TechSpot

DVDs won't play...

By tahitibubbles
Oct 17, 2005
  1. Hello,
    I have two computers with the same problem. They won't play DVDs. They will however play CDs. They did at one time play them perfectly fine.
    My desktop will not even recognize that a DVD is in the drive. The dvd then does not show up in any program I have tried to play it on: WinDVD, Windows Media Player, InterActual Player, or RealPlayer. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling WinDVD, but that doesn't work. I bought this computer about one year ago.
    My laptop will recognize that the DVD is there, but it won't play on any programs I have. I have tried PowerDVD, WinDVD, and Windows Media Player. I have tried to uninstall and reinstall WinDVD, but no matter what I do it just tells me that I need to change my screen resolution and/or color quality. No matter what I change it too, it doesn't work. For PowerDVD, it tells me that "TheTV Out port of your display card is not working properly." and that "This copy protected disc can not be played when the TV out function is enable." I tried searching for "tv out" and "out port" in the help section, but didn't come up with anything. I just bought this computer August 2005.

    I feel that my desktop might need more work than my laptop and that my laptop sounds like setting problems.

    Any help would be greatly apprieciated!!

    Thank you,
    Stephanie
     
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Wow.. A lot of problems here and it's very confusing!

    One at a time:
    "My desktop will not even recognize that a DVD is in the drive."
    Go into My Computer and see if the label on the DVD drive changes to the title or description of the DVD. If not, then the DVD drive in this case is broken, incorrect firmware or needs to be serviced. The barebones minimum you need for any DVD viewing is for the DVD label to change on the drive-letter in My Computer where the DVD drive is located. If this isn't happening, then no futher steps can be taken.


    "I do it just tells me that I need to change my screen resolution and/or color quality. No matter what I change it too, it doesn't work. For PowerDVD, it tells me that "TheTV Out port of your display card is not working properly." and that "This copy protected disc can not be played when the TV out function is enable."
    This is common of having old or unsupported videodrivers for your particular DVD player software.

    The Resolution/Colors may be fixed with an update to the videodrivers.

    The "TV Out Port of your display card" may require both an update to the videodrivers AND/OR PowerDVD. Most older versions of PowerDVD will incorrectly sense the LCD/Monitor outputs on older S3 integrated laptops as being "TV-Out". Updating the integrated videodrivers AND/OR PowerDVD should fix this.

    If you can give system specs of the PC with the latter error, we can possibly guide you to where you need to download fixes. We'd need both the laptop make and model, as well as the FULL version of PowerDVD (it's usually in the Help/About of the program or About in the right-click menu once the program is started).
     
  3. tahitibubbles

    tahitibubbles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Desktop:
    Okay, the DVD does not show up in My Computer. It stays the same as if there was no DVD in the drive. What do I have to do now to fix this? Would a warrenty cover this, if it is still in effect? About how much would it cost?

    Laptop:
    It's a Gateway 360 series. This is what I found on PowerDVD, but I don't really think that this is it:
    Player Information:
    Player Region Code: 1
    Current Drive: E:
    Title Region Code: Not Available

    Audio Attributes: Not Available

    Hardware Information:
    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor running at 600 MHz
    3DNow! Technology: Not Detected
    Enhanced 3DNow! Technology: Not Detected
    3DNow! Professional Technology: Not Detected
    IA MMX Technology: In Use
    IA Streaming SIMD Extensions: In Use
    IA SSE 2: In Use
    Video Accelerator: Not Detected
    Multispeaker Audio Device: Conexant AMC 2 Channel Audio (not in use)
    SPDIF Output Device: Conexant AMC 2 Channel Audio (not in use)

    I couldn't find anything else. There is no About and the Help doesn't say anything about the actual program.

    Thanks,
    Stephanie
     
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    This is common of a broken DVD player or one where the firmware is incorrect. The best you can hope to try is to see if there is a firmware upgrade if it's an OEM system (Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.etc.). Hit the support website for your PC and see if there is a DVD-drive firmware update. If not, it's a toast drive and should be returned/replaced.

