A while ago, I realised I had iTunes installed on my work computer. I didn’t want any extraneous services running, so off it went. A few days later I realised I no longer had a DVD drive in My Computer.
Device Manager said there was a problem with the drivers, but no new ones could be found automatically, and rolling back didn’t work as they hadn’t actually changed. An interweb search for drivers turned up nothing. There were no physical connection issues, all looked fine.
After a while I investigated the Event Log and saw the following error occurred in the System log every boot-up:
The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:
I searched again with this info, and stumbled across a handy Microsoft article, “Your CD drive or DVD drive is missing or is not recognized by Windows or other programs”. This pointed me to some obscure registry key to do with CD burning, and a value called “UpperFilters”. This contained two values, “Sidney” and “GEARAspiWDM”. I deleted the value then restarted, and the DVD drive was back!
I checked the registry again, and the “UpperFilters” value was back, but “GEARAspiWDM” was not. It turns out that this is some kind of burning driver that was probably installed by iTunes, but not removed from the registry during the uninstall. Thanks Apple! iTunes can still be a pain after death.