I have a similar problem: my CD/DVDW drive is not recognized in My Computer. The device manager shows the drive with this message: "Windows successfully loaded the devise driver for this hardware but cannot find the hardware device. Code 41." Then a Microsoft Virtual C++ box pops up saying "Runtime Error-- DISCover.exe The application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way."
System Restore works if I select a restore point earlier than February 14, 2007. Then the drive is recognized and works. If I allow Windows Update to run, then the problem returns. What was maddening was windows update running automatically and creating the same problem again. Even if I turn off automatic update today, when I restore to Feb 13, 2007, as of that date automatic update is enabled, and starts running upon start up. If I reboot, I lose the CD/DVD drive. I have disabled automatic update, which means doing without the security updates of Feb. 13, 2007.
I have also tried using add/remove software, clicking the checkbox, to remove the Windows updates since Feb 13, 2007, one by one. There were nine of them. A reboot after each removal, but still no luck in seeing the drive. The Add/remove tool shows no other software changes since that time.
A search for a driver says the driver is up to date. Choosing revert driver says there was no previous driver to revert to.
This unit is a HP Compaq running Windows XP SP2-Media Center.
I want to try this next:
Will also try removing DISCover.exe