    If you have a fairly standard case, sometimes it's cheaper and easier to just replace the DVD player yourself. A standard-case 5 1/4" DVD-player (not a burner) is dirt cheap:
    DVD-Player only $19
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827130043

    DVD + Burner: $39
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827152047


    I can't find anything from Gateway in a "360 series".. although there are plenty of Gateways with 360 M processors. Look for an actual product number like "Z3061" or "6018GZ" or similar. Most Gateways have 4-digits and one or two letters before/after to specify the product model.

    On PowerDVD, you need to find what version of Power DVD it is. This will be like Power DVD 3, PowerDVD 4, Power DVD 5.. etc.etc. It's possible even the start menu will have the version number on the shortcut.

    If you can find which version you have, a patch here may fix the problem with TV-Out:
    If you have PowerDVD 3:
    http://www.gocyberlink.com/multi/download/dl_patch.jsp?dl_id=54&ProdId=1&lang=ENU

    If you have PowerDVD 4:
    http://www.gocyberlink.com/multi/download/dl_patch.jsp?dl_id=82&ProdId=1&lang=ENU

    If you have PowerDVD 5:
    http://www.gocyberlink.com/multi/download/dl_patch.jsp?dl_id=254&ProdId=1&lang=ENU

    Good luck!
     
  5. tahitibubbles

    tahitibubbles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Desktop:
    I downloaded the firmware flash update under My DVD Downloads and the Intel Extreme Graphics under My Video Downloads from Gateway : http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/mydl.asp?tab=MY&os=Windows XP

    The computer will now recognize that the disc. However, whenever I try to play the dvd on any program, the program will freeze up and not respond. I think this has something more to do with the programs than with the computer? Both WinDVD and InterVideo freeze.

    Laptop:
    After downloading the PowerDVD 6 download, it worked perfectly. Thanks so much for your help!

    Stephanie
     
  6. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Okay.. Make sure it's still not the DVD drive acting flakey by trying to copy one of the files on the DVD to your computer. They are VERY large so try copying them to a drive with space! If you right-click on the disk in My Computer, select "Open" and you can browse the contents. Simply drag and drop one of the bigger VOB files in the folders there to your HD and wait for the copy to complete. If it can do this without locking up or errors, your DVD drive we know at least can read the larger files. Once done, you can delete the copied file from your HD... as this is just a test to see if the DVD drive isn't what's locking.

    If the copy errors or locks-up, then you'll need a new DVD drive.

    If your DVD drive can indeed copy large dvd files to HD, then we may simply have a configuration issue to fix. More system information on your desktop would be helpful. That Gateway link uses a cookie you set from your PC. Just the make/model number would be helpful as we may simply need to update chipset drivers now to get DVD/DMA working for players.

    Great! One down, desktop to go. :)
     
  7. tahitibubbles

    tahitibubbles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, even though the DVD did show up in My Computer yesterday, it doesn't today. I've tried a couple different DVDs and now it won't work. So it's back to thinking about the disc that is in the drive (arrow with little disc) but nothing is done about it. The DVD drive in My Computer does not change. The computer's model number is 510X and the number I put into the search on Gateway's site is 1099843476.

    Stephanie
     
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Hello again,
    Looking at your support page for your Gateway... and as you have already flashed the latest firmware with only limited success, I'd assume the dvd drive is either misaligned, damaged or otherwise worn out. The PC is out of warranty so I doubt Gateway can help you with replacement.

    Luckily for you, your particular Gateway is easily user serviceable, and your DVD player is a standard 5.25" drive with standard mounts. You can very, very easily replace the drive yourself for very cheap and all your existing software should work with little or no configuration changes.

    It only needs a phillips head screwdriver and a few minutes... taking the side case off and front bezel (4 screws).. unplugging two cables from the old drive, sliding it out from the front.. unscrewing two plastic rails from the old drive, screwing them on the new drive, sliding the new drive in and re-plugging the two cables.. and re-screwing the side/front of the case back on. It's very, very easy and a new drive will last several years.

    If you feel up to the challenge, you can get a new Sony, Dual-Layer DVD and CD burner (4.7gig with dual-layer dvds) drive that writes to + and - DVDs, CDr's etc.etc for $42
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827131256

    Or, a DVD/CDROM that reads DVDS (doesn't burn) but can burn cd's for $31
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106826

    If your drive is flakey and reads one day, but not another- it's got problems. The units they ship in Gateways usually do putz out after a year or two, or get misaligned laser lens issues.
     
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