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Old 12-04-2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Notebook won't play dvd's

I have a Sony notebook running XP. I think it's about 3-4 years old (man, time sure does fly!). It has a DVD/CD burner (supposed to play dvd's and cd's, and burn cd's but not dvd's). Anyway, it runs cd's fine, but won't play dvd movies any more. It used to play them, but over time it got picky (would play some, but not others). Now it won't play any at all.

Any suggestions? Does this sound more like a hardware problem or maybe a driver problem?

I have tried various dvd players but that didn't help.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like it's either a hardware or firmware problem. My DVD-RW is messed up somehow. It's pretty new and is supposedly "ultra speed", but is incredibly slow when it comes to reading or writing CD's and DVD's. It takes the damn thing like 20 minutes to write 500mb on a CD. That's crazy. And what's worse, it slows the computer down to a crawl while it's writing to a disc...so bad that the mouse cursor jumps and lags. Our IT guy's gonna look at it this week, but he said it was probably hardware or firmware.

I'd guess the same for yours.

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:03 PM   #3
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I had a similar problem with my Windows XP on my Hewlett Packard computer. Strangely if I boot the computer off the Ubuntu Live CD, then the DVD player works perfectly. Therefore I know there is nothing wrong with the DVD player itself, you might give that a try.

Unfortunately I still don't know how to repair it to work with Windows XP, and nobody else does apparently because I've had several people look at it.

Anyway, get the Ubuntu Live CD, boot the computer from the CD and then if your DVD player works again then you at least know that its not the DVD player thats broken.

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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When was the last time you cleaned the drive? They have discs with soft bristle brushes that will sweep the laser lens. You might give that a try. Also, if you haven't done a complete Windows reinstall since you got the laptop, nows a good time to do so.

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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Have you downloaded the most recent version of the Media Player?

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:27 PM   #6
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One other consideration is that some of the older drives would only play DVD -R media, and many newer discs are recorded on +R, or other type discs. This is particularly true for copied discs.

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Old 12-04-2007, 07:19 PM   #7
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Other considerations:
Also what kind of DVD?
Will it play commercial DVDs but not recorded ones?
Do you know the file types (.MPEG, .AVI, VOB, etc.)?

If you are trying to play individual files (AVI or MPEG), it is probably something like a missing codec.
If it is a commercial DVD, they sometimes come with a software install of a DVD player for PCs, try doing the install and see if that works.

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Old 12-04-2007, 07:32 PM   #8
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+1 Get Linux

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Old 12-04-2007, 07:46 PM   #9
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Are you trying to play the DVD in Windows Media Player? I am not sure why, but WMP has all kinds of problems playing DVD's. Get yourself a DVD player and I bet it will work fine.

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Old 12-04-2007, 08:33 PM   #10
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VLC Media Player is a free windows app which will play DVDs without any sort of DVD player software. Might be worth a try...
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