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Some DVDs don't work. What's the deal?

By sanoski
Apr 4, 2008
  1. Unusually DVDs work fine on my computer. It prompts me and I select Realplayer. Sometimes it doesn't prompt me, and I just open up RP and it works fine. But some DVDs wont work at all. When I try to access the drive it pops up with a message saying something like "Cannot access. The disk may be corrupted or is using a format incompatible with Windows." .... Something like that. But here's the thing. When I put the DVD in my cheap DVD player it plays fine. What's the deal with that? I think the drive is a Toshiba DVD ROM.

    Is there anyway to get around this? There must be. If my DVD player plays it my computer should be able to. What am I doing wrong? I downloaded AnyDVD. I haven't bought the program yet, but it's supposed to have an evaluation period. Well... it's running, but the DVD still doesn't work. I tried VLC player, Realplayer, and some other player. It still wont play even with AnyDVD. I would totally buy it if it worked, but I don't want to buy something that isn't going to fix this. Did I not set up AnyDVD right, or do I need something else?
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,313   +3,569

    Here's what I think......

    Assuming we're talking about DVDs encoded in DVD-Video format, (Standard you rent it at Blockbuster), the drive is probably defective. It doesn't take much misalignment to cause a drive to lock-up on a slightly off disc.
    You're the first person I've run into that uses "Real Player" as a DVD player. What you run into most often is; WinDVD, Nero Showtime, and "PowerDVD". So, unless the newer copy protection schemes are causing the player lock-up, (a possibility) I would suspect the drive.

    Thus far, I have had 3 of the Toshibas, none of which have impressed me.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Toshiba's are fine. Optical drives fail. Optical drives fail more often in laptops, and it is always a risk to use one to regularly watch DVD images.
    You can buy a replacement optical drive for your Toshiba on eBay for anywhere from $35 to $85... depending on whether you are having a lucky day. Sometimes you have to replace the rails with the ones on your defective drive, but that is simple with a #1 philips screwdriver.
    Even generic optical drives will work in a large number of laptops... eg Teac, Hitachi, HLDS, and Sony... again by taking the rails off your existing defective drive... a 20 minutes job.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,313   +3,569


    One thing's for sure, we'll never be elbowing one another at a Toshiba optical drive or Emachine computer sale,

    Although I have to say I'm a little bit hurt that you didn't stop by to wish my T-5026 a happy birthday: https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic102299.html

    My first T-5026 had a bad TSST drive and had to be returned
    My second (T-5026) had a TSST which would only burn (usually) DVD-Video onto DVD+R blanks.
    My third (an external) TSST I think only likes DVD-R blanks for the same use.
    So as a clarification, this has been my limited experience with the Toshes. I didn't completely give up on the brand, and just purchased a stand-alone DVD recorder from them mainly for the ASTC tuner. Here again though I have 2 DVR-225 Pioneers which are 3+ years and still going strong. (Except the remotes which are s***, one button after another keeps dying on them).

    I love my Pioneers, muy mucho.

    There are many disclaimers here, and as always, someone else's results my vary.

    Sorry about the sort of off topic, but we seem to agree that a faulty drive is most likely the culprit.
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