Free My DVD
June 10, 2007 9:31 PM   Subscribe

I've had it with my Sony Vaio! Is it possible to unlock the DVD drive so that it will play any region?

I want to unlock the DVD drive on my Sony Vaio. When I purchase or rent DVD's that work perfectly well on my standard DVD player, quite a few won't work on my laptop because of "region issues" - even when it is in fact the correct region. I can only assume that this is a glitch in the (unsupported) driver. Great one Sony - another fabulous effort.

According to my device manager, the drive is listing as a QSI CDRW/DVD SBW242C. Searching on this brings up masses and masses of useless sites OR adverts for suspicious-sounding "unlock secrets".

Can it be done? If so, how hard is it? How dangerous? Frankly, I'm so sick of the POS machine and Sony's complete lack of support that I wouldn't be too upset it the whole machine melted into a flowing puddle of slag.
posted by ninazer0 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I use a program called "DVD Region+CSS Free" that lets me play DVDs from any region. It doesn't change the drive in any way but just overrides the settings I think. Anyway it does its job and you can buy it or download from a torrent or warez site.
posted by thelongcon at 9:35 PM on June 10, 2007

Seconding thelongcon. There is a free trial version too.
posted by -harlequin- at 9:39 PM on June 10, 2007

Slysoft makes a product called AnyDVD, has worked quite well for me, but I'm sure there are freeware/opensource alternatives which function fine too.
posted by chrisbucks at 10:10 PM on June 10, 2007

Assuming you can boot off a floppy, you might try this Firmware Patcher. Never used it but it might help...

I think you want the second link on that page.
posted by mge at 11:03 PM on June 10, 2007

AnyDVD is what I use.
I'm sure there are other free alternatives, but AnyDVD sure does a good job. They keep up with the times when new protections come out too.
posted by jammnrose at 1:21 AM on June 11, 2007

Use VLC.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:06 AM on June 11, 2007

With my VAIO I flashed the firmware as mge said and when that didn't work started using Remote Selector. WinDVD works just fine now if I start it up via Remote Selector. This was after trying over half a dozen other quick & easy free solutions that didn't work. This was also about 2 years ago.
posted by Martin E. at 3:41 AM on June 11, 2007

Seconding AnyDVD--it's an amazing tiny bit of software that lets you do everything the MPAA says you shouldn't. Basically, it unlocks *every* disc to region free and unencrypted, on the fly, using no system resources.
posted by TomMelee at 5:29 AM on June 11, 2007

Thirding DVD Region Free
posted by ob at 6:14 AM on June 11, 2007

Seconding VLC. It's remarkably versatile and I've used it for years. All this region crap is in the software.
posted by saturnine at 1:22 PM on June 12, 2007

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