & NEC 5700). These drives were working OK last week.

  1. In Device Manager they show up with a yellow exclamation mark.
  2. They are recognized in the BIOS, but don’t show up in Explorer.
  3. I tried uninstalling both and rebooting nothing happens.
  4. They are both powered, and light up and the trays open and close.
  5. They don’t show up in safe mode either.

Some software on my machine: DVD Shrink, CloneCD (old/expired), AnyDVD, Nero, maybe some other DVD player or writer programs… but like I said, it worked fine last week. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Uninstall the IDE controller channel that the drive(s) are on and reboot. If that doesn’t fix it, then the odds are good that some driver or software has come along and messed things up. Also possible that the IDE cable is bad or loose.

Yep, replace the ide cable.

OK I’ll try replacing/reconfiguring (see below) the cable, but I can’t imagine a cable actually going when it’s not that old?

While you’'re at it, boot to Windows while the IDE cable is removed, then shut down and install it. This is a sort of a “hard un-install” of the drives and might help.

OK, it’s not the cable. I disconnected both drives and rebooted. Then I tried a different cable… nothing different, still not seen once I got past the BIOS check. Switched the cable over to my HDDs and rebooted again, HDDs seen fine… so the cable works.

Someone told me once that if you try to remove CD/DVD writing software, sometimes it causes a problem like this but they didn’t know if that was Windows or Windows 2000.

So I need to try something else. And BTW, how do I find and remove the IDE controller channel? Will this prevent me from booting to my HDDs?

There is no point in uninstalling the IDE controller at this point, cause you already did that when you booted with the drives disconnected. But it is found in device manager, and no it does not interfere with booting.

What software have you added, removed or updated since the drives last worked? Looks like you may well be up against this very issue. Do a search for “upper filters” and “lower filters” and you find plenty of articles on this. MS KB article 314060 is a good start.



regedit will not allow me to delete the files. Should I look for regedt32.exe (where can I download that)?

regedt32 is - like regedit - already there.


I went to the MS pages usggested and followed the process they recommend to remove the upper and lower filters using regedt32 (the spelling tricked me). Nothing seems to have changed. When I reboot, the boot screen still shows both my CD/DVD drives, identifies them by brand (NEC) and model number. When I went into windows the first thing that came up was ANYDVD and it told me that no DVD drives were detected, and this was confirmed when I went into explorer (not there). If I go into the device manager, the drives did show up with exclamation marks and of course, when I right click on them they would tell me that the driver needs to be reinstalled.

So before anything else, I removed cloneCD and anydvd. I just rebooted and now the drives are showing up again. The real test will be when I try to use either Nero or some other utility to burn a CD or DVD. I’m crossing my fingers and will try this weekend to patch together a music CD for starters.

Thanks for all the help so far guys. I have some other unrelated questins on DVD burning, but I’ll probably post that separately this weekend.