Fixing Windows 7: DVD-ROM drives and USB keys

JISHOU, HUNAN — Windows 7 upgraders, are you having trouble with Win7 not recognizing the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive after the install? China Construction Bank users, is Win7 refusing to see your USB key? If so, read on!

Last week, I successfully upgraded my Lenovo laptop from Vista Home to Windows 7 Ultimate. Everything went well, except for the DVD-ROM drive not working. This made it somewhat more difficult to re-install Office, but I got around that by creating a Virtual CD-ROM folder on my hard drive and fooling Windows into installing from that folder. I used PowerISO, by the way.

This drive has been giving me problems since I got this computer almost five years ago. I don’t use the DVD-ROM drive much anyway, so I put dealing with the malfunction off for another day.

That day came today. Happy New Year!

Win7 also did not recognize the USB key from my Chinese bank, which I need to access online banking. That’s a bigger problem than an erratic DVD-ROM drive, so I dove into trying to fix it.

China Construction Bank’s USB key imitates a CD-ROM drive, to install the necessary security certificate on first use. When I used Device Manager to track down what was wrong, I noticed both the USB “CD-ROM drive” and the DVD-ROM drive had yellow ! marks on their icons, meaning Win7 had a problem with them. The message for each was Code 19: something was wrong with the registry values for both drives.

The glitch has to do with registry values for UpperFilters and LowerFilters. The solution is here. Note that you’re given five options here. I had already tried Option 1, the hardware troubleshooter, to no avail. Option 2, using a Microsoft FixIt solution is probably best, if you’re not accustomed to messing around with the Windows registry. One false move, and you could render your computer useless.

I chose the third option, manually editing the registry. It worked, so I didn’t need to try the last two options. See below for the details, courtesy of Microsoft Support.

Once I deleted the offending registry values for CD-ROM drives and (to be on the safe side) Smart Card readers, I rebooted the system, and voilà! Everything worked, and I could pay my mobile phone bill without walking to the office to do it.

So, Microsoft, do you do this kind of shit just to keep your users on edge? I mean, why should I hack the registry to get a freaking DVD-ROM drive to work? It’s not exactly cutting-edge technology anymore.

I will note that the China Construction Bank website has nothing about this solution. Downloading the latest software, which I did three times, does nothing if the software cannot find the USB key that contains the SSL certificate.

CCB accountholders should find this information useful, but only if they are using the 32-bit versions of Windows 7. If you have a 64-bit Windows 7 system, you have to wait for CCB to develop a solution.

How to edit the registry:

Note To use this method, you must be logged on to Windows as an administrator. If you need help verifying that you are an administrator, go to http://support.microsoft.com/gp/admin

Important Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

This problem may be caused by two Windows registry entries that have become corrupted. To use Registry Editor to delete the corrupted Registry entries, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type regedit in the Run dialog box, then press Enter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow
  3. In the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  4. In the right pane, click UpperFilters.

    Note You may also see an UpperFilters.bak registry entry. You do not have to remove that entry. Click UpperFilters only. If you do not see the UpperFilters registry entry, you still might have to remove the LowerFilters registry entry. To do this, go to step 7.

  5. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  6. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  7. In the right pane, click LowerFilters.

    Note If you do not see the LowerFilters registry entry, go to the next resolution.

  8. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  9. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  10. Exit Registry Editor.
  11. Restart the computer.

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