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strange problem:

Putting a CDROM into my DVD burner only shows (Windows explorer shows) an empty/burnable media. Both for home made CD, but also orignal (software) data CD. Video DVDs show their content. Original (software) also show content, but offer to burn additional data to it. Self made data DVD dont show their content.

Drive is a PX880 attached internally via SATA. I also attached an external (USB) DVD burner from Samsung -> exactly the same. Therefore I can safely assume, that neither the tested media (several) nor the drive itself is the problem and more likely its a software/driver problem.

System is Win 8.1/64. Last time I tested (maybe several weeks or months , bc I dont use CD/DVD not very often anymore) everything worked. Of course I have installed software etc since then - but I have done that since years ;)

any ideas?

UPDATE: Nailed it down a bit. cdfs.sys was not started (so Win doesn't recognize the file system and therfore thinks its an empty CD/DVD) and were set to "do not start". I tried to start cdfs.sys manually (sc start cdfs.sys), but failed bc:

"Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source."

Same happens if I let it start during system startup (start type: automatic).

I compared cdfs.sys with a working version from another PC -> ok I ran "sfc /SCANNOW" but it did not show any problems for cdfs.sys .

So the question is: Why doesn't Windows want to start cdfs.sys?

  • Shows like user error and/or selecting the wrong options when using the built-in capability to burn a disk in Windows. What options are you selecting exactly? The files are there more then likely its just that the "session" was never closed so its only visible on the machine that wrote the disk. – Ramhound Jun 6 '14 at 13:09
  • I've never used windows burning (CDBurnerXP is always one of the first programs I install. And "mastered" CDs usually don't contain sessions. Even the self made discs HAVE worked before of course (because I even finalize if the disc only contains 4MB) – igrimpe Jun 6 '14 at 19:18
  • You should update your question to reflect all that information. because honestly..It sounds like the problem in my office, people don't know how to use the built-in tool, and were burning disks wrong and not actually closing the session. – Ramhound Jun 6 '14 at 23:52
  • Do all drives have their latest firmware? Not sure about situation in 2010+, but I remember that firmware updates in the 2000th were almost a must-have if you wanted your drives to fully function all the time. The drive manufacturers added a lot of supported media types, read and write options, region-(un)locking and OS support just by firmware updates (which sometimes were released on a monthly basis). – Foo Bar Jun 10 '14 at 9:37
  • External USB-Drive tested too. Works fine and reads all discs on two PC and shows the same problem as the built-in drive on the third. – igrimpe Jun 10 '14 at 9:39
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Preliminary Answers

Nailed it down a bit. cdfs.sys was not started (so Win doesn't recognize the file system and therfore thinks its an empty CD/DVD) and were set to "do not start".

That was probably done by some third-party software you have installed.

I tried to start cdfs.sys manually (sc start cdfs.sys), but failed bc:

"Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source."

That certainly doesn’t sound good, but unfortunately, the message may be misleading and not actually pointing to the real cause.

I compared cdfs.sys with a working version from another PC -> ok I ran "sfc /SCANNOW" but it did not show any problems for cdfs.sys.

If the file is not different, then like I said, the problem is not actually with cdfs.sys, but with something else.

So the question is: Why doesn't Windows want to start cdfs.sys?

Dependencies and Service Groups

It is likely a problem with one of its dependencies. The CDFS service depends on the SCSI CDROM Class group which means that the drivers and services in that group must be loaded before the CDFS service can be run. Therefore, you should be checking which driver or service in that group is failing.

CDROM Driver

Generally, the only service or drive in the aforementioned group will be the CDROM driver, so make sure that is started (and set to automatic-startup) before checking if CDFS will run.

First, you can verify that Windows (or more to the point, the CDROM driver) is aware of your drive by using the registry-editor to check if it is listed at this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Cdrom\Enum

There should be a value with a numeric name (e.g., 0) which contains something starting with IDE\CdRom (yes, even with a SATA drive), followed by your drive name, firmware revision, and other data. For your drive it would be something similar to these (guessing at the sub-model and installed firmware of your drive):

CdRomPLEXTOR_DVDR_PX-880U_______________1.12____\…
CdRomPLEXTOR_DVDR_PX-880SA______________1.13____\…

If you have set the CDROM driver to autostart and verified that it is running, yet the CDFS driver still won’t run, it may be a third-party program that has installed something that is interfering. The next step is to check the upper and lower driver filters for your optical drive.

Driver Filters

The easiest and safest way to check and remove problematic filters for optical drives is to use ImgBurn’s built-in function at Tools→Filter Driver Load Order (figure 1). Check for any third-party filters (figure 2), and use the [Remove Selected Filters] button to delete them. The default list of a clean Windows installation is shown in figure 3.

ATAPI Driver

If that still doesn’t work (make sure to reboot between modifications to ensure that they take effect since we are messing with drivers which are not easily changed without a reboot), then you can move to the next level and check if the CDROM driver itself is having trouble starting up. It depends on the SCSI miniport group. By default, there are only two items in the that group: ATAPI and DISK. Presumably the DISK driver is working, otherwise Windows wouldn’t be able to boot since it is stored on the hard-drive which uses the DISK driver.

Therefore, you should make sure that the ATAPI driver is running. Usually, that shouldn’t have any problems, but it is possible that Nero installed its own version (replacing the ATAPI driver was a common practice in the old days for various reasons). Check that ATAPI.SYS is the original version that comes with Windows and that the driver is running and set to automatic.

RAID Drivers and Third-Party (e.g., Drive Emulation) Software

Finally, the last (common) cause of your issue is a third-party miniport driver. If your system has RAID, then Windows should have an appropriate driver installed for it, and it will likely be a SCSI miniport driver (which remember, the CDROM driver depends on). Check that you have the right drivers installed for your motherboard/RAID-controller and that they are correctly running (you can see them in the Device Manager by selecting View → Show hidden devices; they will usually be listed under the Non-Plug and Play Drivers branch).

Another common driver that can cause problems is that of Daemon Tools. It too uses a miniport driver in the SCSI miniport group, so if you have that installed, try uninstalling it to see if your drive’s functionality is restored.


Diagrams

Figure 1: Screenshot of ImgBurn’s Filter Driver Load Order command

Screenshot of ImgBurn’s Filter Driver Load Order command

Figure 2: Screenshot of ImgBurn’s filter list with third-party drivers

Screenshot of ImgBurn’s filter list with third-party drivers

Figure 3: Screenshot of ImgBurn with a clean filter driver list

Screenshot of ImgBurn with a clean filter driver list

  • Done all (and more). Still my drive (resp. Windows Explorer) fails miserably when I ask it to show the contents of (for example) a stupid f*** driver disc :( Yes, I could try a system restore point. But: the second oldest is about 2-3 days before i NOTICED the problem first and the oldest ist 6 month old (directly after the last fresh install of 8.1). No, I really consider if I NEED a CD READER ... – igrimpe Jun 17 '14 at 21:38
  • @igrimpe Did you try Nero BurnRights? Also, what happens when you run diskmgmt.msc - does it recognize a DVD in the drive at all, and does it provide any info about the DVD? – pacoverflow Jun 18 '14 at 5:14

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