Fixing a Missing DVD Drive on my HP Pavilion Slimline

I’m not sure how or why, but a few months ago the DVD drive went missing on the HP Pavilion Slimline that my wife uses. Not physically missing of course, but missing in software – as in, there was no optical drive showing up in the list of drives. Putting a disc in the drive did nothing – I couldn’t load any new software on it. It wasn’t a big deal for quite a while, because we didn’t have much use for the drive, but this week I needed to load software for a new HP multi-function laser printer, so I figured I’d try to get it fixed once and for all.

When I saw that the optical drive was showing up in the device manager with a small yellow exclamation mark, I tried the normal thing: uninstall it, scan for new hardware, and let Vista fix the problem by re-installing it. Unfortunately, that didn’t work – it continued to complain about a bad driver, giving me error coe 39. I did a bit of searching and found this page on HP support that addressed the problem through a variety of steps. I knew the drive had power because it would eject properly, and the case hadn’t been opened in months so I figured it wasn’t a cable problem.

The solution ended up being in the registry. Here are the steps I followed to fix it (a shortened version of the steps from the HP site):

  1. Fire up the registry editor (START > RUN > REGEDIT)
  2. Drill down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Class
  3. Select 4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 (the first REG_SZ will say “DVD/CD-ROM Drive” to help you identify the right one).
  4. Select the LowerFilters value and press the Delete key.
  5. If you see UpperFilters listed as a value, select that as well and delete it.

After a reboot, I was back in action, with the DVD drive showing up. Thanks HP for having worthwhile online support and saving me a phone call!

  • Cold Flame


    No word of a lie, I fixed this exact issue for your Dad last week. IDENTICAL problem. itapi.sys error or whatever and had to delete those two reg keys. He only had one of the two keys (LowerFilters) but after a reboot it showed up and all was working fine. Too funny… Oh, and it is an HP machine as well. I didn’t end up finding the solution on HP’s site, but through a google search somewhere.

    Thought you’d find that amusing. =)

  • Cold Flame,
    That’s pretty funny! I wonder why HP computers develop this problem?

  • The solution ended up being in the registry.