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Can't read CDs through Windows XP explorer

TaoMan123 asked
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Windows XP explorer doesn't autoplay my CDs when I stick them in my DVD/CD drive - it does spin them around, so it knows something is in there.  It says there are 0 bytes in Total Size and 0 bytes in Free Space.  

Itunes no longer displays my CD drive.

Also, my external DVD drive is not reading. But, just like my internal drive, when I put something in the drive spins the disk. However then, the Total Size and Free Space stay blank and when I click on it, it tells me that it is in an incompatible format with Windows.

If I go into Sony Sound Forge, I can extract the audio files from an audio CD placed in either drive - so the drives are working. Also, from iTunes I can burn a disk onto my internal drive, no problem.

I called Dell support and they ran me through their troubleshooting protocol which yielded nothing.

I have uninstalled the drivers and let Windows reinstall them. I have gone into the registry to set at the autoplay.

When I go into the properties of the CD drive and try to configure the autoplay, nothing sticks. It is set to "prompt me each time to choose an action" for all choices. I try setting it to something else and click apply. There is a quiet moment and a little noise as if it is saving the selection, but when I go back to review my setting, it is back to "prompt me..."

Any ideas? Guidance on how to troubleshoot?
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Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

I assume that you've updated and run your AV.
In addition to that, run an online check:
Housecall Online Scan is good.

Do you have adequate Antispyware?
In addition to Windows built in Defender you need:
Ad-Aware (there's a free personal version)
Spybot (free!)
AVG Anti-Spyware (free for home use)
SUPERAntispyware (free for home use)


Run System File Checker to restore and repair all Windows files:
Start » Run » Type "sfc /scannow" without the quotes. There's a space before the /.
Click OK.
Have your Windows CD ready to insert if prompted when repair is necessary.

If SFC doesn't fix the problem and a solution can't be found:

Repair installation of Windows.
This leaves all your programs and data intact while reinstalling Windows.

1.  Boot the computer from your XP CD (if this won't boot, you may need to change the order of boot devices in BIOS setup).
2   Eventually you will see the "Welcome To Setup" screen. Press the Enter key to start Windows Setup.
3.  Be careful NOT to choose R, which is "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console".
4.  Accept the License Agreement.
5.  Windows setup will search for existing Windows installations.
6.  Select the XP installation you want to repair (there is usually only one) and now press R to start the repair.

More complete instructions on how to do this, complete with pictures, are here:

Back up your data first, just in case!

Also, you can try deleting upper and lower filters:


you have several points I would like to highlight:
(1) doesn't autoplay my CDs when I stick them in my DVD/CD drive - it does spin them around, could be a bad burn.
(2) my external DVD drive is not reading<< may cause a mal function with internal drive.
(3) in an incompatible format with Windows.<< back to bad burn.

first is this happening  an audio disc or dvd? All discs?
2nd did you burn this disc yourself/
Did you use iTunes to burn it?

To play a dvd you need power dvd or similar this will open the dvd disc then
use a trial version it will give the edge then install media player classic and or VLC having 2 is always good. Both will play dvd and most audio video formats.
media player classic

If you burnt an audio disc using iTunes what format did you burn them in?
iTunes uses DRM and you need to be careful burning them.

Play an audio disc you know works on another system or cd dvice outside your system.

Look in the control panel administrative tools event viewer db click on a red X to open it to copy that event click on the white icon below the down arrrow and paste it back here
Post back your results so we can take it from there


Vallis, can you put parens around your recommendations for anti-spyware? Is that (Ad-Aware, Spybot, and AVG) or SuperAntiSpyware -  i.e., SuperAntiSpyware is all you need? Or is it Ad-Aware, Spybot, and (AVG or SuperAntiSpyware) - i.e, I need three, and the last could be eitehr AVG or SAA?  

What I have is Windows, Ad-Aware, and Norton.
Punky, I've done that.
I don't think I have bad burns as I am able to read this CDs/DVDs on other laptops in the house.

The external drive may be causing a conflict with the internal drive. How do I troubleshoot?

This is happening only on CDs (both data & audio).
DVDs are read, and attempted to be loaded into Windows Media Player. But, they don't make it. I get this error message: "Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder, and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card."
However, when I switch to Dell Media Direct, I can play the DVD just fine.

from the event viewer, under APPLICATIONS:

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      STacSV
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      65535
Date:            9/30/2007
Time:            8:27:23 AM
User:            NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
Computer:      ZENJAZZ
The description for Event ID ( 65535 ) in Source ( STacSV ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. You may be able to use the /AUXSOURCE= flag to retrieve this description; see Help and Support for details. The following information is part of the event: Connection to BassMgrHDA COM interface failed.

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      Windows Search Service
Event Category:      Gatherer
Event ID:      3102
Date:            9/30/2007
Time:            8:25:12 AM
User:            N/A
Computer:      ZENJAZZ
The per-user filter pool for session 0 could not be added.

      The operation being requested was not performed because the user has not logged on to the network.  The specified service does not exist.   (0x800704dd)

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

from the event viewer, under SYSTEM:
Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      Service Control Manager
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      7034
Date:            9/30/2007
Time:            8:27:38 AM
User:            N/A
Computer:      ZENJAZZ
The NVIDIA Display Driver Service service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 1 time(s).

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


After working on this with you, I remembered that the first time my laptop's drive stopped reading CDs was just after I hooked up my external CD drive. My external drive was installed by Windows, rather than with the driver that came with it.  It all happened automatically, and before I could put the CD that came with the drive in the bay, I got the little message saying that it was ready to use. Then, I put the CD in the bay and it wouldn't read it. I thought the CD was bad.  Then, as time went on I found out that my CD drive wouldn't read any CD that was put in it.  

One idea would be to locate that driver and install the one that came wtih the external CD drive and see if that makes a difference.


Ok - I downloaded the most recent driver from the web for my external CD drive and installed it. THe problem remains.

I feel a bit concerned about having to add a driver for an extenal CD. Is this a USB conneced drive? Normally, I'd expect a modern O/S to accept external CD units and run them by internal drivers. Try uninstalling the drivers and describe what happens when you hook up the drive to your system. Third-party drivers are often the cause of malfunctioning devices.

still sounds like you needs a codec to play them, WMP is very buggy. Also its not designed to play dvd unless you have power dvd installed which provides the codecs or a similar dvd such WinDVD, then install the other media player to actually the discs.
I recently bought a Laptop with a dvd burner combo no DVD disc only cd woiudl play not even the Arcade aspect, i installed Power dvd and Nero presto it plays now.

kind of points to this >>
 I get this error message: "Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder.
Did this problem start recently?
Which version of WMP are you runnging?
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

can you put parens around your recommendations for anti-spyware? .........  i.e, I need three, and the last could be either AVG or SAA?  

That's right, you need three in my opinion.
So you need:
1.  Spybot and;
2.  Ad-Aware and;
3.  Either AVG AntiSpyware or SuperAntiSpyware.

The reason for this? None of these products catch more than 80 - 90% of the malware. All 3 together will catch 95% plus. You need to hope that MS's Windows Defender will catch the rest.

Make sure, if your PC is not on 24/7, that Windows Defender is set to scan at a time when it IS on. Defender is set by default to run at 2 a.m. You can change that by opening the program then go to Tools » Options

BitDefender is another example of a great commercial product that is set to run at 2 a.m.

It's a jungle out there.



"Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder, and video card. << interesting error?
Are you using digital drivers ie xp certified?

Try installing an updated driver for your video card."<< check the drivers for your video card are xp certified.
However, when I switch to Dell Media Direct, I can play the DVD just fine. << its running on the default drivers..
Here is a very good list of errors encountered with WMP either see if you can obatin teh exact error code and then look it up here also the CD setcion covered is below the DVD
example of one
Windows Media Player could not use digital playback to play the CD. The Player has automatically switched the CD drive setting to analog playback. To switch back to digital CD playback, use the Devices tab.
To switch to digital CD playback
On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Devices tab.
Double-click the CD drive, and then in the Playback area, click Digital.



I installed the updated video driver - no change.
I am most interested in getting music CDs to play through my laptop. Neither XP nor iTunes are recognizing them. However, I can use Sony Sound Forge to extract the audio files from any CD from either my external or internal drive. So, the drives are working. For some reason Windows XP and iTunes just think that nothings is there!

Seems to point to the cdrom drive itself is probably faulty.
I don't think I have bad burns as I am able to read this CDs/DVDs on other laptops in the house.


I don't believe it's the drive, or why would I be able to exttact the audio files through sound forge?

When I did the troubleshooting with Dell, a faulty drive was the conclusion they came to. So they sent me a new one and we installed it. My situation is identical. I can play DVDs using Dell's MediaDirect. I can extract audio files using SoundForge. But, when I put a new CD in, Windows XP doesn't recognize that a disk is in the drive. Neither does iTunes.  

Btw, when I put a DVD in, it is recognized.
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

I suspect that your problem is with the Windows installation.
Try SFC as described above.
If that doesn't work try the Repair Installation.
And if that doesn't work, you should consider a clean install of Windows.

Do you have power dvd  Please follow my suggestions as this may solve it.
Download the trial.
I recently bought a Acer Aspire Laptop with DVD burner and it wouldnt recognise the DVD discs so I installed my copy of Power DVD off the other Desktop and it worked.
It just needed the correct codecs. Now all discs play regardless.
I included Nero Smart start as well this also fixed any playback problems.
Also try this
Rightclick the rom drive in My Computer ( with no disc in the drive) then properties>AUTO Play
You May see Music Files in this windows, At the bottom prompt me each time to choose an Action.
Next to the little window is a scroll bar open that and click on Pictures, make sure it also states
" prompt me each time to choose an Action.
Then Video Files same thing " prompt me each time to choose an Action.
Mixed moded same thing  " prompt me each time to choose an Action.
And so on for all the listed options, put the main Title back to Music Files then hit apply.

