Saturday, November 26, 2005

Windows / Thinkpad / Matsushita drive absurdity

I recently booted my Thinkpad into Windows (a relatively rare occurrence) and discovered that my CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive had disappeared from "My Computer". This drive reads and burns discs just fine under Linux, and always has, so I knew it wasn't a hardware problem. I concluded that a recent Windows Update must have broken the driver, and subsequently spent a few hours trying to fix things. This procedure which included using the Microsoft troubleshooter, downloading and running the IBM/Lenovo software update agent to update all my Thinkpad drivers, uninstalling allegedly troublesome pieces of software, and even writing a stack of bootable floppy diskettes (wtf, am I in a time warp back to 1994?) to update the drive's firmware. All to no avail.

The ultimate problem? After extensive Googling, I discovered that Windows sometimes creates these things in the registry called "Upper Filters" and "Lower Filters" which have the effect of making drives disappear. Apparently, the solution is to fire up regedit, search for '{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}' under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet, and delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters keys in subkeys of this key.

Erm, right. And people knock Linux for requiring you to spend time tweaking obscure configuration files?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the problems I had restoring my CD-RW drive after I uninstalled the SONY rootkit.

    Gotta love windows.