iTunes for Windows - GEARSecurity Service Won't Start

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This is something that I think should go in the user-written FAQ area for iTunes on the Apple site, but they don’t have one for iTunes for Windows, so I’ll just post it here.

Problem: The GEARSecurity service won’t start up automatically. This can result in the inability to read/rip CDs as well as the ability to burn a CD in iTunes for Windows. You may get a popup window when you start iTunes for Windows that says something like “You have no compatible hardware for CD reading/burning” or “The iTunes service for importing and burning CDs and DVDs has not been started. Please restart the service to enable burning and importing.”

Solution: One of two things could be going wrong here. First, check to make sure the service called “GEARSecurity” is set to “Automatic” startup. You can do that by right-clicking the “My Computer” icon, selecting “Manage” from the options, and selecting “Services” from the tree on the left-hand side. In the service listing, find “GEARSecurity” and make sure it’s set to “Automatic.” Chances are it is.

The other thing could be that iTunes for Windows 4.1.1 distributes an old version of the GEARSecurity service that doesn’t work quite right. You may need to download and install the latest GEAR driver set. That’s what fixed my problem, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have to search deep in the forums to find it.

If it still doesn’t work, you’re hosed.