Improper optical drive labels in My Computer

Just recently my optical drive labels in Windows XP Home Edition changed. They used to tell me what type of drive it was and now it only says “CD Drive”. I know that at least some of the different drive labels are; CD Drive, DVD Drive, CD-R Drive, CD-RW drive, DVD/CD-RW Drive, DVD-RW Drive and DVD-RAM Drive. I’ve looked high and low and the only reference to drive type or labels I could find was a registry entry that controlled how windows detected the write abilities of the drive (1 for CD, 2 for CD-R and 3 for CD-RW) and this only enables the Recording tab in the optical drive properties window. Does anyone know how the drives are labeled in My Computer and Windows Explorer and how Windows detects the drive type to label the drives. Its a small thing but since I know Windows does it I’m really annoyed that my system is no longer showing the proper labels.

Edit: I have 1 DVD-ROM drive (DVD Drive), 1 LG GSA-4167 (DVD-RAM Drive), 1 Pioneer DVR-110 (DVD-RAM Drive) and 1 DAEMON Tools virtual DVD-ROM (DVD Drive). All are showing as CD Drive.

You might want to go into “device manager”; uninstall all optical drives and “IDE controllers” then reboot and let XP find them and reinstall the drivers. This can help get everything back to the correct starting point.

If, you have already tried this, maybe someone else will have another fix in mind.

One of the Mods here at CDF started a thread at an other forum which is pretty interesting as far as renameing your drives and the steps involved; you can see it here

Thanks to Alan1476 for his work which is EVERYWHERE.

My simple advice is just to ignore the icon/label on the optical drives in Windows.

The label will change every time you insert some media, and anytime you insert blank media (including blank DVD media) the label will change to a CD-R drive - at least if the builtin CD Recording feature is enabled.

Sometime right-clicking on the drive to bring up the menu will change the label to the correct one, and sometimes that doesn’t help. Rebooting the pc will usually result in all drives being shown correctly.

The drive icon/label doesn’t have any purpose other than a visual one, however. Burning programs don’t use this information in any way.

So I would personally just not worry about it. That is probably not what you wanted to hear, but that’s my own preferred “solution” to what is really a minor problem.

I agree with Drage, if it’s not causing a problem I wouldn’t worry.

However, if there’s other things going on, such as contents of discs not refreshing (which happened to me), then I’d try uninstalling Daemon Tools.

You can also try deleting your upper/lower filters, as per this link (thanks chef!).

I’d only try the last two options if the label thing is really bothering you, though.


There is a neat little script that will allow you to change the optical drive labels. You don’t need to know beans about registry editing. Just type the desired name in the box. It’s item number 191 here:

It’s actually simpler than Kelly knows. The script says you need to log off for the name change to take effect. All you really need to do is open another Windows Explorer, and there it is.

Thanks, that was a great little tip! I’ll have to save that one for future reference. I’m sure it’ll come in handy again one day. I could have just ignored it but I knew that someone out there would have a simply solution for me. Thanks a bunch steve!