Troubleshooting a Laptop CD Drive

Updated on March 2, 2017

Your notebook’s CD drive is one of the first components to go belly up. A dead lens is the main reason behind an optical drive’s failure to read or write data to a CD. Another reason might be a damaged drive belt, but it can be replaced with a new one. An average optical drive lasts for a year and stops functioning because the laser wears out or slips out of alignment.

If your notebook’s optical drive stops reading or writing data, then you should replace it with a new drive. However, you can easily fix a laptop CD drive if there is a minor software or hardware problem. This guide will assist you in troubleshooting your notebook’s optical drive.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 1Step 2Step 3.1Step 3.2Step 4.1Step 4.2Step 5
Step 1
Step 1
Step 2
Step 2
Step 3.1
Step 3.1
Step 3.2
Step 3.2
Step 4.1
Step 4.1
Step 4.2
Step 4.2
Step 5
Step 5

1. Use Microsoft Fixit

Microsoft’s very own software fix allows users to fix CD/DVD drive problems. Install and run this program if any of the following problems occurs:

  • Your notebook optical drive is disabled
  • The optical drive cannot read data
  • It cannot write data to a CD or DVD
  • No CD/DVD drive icon
  • The optical drive driver is missing or corrupt

Visit Microsoft’s official Fixit site and click on the Run button to download the program on your desktop.

Step 1: Double-click on the installer. Once ready, it will ask you to accept the terms and conditions. Click on Accept. The installer will download a diagnostic tool package and the Fixit engine.

Step 2: You will see two options. Click on the recommended option. The diagnostic will detect problems and apply a patch if it finds any.

Step 3: Choose your CD/DVD drive. Next, select any one of the two options. If your notebook’s optical drive has reading issues, select the first option. For troubleshooting CD writing issues, select the second option.

Step 4: The next screen will ask you to insert a readable/writeable media. Based on the choice you have made, insert a writeable/readable CD and then choose the optical drive.

Step 5: The Fixit engine will detect and troubleshoot problems. Once complete, it will show the completion window with status showing as “Fixed”.

Fixing Registry Entry Errors
Fixing Registry Entry Errors

2. System Registry

Can’t see the CDROM drive on My Computer? Well, the problem might be connected to your Windows system registry. A registry entry may get corrupted by uninstalling CD burning software. Because of this, Windows cannot access to the CDROM drive. To fix this, follow these steps:

1. Start > Run > type REGEDIT and press the Enter key. This will open the registry editor.

2. Navigate to the registry entry as shown in the screenshot above.

3. You will find two unwanted entries – UpperFilters and LowerFilters. Right-click each entry and click on Delete. You can also single-click on them and press the delete button to remove them.

4. Exit the window via the File menu and reboot your notebook. You can now see the CD/DVD icon on My Computer.

Additional Tips

  • Reboot your laptop. When it restarts, quickly press the F8 key. This will initiate the safe mode. Insert CD in your notebook’s optical drive. It may read CDs. I thought my DVD drive was dead, until I switched to safe mode. Now my dead CD drive can read CDs but not DVDs.
  • Update your optical drive’s drivers. Press Start and type Device Manager in the search box. Click on it and choose Disk Drives. Right-click on the ATA drive icon. Click on upgrade driver and then click Search automatically. If there’s an upgrade available, it will be done automatically.
  • A dirty lens might be one of the causes behind failure to read/write data to a CD. A can of compressed air might prove quite handy in removing dust from the optical lens. You can also use a CD drive cleaning disk to remove dust, lint and static from the optical lens.
  • If any of the above tips do not fix your laptop CD drive, consider replacing it with a new one. I would recommend external CD drives. They are quite affordable and last longer than internal optical drives.

Screenshots, provided by author

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    mike enis 

    5 years ago

    My laptop [dell inspiron] is showing cd drive instead of dvd drive rw, pls what do I do?

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    my laptop dvd drive only reading sound &light bliking 10 sec but not working

  • Tech Trix profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago


  • iguidenetwork profile image


    7 years ago from Austin, TX

    Thanks for your very informative hub. I could anticipate my laptop's CD drive to go nuts anytime (I hope not so soon). this would be my handy guide. Up and useful. :)


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)