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  How to Troubleshoot CD-ROM Drive Autoplay and Audio CD Problems
Last updated: 12/21/01

First, verify that the soundcard and speakers are working by playing a .wav or midi file: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Sounds and Multimedia.

Verify that the Microsoft Volume Control, Creative Mixer, etc. are not muted and volume sliders are not set too low. You would be surprised how many muted computers I see with sound problems.

Be sure the speakers are plugged into the right jack on the sound card.  If the speakers are amplified, verify that the converter (or power plug) is plugged into a working electrical outlet and plugged into the speakers.  And, of course, the speakers are turned on and turned-up, but not too loud--start low.

To activate Autoplay for all CDs for all versions of Windows 9X and Me, click Start, Programs, Setting control Panel, System, Device Manager, expand CDROM by clicking the +, select the desired CD-ROM drive, Properties, Setting tab, check the Auto insert notification checkbox, and click OK.

If this doesn't work, check the Windows registry... Modify it as your own risk.  Start, Run, enter regedit.  It is advisable to back-up the registry before proceeding.  To do that,

  1. On the Registry menu, click Export Registry File.
  2. Browse to the location where you want to store the exported file.
  3. In the File name box, type a name for the new file.

Then, expand the registry tree to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Modify the value for the NoDriveTypeAutoRun key to 0000 95 00 00 00 (or 0x95 in Regedt32.exe).

Exit regedit and restart Windows.  If you are running Windows NT, Windows, or XP you should also update your Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) after completing these steps.

To automatically activate the Windows 95, 98, and 98 SE CD Player when inserting an audio CD in your CD-ROM drive, click Programs with your right mouse button, Explore, Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, Multimedia, right-click CD Player, Properties, Shortcut tab, change the Target box to C:\windows\cdplayre.exe /PLAY, and click OK.

For Windows Me, click Start, Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Windows Media Player, Tools, Options, Formats tab, uncheck CD Audio Track, click Apply, check CD Audio Track, Apply, OK. If that does not work, right-click Start, Explore, Tools (top menu), Folder Options, File Types tab, scroll down the Registered File Types box and select the N/A file extension with a file type of AudioCD, click Advanced, and change the Application used to perform action to:

"C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\WMPLAYER.EXE" /device AudioCD "%L"

(with the quotes) or to the path where wmplayer.exe was installed, OK. You can locate wmplayer.exe with Start, Search, For Files and Folders, and entering wmplayer.exe. If you can’t find the file, click Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add Remove Programs, Windows Setup tab, select Multimedia, Details, and check the Media Player checkbox, and click OK to install.

Finally, check the CD-ROM and sound card documentation and verify that the audio cable going from the CD-ROM to the sound card is properly installed and that none of the wires are broken.  The wires in many of these cables break easily near the plugs.  Try another input jack (AUX, etc.) on the sound card.

See How to Install a CD-ROM Drive for more information.

See http://www.americas.creative.com/live/mixer.html for info on the Sound Blaster Live! Mixer Tips and auto activation.  LarryPlease see our Contact page if you have any comments or corrections that would make this article better. Please use our Forums if you need help with a computer or network problem.

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.