The PC had Easy CD Creator 5.x installed, one of the known programs that "corrupts" things but I uninstalled that as soon as I found out it was bad for CD burners. I did the registry deletes as stated in the Microsoft knowledge article and I have my drives back, but the CD burner is no longer recognized as a device that can write! I reinstalled Sonic RecordNow but it says "No Recorder", meaning it can't find a device on the system that can burn optical media.
So what can I do to re-enable my CD-RW drive to be a writing device? And why is Microsoft remaining blind to the fact that their "fix" disables burners from burning when so many other people are having this problem?!