We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Hoist the colors! We’ve added location flags to usernames sitewide, so it's easier to connect with the global community on EE. View My Profile


CD-ROM drive not being detected

guardian angel
Last Modified: 2008-03-03
Since I installed my second HD about a year ago, I've been dogged by a most perplexing problem.  I have a Mitsumi 4x CD-ROM drive connected to my Sound Blaster 32 PNP because my IDE interface card is only a single port and I have two hard drives connected to it.  Windows 95 has always detected the CD-ROM drive just fine but DOS would not.  I'd get the following message when loading config.sys:

ERROR: Unable to detect ATAPI IDE CD-ROM drive.
ATAPI IDE CD-ROM device driver not loaded.

I'd gotten this message consistently for a year whenever I'd try to load my DOS CD-ROM driver.  After a little reading, I discovered that what I'd been lacking is a simple parameter in config.sys pointing to the base port address and IRQ specification.


Easy enough.  Problem solved...for about 24 hours.  I eventually reached the point where I'd get the same message again.

ERROR: Unable to detect ATAPI IDE CD-ROM drive.
ATAPI IDE CD-ROM device driver not loaded.

I began to get a little frustrated needless to say because I'd already solved this problem!  Turned out, all I needed to do was to remove the audio CD from the CD-ROM drive.  Problem solved again...for about 3 hours this time.  Later that day, I rebooted again and guess what message I got:

ERROR: Unable to detect ATAPI IDE CD-ROM drive.
ATAPI IDE CD-ROM device driver not loaded.

So I've solved this problem twice and yet it still lives!  I'm beginning to think this is more the jurisdiction of a priest rather than a computer troubleshooter.

Any clues?  Thank you.
Watch Question

This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
BTW - the PnP device that needs configuring is the Sound Card since your CD-ROM is attached to it.


To answer your questions, yes, Win95 has always detected my CD-ROM drive.  DOS *never* detected it with or without the plug and play config manager (installing that was the first thing I tried) until I added the port address and IRQ parameter in config.sys which I added *without* the configuration manager.  As I said, this didn't last.  It just so happened that, after removing an audio disc, the drive mysteriously showed up again.  I agree that this *shouldn't* have anything to do with it but one never knows.

I discovered that there *is* a line in my dosstart.bat file that loads the creative PNP configuration manager so I suspected that the successful attempts to load the driver were after a return to MS-DOS "mode" a second time.  I tried to recreate this but I had no luck.  No matter what I tried, I could *not* get it to load as it had several times before.  What has me so confused is that it seems to be a hit or miss (mostly miss) situation.

I suspect that you are correct about the PNP config manager and I'll let you know tomorrow what happens.


No big surprizes here. The PNP configuration manager worked. What still has me confused, however, is that the drive was ever detected in the first place without it. Thank you.

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.