StarForce killed my optical drives

Hi guys, I hope you can help me with this one.

Okay, so I’ve installed Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (original DVD), rebooted, and found that none of my alcohol 120% virtual drives worked. My Toshiba SD-R5372V DVD-burner was missing (used it for the installation), so I just thought it was a small problem with my IDE. Uninstalled SC:CT, ran sfclean, rebooted.

Problem is, I can’t get any of my optical drives back. My burners Pioneer A06, Toshiba SD-R5372V, and my DVD-ROM drive JLMS XJ-HD165H all connected to my nForce2 IDE won’t work. Researched, used StarForce Nightmare to reenable the channels, no luck (system hung when reactivating all ATA channels). Restarted with the drives unpowered, uninstalled/reinstalled nForce2 IDE drivers, rebooted with optical drives powered, still no luck. Device Manager still shows optical drives with a yellow “!”.

Device status shows: Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. (Code 19)

Looked in registry, found nothing related to StarForce. I guess I’ve almost tried everything to make it work (coz I have to burn a few dvd demoreels for a client who had a deadline), but still no solution found.

Any helpful souls who could help me how to get my optical drives back? Alcohol 120% also have the same problems, I’m pretty sure there’s a fix for this without reinstalling windows. Links, HOWTOs, or any guides to help me with this would be appreciated.

OMG! Microsoft can actually help with your problems!

Anyone who has the same problems as me can check this article: CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive appears to be missing after you install Windows XP

It actually WORKED!

Good luck!


“to my nForce2 IDE …”, very very very bad luck. This chipset does not share its micropic data sheet, and therefore, it is not public. The consequence is neither the SFN team nor SF have direct access to such chip, and a crash happens. It tries to access with the vendor drivers, but it will not perform neither what SF want nor SFN. In consequence, ur windows will be periodically down once SF installed AT ONCE. So, my recomendation, do not install any SF protected game in such PC. By now, try to deactivate channels in BIOS, Reboot, let windows to uninstall devices, reboot, reactivate devices in BIOS, and let windows to make its calculation.

TIP U will need to reinstall burning APPs.


As a rule of thumb, NEVER install Nvidia nForce IDE drivers. They are horrid. The performance increase they display over standard Microsoft drivers are insignificant.
Quite a few copy protections do not work while Nvidia’s IDE drivers are installed.
ProtectCD is another.

The 5% boost you get in throughput with the nVidia SW IDE is more than offset by the incompatibilities and the slowdown you get when anything tries to access it. Essentially, nVidia couldn’t write an IDE driver if their very lives depended on it.