CD/DVD drives disappear after installing GEARAspi drivers

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Applies to Products: All GEAR Software and GEARWorks GEAR Powered Products

Applies to Operating System: Windows Vista



After installing a GEAR Software or a GEARWorks GEAR Powered Product (such as Apple iTunes, Norton Ghost and Norton 360) on Vista, the CD/DVD drives disappear in Windows Explorer and the installed software is unable to detect any CD/DVD drives on the system.


After investigating this issue, we have determined that the issue is being caused by the presence of the Audio File System (AFS) driver from Oak Technologies.

The AFS driver adds CD recording functionality to certain versions of the following software:

It appears that the AFS driver does not meet Windows Vista driver signing requirements and thus is not compatible with Vista. As a result, the AFS driver prevents the GEARAspiWDM.sys driver from functioning correctly resulting in CD/DVD drives ‘disappearing’ in Windows Explorer and applications using the GEARworks API, such as Apple iTunes and Norton Ghost.


Disabling the AFS driver appears to resolve the issue.

This can be done by renaming the afs.sys driver file in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers directory to afs.txt and rebooting the system. After the reboot the CD/DVD drives should re-appear in Windows Explorer and be available in GEAR and GEARworks powered product (such as Apple iTunes and Norton Ghost).

Note that disabling the AFS driver may result in the loss of the CD recording functionality in the above mentioned software that uses the AFS driver.

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