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Joanne Smallen had a problem.

Ever since she played a vacation video on her PC’s DVD drive, she wasn’t able to copy additional document folders to my recordable and rewritable CDs. But she still could use CDs that she recorded before playing the video.

Here’s what happens: When she right-clicked a folder in My Documents to “send,” she no longer got Drive E (the DVD drive) on the list of available drives. She also couldn’t copy folders to Drive E.

When she used a previously recorded CD, Drive E reappears on the My Computer menu, but it still can’t be used to record data on another disk. Meanwhile, her video DVDs still play on Drive E, but they don’t have audio anymore.

Here’s the solution:

There is a problem with the software that connects Windows to the DVD drive, or Drive E, but Microsoft offers an automated fix online. Try it by going to http://tinyurl.com/3a4955j and clicking “Run Now.”

There are several possible causes of this disconnect between Windows and the DVD Drive, including a Windows upgrade, installing or uninstalling a program that records CDs or DVDs, or uninstalling Microsoft Digital Image (a discontinued Microsoft photo editing program).

If the automated software fix doesn’t work, you have two manual repair options:

• Follow Microsoft’s step-by-step directions (see http://tinyurl.com/ya7q9b, Resolution Method 3) to fix the PC’s registry, where Windows stores its settings.

• Follow the directions on the same website (Resolution Method 4) to uninstall and reinstall the software drivers for the DVD drive.

On a related note, you and other readers may want to check out a collection of Microsoft’s automated fixes for software problems at http://tinyurl.com/2dhemvg .