Did you have Roxio or nero installed before this new drive?
Which came bundled with this drive?
Often times Nero incd installed can cause the drive to have problems.

I have also found that some cd burnt on a different computer will not play on my desktop.
Even purchased ones because of some media inbuilt on the disc.
You could  also use the HELP in your windows to diagnose problems

Without actually witnessing your problem its difficult to come with up ideas so have to ask you tons of stuff.

Deleting the Upper and lower Filters can sometimes fix your problem if th eproblemis not a bad disc.
You can no longer access the CD drive or the DVD drive, or you receive an error message after you remove a CD recording program or a DVD recording program in Windows XP: "error code 31"

Read this too Upper and Lower filters


I have already done the upper and lower filters - to no avail. I tried again, following the instrux on the linkns in Merete's post above (10.19.2007 at 08:31PM EDT, ID: 20113317) with same result.

I am not sure how to accomplish the SFC above as I cannot get Windows to read a CD.

I can, by the way, play a music CD through Windows Media Player by manually selecting it.  I just cannot get Windows XP or iTunes to acknowledge that the CD is there.  
Retired marine engineer
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


Ok, vallis. You got it! The repair installation did the trick. I can finally read my CD drive in XP and iTunes - o happy day!

Now, I have a new problem - first of all whenever I boot up I get these two messages:
"The procedure entry point GetRequestedRuntimeInfo could not be located in the dynamic link library mcoree.dll"

"C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Frameworv2.0.50727\mscorwks.dll could not be loaded"

I also have visited the Windows Update page, where 81 updates have been downloaded, but they won't install.



OK - after much ado about NET Framework I now have version 2.0 and its service pack successfully installed and my boot-up error messages have gone away.  I still have not been able to install any Windows updates, so any advice on how to make this happen would be greatly appreciated.

;-) Still happy that I can once again play my music CDs - thanks, vallis.
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

Great! :o)
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

Regarding your difficulty with updates:
Try this:

1. Click on Start and then click Run,
2. In the open field type "REGSVR32 WUAPI.DLL" (without quotation marks) and
press Enter.
3. When you receive the "DllRegisterServer in WUAPI.DLL succeeded" message,
click OK.
4. Repeat these steps for each of the following commands:

If that doesn't work, have a look here:

There's a problem caused by a recent update which results in this glitch with new installations after SP2 is installed.
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

This is what I was looking for:

Full details of the routine in my last post.

Good to see you guys have progress. You're doing a great job vallis :)


Did it, vallis! Thank you so much.
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

OK, that's great. How come Merete gets the points?
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer


"You're doing a great job vallis :)"

Aw shucks, thanks Merete.


Yes Vallis don't know what happened there,
TaoMan123:  you have accepted the wrong answer, and it is not an answer either from me just a comment.
Vallis put in all the work here please give him the points. Why did you accept my comment lol.

 if no answers solved it then accept on Vallis's  closest answer even if you just give him the points for effort.
He deserves it for sure.
Use this...
I accepted the wrong answer. Now what?

No probs vallis I can also bring this to the attention of CS if TaoMan123: doesnt come back.
Regards Merete
Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

Doesn't matter Merete. Thanks.


OK. My mistake. This is my first time using this service. I had a very good experience and appreciate everybody's help. Of course, I want vallis to get the credit he deserves.

I followed your link, Merete, and posted per the instrux. Here is what I wrote:
Subject: Accepted the wrong answer
I asked this question:
Title: Can't read CDs through Windows XP explorer
and then accepted the wrong answer

Please unaccept and let me know so I can be sure the points are given to the right person.
thank you,

thank you for that TaoMan123  I am happy to know your experience with us was good.
And now Vallis will feel his work was appreciated too.
In the end accepted answers also assist the search wizard to find solutions.
If you need help using EE you can find me and other experts by posting a question on how to use EE in the Community Advisor Zone.
Or use the Help.

Thanks all
Kind Regards


OK - now I  know why I inadvertently gave Merete the points. Her last posting is the only place I see a button to click. Please tell me what I need to do to acknowledge vallis' solutions, and plant this in the knowledge base.  Your guidance appreciated.

Alan HendersonRetired marine engineer

Don't worry about it TaoMan123. If I'd realised that you were new to the game I'd have kept my big mouth shut.
The main thing is we sorted out your problem.
Leave the points with Merete - she could do with a few. :o)

Points changed as requested.
Great string of posts - wish I'd been there.

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