Kt has a Mac (we know, neither of us is happy about it). In order to do fun things with it, like play games (something that Apple conveniently forgets about as it continually portrays PCs as boring business machines), she boots into Windows. Two months ago, the DVD drive stopped working. Last night I worked on fixing it.
As with so many problems in life, solving this o
ne started with checking the device manager. Windows was reporting a problem with the driver for the DVD drive. Here's where I made my first mistake: I believed it.
Of course, the problem with that message is that Windows hasn't needed a driver for a CD/DVD drive since the mid-90s. Still, because I'm dumb, I started my search for a solution with the driver. Of course, this was fruitless.
My next step was to apply my ninja-like Google-fu, using the model number of the drive and various combinations of words like "Windows", "Mac", "shitty Mac", "not working", "not recognized", "broken", "busted", and "busted-ass". I can't remember which of these combinations worked, but I'm pretty sure it was "Mac" and "busted-ass". It turned out that the solution involved removing two Windows registry keys.
Now, there's a good chance that you may not be terribly familiar with the Windows registry. This is not surprising. The registry is like the PC's version of New Jersey. It sits in the background, and its job is to act as a holding area for all the nitty-gritty files that New York (Windows) needs in order to do all the awesome and fun things that it does. You know that it's there, but really it's not someplace you want to go unless something has gone terribly wrong in your life.
When you actually go into the registry (or New Jersey), you'll find that it's filled to the brim with strange files and other things, all nested within byzantine family/file structures, and they're all very hard to understand. Thus, getting anything useful done in the registry/Jersey is very difficult. There's the added side benefit that if you do something wrong while in the registry/Jersey, very bad things will happen, like your computer suddenly no longer working/you get whacked.
Here's an example of a registry entry that you might find while visiting: