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You Cannot View the Files on a Disc After You Replace a CD-R or CD-RW Drive with a DVD or CD-ROM Drive

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q311455
On a computer (such as a notebook computer) in which you can replace the CD-R or CD-RW drive with a DVD or CD-ROM drive, you may not be able to gain access to the files that are on the disc that is in the DVD or CD-ROM drive if you replace the CD-R or CD-RW drive with a DVD or CD-ROM drive while the computer is off and then start the computer. When this occurs, you can still gain access to the files by using a command prompt.
This problem occurs if you replace the CD-R or CD-RW drive with a DVD or CD-ROM drive while the computer is off and the same drive letter is assigned to the new drive.

When a writable drive such as CD-R or CD-RW drive is installed, Windows Explorer records its drive letter in the registry. If you replace the CD-R or CD-RW drive while Windows is running (this is known as "hot swapping"), the registry information is automatically updated. However, if you replace the CD-R or CD-RW drive while the computer is off, the registry information is not updated and Windows Explorer tries to treat the new drive as the writable device.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to Obtain the Latest Windows XP Service Pack

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

File information

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date        Time   Version     Size       File name   -----------------------------------------------------   20-11-2001  20:59  6.0.2600.2  8,220,720  Shell32.dll				

To work around this problem, follow these steps:
  1. If Windows Explorer or My Computer is running it, quit it.
  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  3. Click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click System under See Also. (If you use Classic view in Control Panel, double-click System.)
  4. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
  5. Expand DVD/CD-ROM.
  6. Click the appropriate device, and then click Uninstall on the Action menu.
  7. When you are prompted to confirm that you want to remove the device, click OK.
  8. On the Action menu, click Scan for hardware changes. This causes Windows to recognize new devices.
  9. Quit Device Manager and Control Panel.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows XP Service Pack 1.

Article ID: 311455 - Last Review: 05/15/2007 22:08:42 - Revision: 1.6

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbautohotfix kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix kbshell kbwinxpsp1fix KB311455