Why doesn't my CD or DVD drive work?

If you can’t play a CD or DVD, here are some possible explanations:

  • The drive may have stopped working because something on your computer changed.

    Installing or uninstalling software on your computer, or upgrading your Windows operating system, can sometimes cause the CD or DVD drive to stop working. This is usually because something happened during the installation that caused a problem with the CD or DVD filter drivers.

    If the drive stopped working after you installed new software or made other changes to your computer, you can try turning it on again.

    To turn on your drive:

    1. Open the DVD drive properties by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Computer, right-clicking the DVD drive, and then clicking Properties.
    2. Click the Hardware tab, and then click the DVD drive.

    3. Under Device Properties, click Properties, click the Driver tab, click Enable, and then click OK.

    For more help, see the Knowledge Base article The CD drive or the DVD drive does not work as expected on a computer that you upgraded to Windows Vista.

  • The disc might not be compatible with your drive.

    There are many kinds of discs available and not all of them are compatible with all players. To find out more about kinds of discs and compatibility, see Why doesn't my CD or DVD work in another player?.

  • There might be a problem with how Windows Media Center or Windows Media Player are set up.

    Changing the options in these programs may let you play your CD or DVD. For solutions to some common problems with playing DVDs and viewing movie information in Windows Media Center, see Troubleshoot problems with DVDs and movies in Windows Media Center.

  • You might need a new driver for your CD or DVD drive.

    CD and DVD drives, like other hardware, need drivers to communicate with the computer. If the drive isn't working, you might need a new or updated driver that's compatible with your version of Windows, even if you installed a new drive recently or if it came with your computer.

    For help updating the driver, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't working properly, and Finding drivers: What to do when your hardware won't work with Windows Vista.