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Fix Code 39 error with DVD/CD-ROM drives

November 17, 2010

I was fixing a computer the other day and ran across the following error in Device Manager on the CD-ROM drive.

“Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)”

Because of this error, the drive did not show up in My Computer and the customer was unable to burn CDs or read any CDs.

I uninstalled the drive from Device Manager, rebooted the computer, and the problem remained, so obviously it appeared to be a registry issue that I would have to solve.  If you are receiving this Code 39 error and your CD or DVD drive is missing and has a yellow exclamation mark in Device Manager, I hope this information is useful.

To solve this Code 39 error, follow these instructions:

NOTE: After removing these registry keys and rebooting, it may be necessary to reinstall any CD or DVD recording applications.

1) Close all open programs

2) Click on Start, Run, and type REGEDIT and press Enter

3) Click on the plus signs (+) next to the following folders

* HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
* SYSTEM
* CurrentControlSet
* Control
* Class
* {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

4) This folder is the DVD/CD-ROM Drive Class Description in the registry. Look for any of the following names in the right hand column.

* UpperFilters
* LowerFilters
* UpperFilters.bak
* LowerFilters.bak

5) If  any of the above keys shown in step 4 are listed, right-click on them and choose Delete

6) After deleting the keys, close the Registry Editor

7) Reboot your computer

8) Open My Computer and check to see if your CD or DVD drives have returned. You may also want to open Device Manager and verify that the yellow exclamation and error code on the CD or DVD drive is gone.

Another possible CD/DVD issue you may want to investigate

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