How do I remove old DVD drive from My Computer?

My Plextor DVD drive stopped working. I removed it and replaced it with another drive. However, it is still listed, by name, in the “E” position in My Computer. The new drive is listed at “H”. (There’s another drive “F” and hard drive “G” in between.)

I have removed it via Device Manager. It doesn’t show up there.

It doesn’t show up in the Disc Management utility.

How do I convince WindowsXP SP2 that the old broken Plextor drive is not there anymore?

Since no one seems to be able to tell me how to fix this I did an experiment on my own.

I booted into Safe Mode. And hey, the Plextor (E) didn’t show up in “My Computer”.

So I went to Disk Management and reassigned my storage HD (which was “G”) to “E”.

But when I rebooted into regular mode nothing had changed. The erroneous Plextor drive still had the “E” and the storage HD was back to “G” when I looked in “My Computer”…

I mention this in hopes that the fact that the erroneous drive doesn’t show up in “My Computer” will give some knowledgeable person a clue as to how to help me fix this problem.

Try doing what you did in Safe Mode, reassigning your new drive to drive letter E.

One thing that sometimes works is to remove all your removable drives in device manager, then let it re-detect the ones that actually exist.

However, if that doesn’t work, the new drive might be lost to Windows, forcing you to go through the original install process again.

The problem is the Plextor drive doesn’t show up in Device Manager or the Disk Management list. It is only seen in ‘My Computer’ when not in Safe Mode. When I hook up the two DVD drives they get assigned ‘F’ and ‘H’ because the non-existent Plextor hogs the ‘E’ position.

I don’t know what you mean; “the new drive might be lost to Windows.” I’m trying to make it clear that it is an old drive, the Plextor, that has been removed from the computer, that I can’t get rid of from the ‘E’ position in ‘My Computer’.

And you also can’t reassign one of the other drives to E: in Disk Manager?

In Disc Management, when I go to Propertes for CD-ROM 0 DVD (E), it correctly says that the Lite-On DVDRW (the new drive) is located there. CD-ROM 1 DVD (F) is correctly listed as the Sony DVDRW. But in “My Computer” it looks like this:

Plextor DVD (E)
DVD-RAM Drive (F)
My Book (G)
CD Drive (H)

If I put a DVD into the Lite-On player (the player in the physical ‘E’ position) the words ‘Plextor (E)’, changes to ‘DVD (E)’ but WMP gives an error and won’t play it.

If I put a DVD into the Sony player (the player in the physical ‘F’ position) the words ‘DVD-RAM Drive (F)’ changes to ‘NEW (F)’ but no play.

I can see the contents of the DVDs if open them in Explorer and I can drag the VOBs into other player and they will play, so the DVD players are working.

The last listing is 'CD Drive (H). If I click on it’s Properties, on the Hardware tab, under Device Properties it says;

Manufacturer: (Standard disk drives)
Location: Location 1 (1)
Device Status: This device is working properly.

Which is really confusing, cause there are only two players hooked up and no virtual drives.

Try this - it’s a cure-all for various device problems, particularly relating to no-longer-installed hardware.

Click Start>Run and type CMD <enter>
(Don’t put spaces before or after the = sign above, or it just won’t work)
Type start devmgmt.msc <enter>
-The device manager dialog will open - click View>Show Hidden Devices
-Expand the relevant categories and look for your erroneous drive - if you see it, it should be greyed out - and can be uninstalled by right-clicking it and selecting ‘uninstall’

Shut device manager, shut the command window and reboot.

After entering this exactly as you wrote it, it responds; “SET_DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES is not recognized as an internal or external 1 command, operable program or batch file.” I did it four times. What’s wrong?

Y’know, maybe I’m being totally naïve here, but maybe the drives listed under “My Computer” are just names. Try right-click and rename…?

You can rename hard drives but not CD/DVD drives.

What does CMOS say?

Use a space between SET and DEVMGR instead of an underscore.

CMOS correctly shows the drives that are really hooked up.

That works to get me to Device Manager and I did find the old Plextor still listed there and greyed out. So I did Action>Uninstall and it disappeared from the list, but on reboot, though still gone in Device Manager, it remains in My Computer and the DVD drives still do not work.

I’m curious why this labor intensive and error-prone method of getting to Device Manager was suggested instead of the easier MyComputer>Properties>Hardware>Device Manager.

Anyway, I am still in need of a fix if there are any computer geniuses who haven’t rung in yet.

It wasn’t the method of getting to device manager that was the issue. The “set” command creates an environment variable that could possibly affect how devmgr functions. That’s why Mangetout suggested it, I suspect.

Sorry it didn’t work, but it was worth a try.

I can’t even re-install Windows XP from the disc because the drives aren’t recognized. It tries to start the install procedure but keeps giving “File Copy Errors” each time listing a different file that it can’t find.

Is there anything left to try before I throw this computer in the dumpster and go buy a new one?

Assuming these are ATAPI (IDE) drives: have you double-checked the master/slave settings on each drive? Two masters on the same channel could cause weird stuff like this to happen. Theoretically.

:smack: Thanks for the correction.

If you go into Device Manager the normal way, you won’t see non-present devices (you’ll still be able to see some ‘hidden devices’ by selecting the option, but hardware that is listed in the device manager, but not currently connected, will not be shown unless you do it the long way)