As I describe in this eightforums thread, in summer 2012 I upgraded my old Pentium 4 PC with an Asus P8H61 motherboard (socket 1155, chipset H61), a Core-i3 CPU and 8GB RAM. In my old system I had two IDE DVD-RW drives that I wanted to use but there was no IDE port onboard, so I also bought a PCI-E to IDE/SATA card based on JMicron JMB36X chipset to connect them. Since now I had more than 4GB RAM I made a backup and clean installed Windows 7 64-bit. Everything was working fine until I decided to do the upgrade to Windows 8 64-bit and later Windows 8.1 64-bit. Then my computer had problem booting. It was stuck at the boot screen with the spinning dots and after several seconds the hard disk LED went off and that's it! It would never complete loading Windows. The computer only worked if I had my IDE DVD-RW drives disconnected. Not really convenient! As anyone else I immediately thought this was some incompatibility with the JMicron controller drivers. I found and downloaded the latest Windows 7 drivers (no newer available) and tried to install them. Even though they were successfully installed, I could not boot my computer with the IDE drives connected no matter what I did. I had read somewhere that maybe this is due to Nero installing some "filter". I didn't understand it at the moment and I surely didn't want to uninstall Nero just to make my old drives work! So I decided to disconnect them until someone in the eightforum thread suggested a solution to try.

Recently I upgraded to Windows 10 in hope they would be more compatible and manage to use my IDE drives. Same symptoms again. When the IDE DVD-RW drives were connected, Windows would stuck at the boot screen with the spinning dots. I remembered that there was no problem in safe mode, so probably some software interfered that only loaded at normal startup, not safe mode. So I decided to do a little Google research. Older versions of Nero installed Nero ASPI, so I searched for disabling Nero ASPI and in some similar results I read about "upper" and "lower" DVD "filters" and how to disable them. DVD "filters", as I understand, are like driver extensions (plugins) that are installed by some DVD applications in order to provide more features. But they can cause incompatibilities if a controller cannot support these changes. So it were these "filters" and not Windows 8.1 nor 10 the cause of my problems.

So I loaded regedit and went to the following key:


TIP: It is easier to go at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class and then search for "upper" (without the quotes). You will find it in less than a second.

There I found a "GearASPI" or similar "upper filter" and another "lower filter" from AnyDVD. Of course I didn't want to sacrifice region-free capability just to make my IDE DVD-RW work, so I decided to try the "upper filter" first. I clicked on it and exported to a file as backup. So if I wanted to restore it, I would just double-click the backup file. I then deleted the entry completely (rather than the value) to make sure. I shutdown the computer, connected my IDE DVD-RW drives, crossed my fingers, hold my breath and turn it on. After only a few seconds in the boot screen with the spinning dots, the display went black and then I knew I had succeeded! Yes! Victory! Windows loaded normally without any issue and I can now use my old IDE DVD-RW drives again! I am not sure which functionality is lost when I deleted the "upper filter", but should I need it back, I can just restore it from the backup file. I hope I won't.

So everyone else having strange issues with DVD drives, have a look at the Registry for "upper" and "lower" DVD "filters". Export the values as backup and then try deleting them (upper filter first) to see if your problem is fixed.

Glad to share it, so others can benefit.