iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting CD issues caused by device filters

CD and DVD software include Windows system software called device filters. Device filters are used to communicate with the CD or DVD hardware on your computer. iTunes installs these filters to import and burn CDs or DVDs.

Device filters not manufactured by Apple ("third-party") can conflict with iTunes for Windows. This can cause such issues as:

  • iTunes does not detect any supported CD burners.
  • iTunes does not recognize audio CDs.
  • Windows does not recognize audio CDs after installing iTunes.
  • You receive alert messages while attempting to burn discs.

Overview

The steps outlined in this article are advanced and should only be attempted after having already attempted all other available troubleshooting information. Before continuing, review the following important notes:

Steps

Disable device filters not manufactured by Apple:

If you have exhausted all other available troubleshooting articles and feel that you may have a conflict with a third-party device filter, follow the steps below to remove all third-party device filters while retaining the device filter installed by iTunes.

  1. Open Registry Editor:
    XP: From the Start menu choose Run. In the resulting dialog,  type "regedit" (without quotes) and click OK.
    Vista: From the Start menu, in the Start Search dialog, type "regedit" (without quotes) and press Enter.
    Windows 7: From the Start menu, in the "Search programs and files" dialog, type "regedit" (without quotes) and press Enter.
  2. If Windows needs your permission to continue, click Continue.
  3. Click the plus sign (XP) or arrow (Vista and Windows 7) next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand its contents.
  4. Expand the contents of SYSTEM.
  5. Expand the contents of CurrentControlSet.
  6. Expand the contents of Control.
  7. Expand the contents of Class.
  8. Click to select (you just need to highlight this folder) the heading that begins with "{4D36E965-".  It should look like this:
  9. From the File menu, choose Export.
  10. In the dialog box that appears, make sure the "Selected branch" option is enabled. Then, save the file somewhere that you can find it later, such as the desktop; this is a backup of this Windows Registry key. You should keep this in case you need to reimport your original settings later.
  11. On the right side of the Registry Editor window, right-click the LowerFilters value and choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

    Note: If you don't see a LowerFilters value; continue to the next step.
  12. On the right side of the Registry Editor window, right-click the UpperFilters value and choose Modify... from the shortcut menu.

    If the UpperFilters value is missing, follow these instructions:

    1. Right-click the empty white space within the right side of the Registry Editor window (shown below). From the shortcut menu, choose New > Multi-String Value.
    2. Name this new value "UpperFilters" (without quotes).
    3. Right-click the newly created UpperFilters value and choose Modify from the shortcut menu.
  13. Select the entire contents of the text in the "Value data" text field.
  14. Right-click the selected text and choose Cut from the shortcut menu.
  15. Type "GEARAspiWDM" (without quotes) in the "Value data" text field and press Enter.
  16. Click OK.
  17. Restart the computer.

If this resolves the issue, it indicates that a device filter entry from third-party CD or DVD software, such as CD burning software, was creating a conflict with the optical drive software installed with iTunes. At this point, this third-party software may not work until it is reinstalled. In order to avoid running into the conflict again, check to see if there is an updated version of your third-party CD or DVD software before reinstalling.

If this does not resolve the issue, you can return your Windows Registry to the way it was before by following the steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor:
    XP: From the Start menu choose Run. In the resulting dialog,  type "regedit" (without quotes) and click OK.
    Vista: From the Start menu, in the Start Search dialog, type "regedit" (without quotes) and press Enter.
    Windows 7: From the Start menu, in the "Search programs and files" dialog, type "regedit" (without quotes) and press Enter.
  2. If Windows needs your permission to continue, click Continue.
  3. From the File menu, choose Import. Locate the file that you exported above in step #9 and import it..
  4. Exit Registry Editor and restart the computer.

Learn more

If the issue you are troubleshooting is not resolved after following these steps, you may find helpful information (such as troubleshooting steps related to a specific alert message) at the iTunes Support page. Once there, click Syncing & Transferring Content and then "Backing up, CDs & DVDs."

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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