Personal Computer Fixes

How To Fix Error Code 41

After uninstalling certain CD/DVD recording software on your Windows XP system, or similar programs, you may have experienced Error Code 41. Error code 41 usually appears in the notification area as a yellow box with an exclamation mark next to it. Error Code 41 originates when, the software you installed and are now trying to uninstall, installed some drivers on your PC. These could be virtual CD/DVD drive emulators or similar drivers. When you attempt to uninstall, it does not completely remove the drivers and hence this error appears.

What Causes Error Code 41?

Error Code 41 will appear in the notification area as:

Windows successfully loaded the device driver for this hardware but cannot find the hardware device. (Code 41)

  • You will also be unable to access the CD or DVD drive from “My Computer”.

Whilst this error can be confusing at first, since Windows does not give you a reason why it is occurring, it is usually caused by one of a few problems. These could either be: A slight hardware fault which may require you just to reinstall and install the hardware by disconnecting it; CD recording software leaving behind drivers even after being uninstalled or it could be a fault in the registry. All of these problems have simple solutions, which are found below.

How To Fix Error Code 41

Step 1 – Disconnect and Reconnect The Device

Sometimes, it may be that Windows does not recognise the device or has installed the drivers wrong. The best solution for this would be to reinstall the device by disconnecting it. To do this:

  1. Source the faulty hardware. This can be determined by accessing Device Manager (Start > Control Panel > Device Manager) and any hardware with an exclamation mark next to it is probably at fault. Click properties on the hardware and check to see if it displays Error Code 41.
  2. Uninstall the driver for the hardware at fault by using Device Manager. Make sure it has been completely uninstalled and turn off your PC.
  3. Disconnect the hardware and start your PC again for Windows to completely “forget” that the hardware was uninstalled.
  4. You will need to turn your PC off, connect the hardware that you disconnected, and start your PC up again.
  5. Go to device manager again and just below the toolbar should be a computer with a magnifying glass. Click this button to let device manager search your PC for any hardware changes.
  6. The search should bring back that you have installed new hardware and a wizard should appear to guide you through the installation process.

Following this method will make Windows completely disregard the old settings of the hardware and install a fresh new driver. This should eradicate any problems associated with incorrectly installed drivers. If this does not solve the problem, carry on to step 2.

Step 2 – Try Reinstalling CD Writing Applications

CD/DVD recording software often install their own drivers as they require the use of “virutal” hardware and their own settings. Installing these drivers can corrupt your system. Reinstalling the CD writing applications should help eliviate the problem. You can do this by:

  1. Uninstall all CD writing applications on your PC. This includes any that have been working correctly.
  2. Click Start > Run > type “regedit”. Press enter to open the registry editor.
  3. Find the following key. At the toolbar, click “Edit > Find” and type HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965- E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  4. Making sure this is the correct key, in the right hand pane, there should be a value called “UpperFilters”. Delete this entry by right clicking and pressing delete. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT DELETE UPPERFILTERS.BAK (This is the original backup for that value)
  5. Confirm this decision.
  6. Now click on “LowerFilters” and delete it in the same way. AGAIN, MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT DELETE LOWERFILTERS.BAK.
  7. Restart your system
  8. Reinstall the CD recording software

This method completely eradicates the drivers that the CD software installed that may have been corrupt. It installs completely fresh ones and should provide a good working system. However, sometimes the registry values become corrupt. This can be dealt with in the next step.

Step 3 – Clean Out The Registry

Download this registry cleaner

An effective way to fix the 41 error code is to use a ‘registry cleaner’ to repair the registry database. The registry is a central storage facility which stores all the settings & information your PC requires to run, and is where all your software applications store vital settings for Windows. Unfortunately, many of these settings become damaged & corrupted, leading to the likes of the 41 error code to show. It’s highly recommended that you use a registry cleaner to scan through this database and repair any of the damaged settings inside it, allowing you to boost the speed and reliability of your computer again. You can download one of these tools below:

» Download Windows Repair Tool

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