What Causes the Code 39 Error and How to Fix It

What is "Code 39? or ?Cannot load the device driver? error?

The Code 39 error is generated when the CD-ROM or the DVD-ROM drive is not recognized by Windows or any other program on the system. This can happen after a Windows update or installation of any other software. The registry of the system gets corrupted and the system stops detecting the drive.

Operating Systems affected are:

  • Win XP Home and Professional.
  • All versions of Windows Vista.
  • All versions of Windows 7

Error that appears on the screen

?Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)?

What causes Error Code 39 and how to solve this problem

There are two reasons that lead to the code39 error. They are:

  1. CD-ROM Driver File goes missing or gets corrupted
  2. CD-ROM drive stops working completely

How to resolve the code 39 error

Driver file Missing – The CD-ROM driver is the default driver in the Windows operating system (OS). The OS automatically recognizes the drive when the system starts. The problem starts when the OS is updated or any new third-party software is installed. When the CD-ROM drive is not recognized, the first step you can take is to restart the system, because upon restart the OS will start checking the drivers for the devices connected to it.

You can run ?system restore? as it stores a snapshot of the registry that was functioning perfectly fine and upon restart, it restores the same functionality. To run this process you can follow the steps below:

  1. Click Start, go to All Programs.
  2. Click Accessories, go to System Tools.
  3. Click System Restore to launch the utility.
  4. Click Next on the welcome screen and then choose a restore point when your system was working fine.
  5. Click Next after selecting the restore point.
  6. This process will apply the settings as per the snapshot and restart your system.

If this doesn?t solve the issue you can try the steps below:

  1. Right-click My Computer and then select Properties to open the System Properties dialog box.
  2. Click the Hardware tab and then click the Device Manager button to display the Device Manager window.
  3. Click the plus sign next to DVD/CD-ROM drives , this shows the list of drives installed on your computer.
  4. Right-click the drive that has a yellow exclamation or a red cross on it and then click Uninstall .
  5. Restart the System

If the above steps do not solve the problem, then you will have to perform some advanced steps. This involves editing the registry and deleting the CD-ROM keys. Be careful while editing the registry because any incorrect edit may render your PC unusable. This is why it is recommended that you backup the registry before proceeding with these steps.

To achieve this you can follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Run.
  2. Type Regedit and click OK.
  3. Click on the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  4. Browse to ?
  5. Right-click UpperFilters in the right pane of the Regedit window.
  6. Click Delete.
  7. Click OK to confirm your decision.
  8. Now right-click Lowerfilters in the right pane and click Delete.
  9. Click OK to confirm your decision.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
  11. Restart the system.

The above steps will take care of any driver corruption or missing driver problems. Once the system is restarted the OS will install the CD-ROM drive from its driver database. If this doesn?t solve the Code 39 error then you can go to the next step.

Hardware Malfunction ? You can perform these steps to check the CD-ROM drive.

  1. Disconnect the CD-ROM from the system and restart the system.
  2. Disconnect the CD-ROM drive and connect to another system.

If the system gives the same error 39, you can contact the manufacturer for a replacement of the device.

You can also refer to the Microsoft Support website for more information.