DVD not DVDoing it's thing
November 8, 2005 10:14 AM   Subscribe

DVD problem. I have a new PC, installed Win2K, and the DVD/CD drive only sees CD-Roms.

I'm stumped. Do I need extra software for it to see DVDs? Under the hardware properties I have specified region 2, so it knows it's a DVD player. I pop in a DVD and it says 'please insert a disc' ... wtf?
posted by Frasermoo to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
If you want to play video DVDs, then you need software to decode them. Windows Media Player on Windows 2000 should work just fine. Maybe you need to upgrade it? My DVD drive came with a copy of PowerDVD and it works great.

Even still, with my Pioneer DVR-A08 drive and Windows XP, every single time I insert any DVD, it isn't recognized - but if I pop the tray out and back in with the eject button, it's recognized the second time around.
posted by chuma at 10:59 AM on November 8, 2005

thanks, I have upgraded media player (version 9) but it is still not seeing DVDs. It sees audio CDs ok.
posted by Frasermoo at 11:35 AM on November 8, 2005

Drives often have separate lasers for CD and DVD - so your DVD laser may be broken or dirty. Have you tried using a cleaner disc or using a can of air to remove dust from inside?
posted by helios at 12:00 PM on November 8, 2005

Windows Media Player alone is not enough to watch DVDs. You still need the proper codecs, which you are supposed to pay for, but there are free ones out there. I believe the K-Lite codec pack is a popular choice that includes the ones you need for playing DVDs. Or you can see if VLC works.
posted by zsazsa at 12:49 PM on November 8, 2005

you should be able to explore the drive (might have to right click) and see the video_ts folder when a DVD is in. If this isn't working you might try removing it from the device manager and scanning for hardware changes. Also you can poke around the BIOS, but so long as its showing up correctly in the startup when it lists all the hard drives and stuff you should be in good shape. You can also make sure DMA is enabled (speeds things up) in the device manager, under ide atapi controllers, primary (or maybe secondary) IDE channel.

I'd second VLC but Real Alternative works as well.
posted by psychobum at 1:03 PM on November 8, 2005

And there's a nice little program called everest home edition thatll tell you what you got going on under the hood (free)
posted by psychobum at 1:11 PM on November 8, 2005

i've tried most of the above and it will still not acknowledge a DVD in the reader.
*looks at hammer*
*looks at machine*
*looks at hammer*
*looks at machine*.....
posted by Frasermoo at 2:56 PM on November 8, 2005

optical drives wear out. the lasers actually will lose their brightness after a while; the DVD ones tend to go a bit faster, it seems, being of different construction than the CD ones, and, when they go, they act like yours is now. I'm not sure about the UK but you can get a new DVD burner for between $30-$40. that'd probably be your easiest option, assuming it's not a laptop or something weird. alternatively, you could try poking around in it; there's usually a little surface-mount potentiometer (metal frame-y deal with a screw head in the top) near/in the laser assembly you can adjust to adjust the voltage going into the laser - sometimes fiddling with it fixes the problem. far easier to replace the drive, though.
posted by mrg at 3:11 PM on November 8, 2005

ok. the pc is new, so I'm going back to the manufacturer.

thanks for the comments everyone.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:16 PM on November 8, 2005

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