EDIT 7-11-2014. The solution was Windows 8 repair re-install. Warning it is slow, may not work easily for Windows 8 (not 8.1) serial owners and resets quite a lot of your advanced settings. So be prepared to spend time in manually changing your settings back to what they were....
I'm running Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with all updates.
Sometime during this summer (don't know when as I don't use this feature all the time), I lost the ability to browse the contents of any optical discs, incl. audio CD, DVD-R/+R, pressed DVDs, Blu-Rays of any kind.
The problem is as follows:
1. Drives are visible in File Explorer
2. AutoPlay is ON
3. File Explorer reports when discs are inserted and shows the disc label in file explorer
4. Double-clicking a drive icon (in file explorer) that has a disc (not empty) inserted, results in:
Insert a Disc: Please Insert a disc into Drive ...:
... and the drive door is opened, even though there is a disc inside.
5. There is no Right Click (context menu) option to Browse the discs.
6. The discs are NOT broken (pristine conditions, doesn't mean if it's burned or mass produced disc). The same discs work on my other computer.
7. The problem applies to ALL drives on my computer (6 of them). It's not a "broken drive" issue.
8. The drives are other wise fully functional. They burn and read ok, it's just that I cannot access/browse the contents of the discs inside the drives using File explorer. Somehow the system "thinks" that there is no disc in the drive and asks for a disc, although at the same time file explorer is showing that there are discs inserted:
9. So, the drives are 100% visible, functioning otherwise, I'm an administrator class user on my machine, UAC settings has no change on this.
I have already completed the following debugs and the problem persists:
Of course, as standard measure sfc /scannow with elevated prompt has been run ("no integrity violations"). There is no old enough restore point to go back to (It took me too long to notice something was wrong, unfortunately).
I) Auto Play is set to On, Disc types default action is set to "Open Folder to view files (File Explorer)"
II) Default Programs / Set Your Default Programs / File Explorer has been set to "Set this program as default", but even after this, it has only a couple of defaults set (BURSNSELECTION, ERASEDISC, ZIPSELECTION):
III) The Sevenforums .reg fix titled " " has been applied (and of course, Windows rebooted). No change in the problem.
How to Fix Manage "File does not have a program associated with it" Error
Manage - Fix "File does not have a program associated" - Windows 7 Help Forums
IV) The registry has been checked to include Browse, Open and default actions for type DVD in :
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
V) UpperFilters and LowerFilters from registry have been deleted:
@="Browse with File Explorer"
@="Open (in File Explorer)"
@="Read using ImgBurn"
@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\ImgBurn\\ImgBurn.exe\" /MODE READ /SOURCE \"%1\""
@="Play with VLC media player"
@="\"C:\\Program Files\\VideoLAN\\VLC\\vlc.exe\" --started-from-file dvd:///%1"
Key location in registry:
The following keys were deleted:
... and of course machine rebooted.
LowerFilters = PxHlpa64
UpperFilters = GEARAspiWDM
VI) I have run the Official Microsoft Windows 8 Fixit diagnocis cab "CDDVDWin8.meta.diagcab". No help again.
Fix problems with CD or DVD drives that can?t read or write media
I am now running out of ideas.
As usual, fully re-installing windows, with all my apps and settings is too much of problem. I'm looking for a specific solution.
Please suggest specific solutions, if you can.