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Posted 27 Mar 2007

Telling The Difference Between CD and DVD Drives

, 27 Mar 2007
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Provides code to determine if a drive is a CD or DVD drive.

Screenshot - CDorDV1.jpg


The code included with this article demonstrates a way to determine whether an installed drive is a CD or DVD drive. The return from GetDriveType() only tells you that the drive is a DRIVE_CDROM, and it returns this for both CD and DVD (so far as I could tell). The additional code included here will help you determine the difference between a CD and DVD drive.


I needed to know this information for a project a while back, but I couldn't find anything that encapsulated it using MFC. So, I wrote this small program to test out some ideas and ended up with the code included with this article.

Using the code

There is nothing fancy in this code. Users can simply cut and paste the code needed from this sample into their own projects.

Here is the part that does the work in question:

CDORDVD CCDOrDVDDriveDlg::GetMediaType(TCHAR cDrive)
    CString cs;
    HANDLE hDrive = CreateFile(cs, GENERIC_READ, FILE_SHARE_READ, 
                               NULL, OPEN_EXISTING, 0, NULL);

    if(hDrive == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE || GetLastError() != NO_ERROR)
        return CDDRIVE_UNKNOWN;

    UCHAR buffer[2048]; // Must be big enough hold DEVICE_MEDIA_INFO
    ULONG returned;
    BOOL bStatus = DeviceIoControl(hDrive, 
                   &buffer, 2048, &returned, NULL);

    // Close handle. This should work, but if it can't close it something may
    // have gone wrong in the IOCTL call.
    if (!bStatus || !CloseHandle(hDrive))
        return CDDRIVE_UNKNOWN;

    PGET_MEDIA_TYPES pMediaTypes = (PGET_MEDIA_TYPES) buffer;
    if(pMediaTypes->DeviceType == FILE_DEVICE_CD_ROM)
        return CDDRIVE_CD;
    else if(pMediaTypes->DeviceType == FILE_DEVICE_DVD)
        return CDDRIVE_DVD;


Points of interest

I tried several ideas while creating this small snippet of code. I needed it to work on any version of Windows from WinNT. I needed to know the difference because the user of my program can have either kind of media and I wanted to display the most logical drive for them to use.


  • Version 1.0 - March 28, 2007.
  • Version 1.1 - March 29, 2007 - fixed project file.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Thomas Serface
Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
I have been using VC++ with MFC since it first came out circa 1993 and I saw it demonstrated at a local Software Development show. I've been working for Rimage Corporation for around 23 years developing software to make our CD and DVD publishing hardware work.

When I'm not working I enjoy hanging out with my family, playing guitar, traveling, and taking my dogs for walks. My family enjoys watching Survivor on Thursday nights and we're not even embarassed by it.

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Comments and Discussions

Questionwhat about a CD-RW or DVD -RW Drive Pin
Vis_liner22-May-07 6:36
memberVis_liner22-May-07 6:36 
QuestionPossible handle leak? Pin
Blake Miller2-Apr-07 6:40
memberBlake Miller2-Apr-07 6:40 
AnswerRe: Possible handle leak? Pin
tserface2-Apr-07 8:24
membertserface2-Apr-07 8:24 
GeneralRe: Possible handle leak? Pin
Nathan Lewis11-Jun-07 5:31
memberNathan Lewis11-Jun-07 5:31 
QuestionBlueray and HDDVD drives ? Pin
IntVestor29-Mar-07 6:35
memberIntVestor29-Mar-07 6:35 
AnswerRe: Blueray and HDDVD drives ? Pin
tserface29-Mar-07 6:40
membertserface29-Mar-07 6:40 
GeneralTranslation to another language Pin
Anthony Slash27-Mar-07 12:07
memberAnthony Slash27-Mar-07 12:07 
GeneralRe: Translation to another language Pin
tserface27-Mar-07 12:19
membertserface27-Mar-07 12:19 
GeneralRe: Translation to another language Pin
tserface27-Mar-07 12:36
membertserface27-Mar-07 12:36 
GeneralRe: Translation to another language Pin
Anthony Slash27-Mar-07 15:50
memberAnthony Slash27-Mar-07 15:50 
GeneralRe: Translation to another language Pin
Balboos5-Apr-07 4:36
memberBalboos5-Apr-07 4:36 

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