Update CD Drivers for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7


Compact discs (CD) first appeared in the mid-80’s as a digital medium for music recordings. Much of the initial development of this format can be attributed to the collaboration of two major electronics manufacturers, Sony and Philips. They came up with the first technical standards for the CD which led to its evolution as a digital format for storing all types of data, not just audio.

Despite the current availability of flash drives and external hard disks, the compact disc is still a frequently used storage medium. Software, from applications to video games, even now are distributed in CDs. Some users also prefer to back-up and store their sensitive data in CD-ROM as this read-only format protects the original version of the files from easy tampering.

Common Problems

CD optical drives operate and function with the rest of the system through their CD drivers. Those who purchase OEM computers are less likely to experience compatibility issues between their CD drive and system. For example a Hewlett-Packard PC usually has an optical drive made by the same manufacturer which guarantees that the correct CD drivers are in place. On the other hand those who assemble their own desktops will have to be more careful the CD drive matches the requirements of the motherboard and the operating system.

Mismatched hardware can result in the CD optical drive being undetectable by the system. Generic and inadequate CD drivers such as those automatically installed by Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, could make it work but leave out some of its capabilities. Some data formats might become unreadable or applications that use the drive such as media players might not be able access it. The worst case scenario is when critical internal conflicts occur and degrade the performance of the whole system.


CD optical drive problems are not always driver-related. Check first that the device itself is connected to the motherboard with the proper IDE or (more rarely) SCSI cable, and that the power cable is correctly plugged in too. You could also try various CDs to make sure that the issue is not a damaged or scratched disc.

You can go into the BIOS configuration to confirm that the drive is detected. Usually the CD optical drive is designated as a primary or secondary boot disk. Windows’ Device Manager utility is another way to look into the properties of a device. Don’t forget that Windows XP, Vista and 7 have a System Restore function that can bring back the whole system to an earlier point when the CD drive was still functioning properly.

Sometimes a malfunctioning CD drive might be due to corrupted System Registry entries. This solution will involve using Window’s Registry Editor and deleting the pertinent entries. This is a risky move so back-up your registry beforehand.

Finally there is the option of updating your CD drivers. The most effective way to carry out this solution is to use a driver update tool. This will not only automate the process but will more accurately identify the device’s specific model and locate the exact driver for it.

Click here for a utility that will install the correct CD driver for your system. The additional advantage of this utility program is that it can also update other outdated system drivers you might have.



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