Device manager Code 28 DVDRW half missing??


I've had Vista on my PC (AMD Athlon64 3000 Skt754 OEM) for over a year and until a week ago my DVDRW drive worked perfectly. Now it behaves not so perfectly and I have tried everything I can think of to fix it.
Upon boot, the DVDRW drive icon appears in My Computer like normal and Device Manager plainly lists the model under DVD drives, but pushing the eject button on the tower (or right click Eject) causes the drawer to open and that's it. The button or right click method will not retract the drawer, the icon has already disappeared from My Computer and Device Manager no longer displays an entry for DVD drives, but instead, further down the list, shows an Other Device > Unknown Device highlighted with a yellow warning sign. Right click > Properties: tells me Code 28 - the driver for this device is not installed. Following the links from this dialogue box, not too surprisingly, solves nothing.
If I restart the system immediately, the boot screen lingers for quite some time at the point where the DVD drive is detected (which never happened before the drive stopped working) and heading straight to My Computer or Device Manager already shows the errors, but if start system after several hours of shutdown, it loads as described above - all fine and normal until I try to engage with the drive and then it gets lost again.

The model of the drive is Sony/optiarc AD 5170A.

I'm told I cannot reinstall the individual driver for this model as it doesn't exist (no CD or file) - Windows apparently is able to detect and support any DVD/CD drive devices that are installed (?). If this is true then I think that the support software might be where the problem lies.

All my other device drivers are intact and the devices work fine.
I've explored the registry key as advised and found no upper or lower filter entries in the drive folder.
The problem is not a hardware problem or a faulty CD/DVD problem as I do not get as far as to actually insert discs.

Can somebody please help me get my DVD drive back!!! thanks


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Hi and welcome to the forum.

Devices like CD/DVD drives run under universal drivers known as atapi: What is ATAPI? - a definition from - see also: AT Attachment Packet Interface#
and so no drivers as such are needed. Sometimes you can update the firmware but this depends on model and manufacturer.
In your case I'd first check the cables ect are have not come loose. If your feeling adventerous check inside the drive for dust as this can sometimes lead to the symptoms you describe. If the above fails it may be the case that the drive has just come to the end (somewhat prematurely) of it's life..

Well I don't believe it, but gingerly prodding the connections and blowing out some dust (mostly from the fan (!?)) *seems* to have solved my problem. Today my PC booted at its normal rapid pace, the DVD drive icon was with me the entire time, Device Manager gave me oodles of details on the device rather than claiming it Unknown and I successfully played some new CDs I got for Christmas. Haven't tried any DVDs yet...

Thanks for your help, you saved me some cash!


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Great stuff!
Dust can slowly build up over time to sometimes quite amazing proportions.
I now keep a cleaning regime of a quick clean out every few months to a major 'dust buster session' every 6months or so.
I run my pc/case under whats called negative pressure (basically it sucks air into the case which is then vented) and whilst this can lead to cooler temps it does mean you have watch out for dust build up....:cool:

Edit: It may be worth your while that at sometime in the future you actually open the DVD drive casing and check for dust.

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