Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file (Fixes)

A lot of us use CD/DVDs for playing movies or installing games. However, there are cases where you will see an error when trying to play a CD/DVD. The error will show up every time you right click the CD/DVD icon and select Play option. This is the error message that you might see

Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item

This message will prevent you from playing your CD/DVD. But, it will play via other methods. For example, the CD/DVD will work if you run the Windows Media Player and select the CD/DVD from the Play option. Also, your CD/DVD might play if you right click its icon and select AutoPlay option. It is also worth noting that your CD/DVD icon will appear and it will be the correct icon as well. So, everything will be normal except for the play part. You will keep seeing this error message whenever you try to Play the CD/DVD via the context menu or by double clicking it. Also, some users have noticed that your CD/DVD won’t automatically play even if the AutoPlay option is turned on.

The most common reason of this problem is an incorrect value in the CD/DVD association settings or incorrect value type in the registry editor. So, the most common solution requires you to access the registry editor. But, the good thing about this is that the registry solution works for almost every user. So, follow the steps given in method 1.

1. Fix CD/DVD Association Settings via Registry Editor

In this method, we will change the value type of a specific registry key. Here are the steps for locating and fixing the registry key value for the CD/DVD association settings.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type regedit and press Enter

  1. Now, navigate to this address HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD\shell\play\command. If you don’t know how to navigate there, then follow the steps given below
    1. Locate and double click HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT from the left pane
    2. Locate and double click DVD from the left pane
    3. Locate and double click shell from the left pane
    4. Locate and double click play from the left pane

  1. Locate and select command from the left pane
  2. Double click the Default entry from the right pane
  3. Select the content of its Value data section and copy it

  1. Click Cancel
  2. Right click on an empty place (on right pane) and select New
  3. Select Expandable String Value and name it whatever you want. Once done, press Enter

  1. Now, double click the newly made entry from the right pane
  2. Paste the contents in its Value data These should be the contents you copied in step 6. Click Ok

  1. Now, right click command folder from the left pane and select Export

  1. Navigate to the location where you want to export the file and click Save. This location should be something that is easily accessible to you. If you don’t know where to export the file then simply navigate to the Desktop and select that location. Name the file whatever you want click Save

  1. Close the registry editor
  2. Navigate to the location where you exported the file
  3. Right click the exported file and select Edit. This should open the file in Notepad or some other text editor. However, if it asks you to pick an application then select Notepad.
  4. Now, the contents of the file should be something like this:
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD\shell\play\command]

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\InterVideo\\WinDVD\\WinDVD.exe\" %1"

"New Value #1"=hex(2):22,00,43,00,3a,00,5c,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,\

00,6d,00,20,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,20,00,28,00,78,00,38,00,36,00,\

29,00,5c,00,49,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,56,00,69,00,64,00,65,00,6f,00,5c,\

00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,44,00,56,00,44,00,5c,00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,44,00,56,00,\

44,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,22,00,20,00,25,00,31,00,00,00
  1. Delete the first line “@=”\”C:\\Program Files (x86)\\InterVideo\\WinDVD\\WinDVD.exe\” %1″
  2. In the second line, delete the “New Value #1” and replace it with “@” (without quotes)
  3. At the end, your file content should look like this
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD\shell\play\command]

@=hex(2):22,00,43,00,3a,00,5c,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,\

00,6d,00,20,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,20,00,28,00,78,00,38,00,36,00,\

29,00,5c,00,49,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,56,00,69,00,64,00,65,00,6f,00,5c,\

00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,44,00,56,00,44,00,5c,00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,44,00,56,00,\

44,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,22,00,20,00,25,00,31,00,00,00
  1. Hold CTRL key and press S to save the file
  2. Close the Notepad
  3. Double click the file you just saved. You might see a warning telling you to confirm that you are going to make changes. Simply proceed by clicking Yes
  4. You should be able to see a dialogue saying that you have added values to the registry. This means that you have successfully updated the values

  1. To confirm that you have successfully changed the value of the registry, do the following
    1. Hold Windows key and press R
    2. Type regedit and press Enter
    3. You should already be at the same place you left. But, if you aren’t at the same place then navigate to this location HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD\shell\play\command. This was done in step 3
    4. Now, double click the Default entry from the right pane and it should have the same value as before. Click cancel
    5. Look at the Type column in front of the Default entry. It should not be REG_EXPAND_SZ instead of REG_SZ

    1. This confirms that you followed the steps successfully
    2. Close the registry editor

Try to insert the CD/DVD and check if it works or not.

2. Disabling Windows Defender PUA

If the method shown above didn’t help you, then you will have to disable Window Defender’s potential unwanted app blocking feature. This feature doesn’t let you run the files that have a low reputation on the web and sometimes delete the file itself. You can turn this feature off without worrying as your Windows Defender will still work just fine and continue to protect you. You can go to settings and manually turn this setting off, however, to make this process easier for you we have a command for you that you can execute in PowerShell Windows. Follow the steps shown below:-

  1. First of all, in the search bar, search “Windows PowerShell” and then click “Run as administrator“.
    Windows PowerShell
  2. In the PowerShell window type the following command:-
    Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection 0
  3. Restart your computer and try to open the file again. It should work this time.

If the file isn’t working for you we highly recommend you reinstall/redownload the application you were trying to run. This will ensure that everything is fresh and nothing is being blocked by your Window Defender.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file (Fixes)

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