My Computer Won't Recognize a CD in the Player

By Mikhail Polenin

CD-ROM drives can sometimes be picky when it comes to what media they want to read, especially if you try to give them one of those CD-R or CD-RW discs. The problem happens mostly because of bad drivers, but sometimes it occurs because of a dirty or scratched surface on your CD. Your operating system provides you with a tool to update drivers for your CD-ROM drive.

Step 1

Take the problematic disc out of the drive and look at its surface, especially if you receive a "CRC" error on your computer while trying to read or copy from the disc. If you see a dirty surface, wipe it with a dry cloth. If you see deep scratches, your CD drive might have problems reading it because of this and, unfortunately, you have no way of fixing deep scratches. Use another disc instead.

Step 2

Put the disc back in the drive and go to your "Start" menu.

Step 3

Click "Control Panel" and click "System and Security."

Step 4

Click "System" and go to the "Device Manager" link.

Step 5

Expand "DVD/CD-ROM Drives," right click the drive's name and click "Update Driver Software." Choose to let the computer connect to the Internet and find new drivers and follow the installation wizard as it installs new drivers. Try the CD again. If it doesn't work, just try another disk. You must have a bad CD.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid leaving your CDs on the floor or on a table. Always put them in cases and keep them clean. Do not clean them obsessively, as this also damages them. This helps prevent Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) errors and other nasty things that might prevent your disc from being read.