Fixing Code 19 error in device manager for CD/DVD drive – configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged

Windows XP laptop with a DVD writer not working – can’t see or play CDs or DVDs, not even appearing as a drive letter.

Device manager shows the drive with an exclamation mark and the error:
“Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. To fix this problem you should uninstall and then reinstall the hardware device. (Code 19)”

The troubleshooter suggest uninstalling & reinstalling the device, which gives exactly the same error. Updating drivers & windows etc didn’t help. It was hard to find any information on this message that actually related to the registry.

Until I found an article with a link to this Microsoft support article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929461
The article had the fix – remove the UpperFilters registry entry and hey presto, we’re back in business.

It’s a pity that this support article doesn’t actually include one of the common symptoms (being the above error message) which makes it very hard to find when searching for the error message. Posting this here to help link the two, in case anyone else is pulling their hair out or thinks they have faulty hardware.

-SCuffy

P.S. Most common cause? Unclean uninstall of DVD writing software.