View Full Version : DVD drive problems.

27-Jan-07, 13:54
A DVD (read only) drive was transferred from an old pc into a newer pc (Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, 256 MB Ram, 30 GB hard drive, running Windows XP SP2), there was no software with the DVD drive, but someone suggested the following, as a site where a codec to view DVDs could be found:


I told the person with admin rights to the machine to maybe install this.

Later, I wanted to play a DVD -RW disk, I inserted the disk, on going to "explore" I could see that the various files were there, but when I wanted to actually watch the DVD, I got the message:

"Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer."

I contacted the person who did the work and they said that:
"http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ was installed (?) on that pc and should be able to handle playing dvds."

What is the best solution to this problem? Will I have to purchase special software to be able to view DVD -RW disks?

I am a bit disappointed that Windows XP as supplied with the machine, can't play the DVDs, after all DVD drives have been around for a few years before Windows XP came out, does anyone know if Windows Vista will be able to play DVDs without the need for installing extra software?

27-Jan-07, 18:46
what he means is there is already a piece of software on the computer that can play the DVD.. The problem you have is that Windows Media Player is set automatically run when it detects a DVD in the drive.... When the error message is displayed just click OK and close Windows Media Player.

Now to find the other software...

After Clicking the start Button and selecting all programs, is there a folder Called VLC Player or VideoLan Player or something lke that... inside there should be a file that will launch a program like Windows Media Player and from its menu bar it shuld be easy to start playing the DVD...

If This works ok you need to make VLC start to play the DVD's Instead of Windows Media Player....

There are many many ways to do this.. heres a few...

Open "My Computer" and right click on your DVD drive and select "Properties"
At the top of the new dialogue box is "Autoplay" click on this and then there is a drop down menu usually displaying "Music Files" change this to "DVD Movie" and hopefully in the list that appears below it is the VLC Player, if so click on the "Select Action To Perform" and click on the "play With VLC Player".
Then Click On Apply and then OK, this should now use VLC to open DVD's Automatically.

If Not...

Follow the steps mentioned abouve and run the VLC player Program andsomehere on ths program.. (sorry i dont use it) is a menu option that states, "Preferences" or "Options" and from here there is usually an option you can select that will make VLC automatically run when a DVD is inserted.

Hopefully this should help you....

If you still have problems finding the VLC Player....

Open "My Computer" and double click on your "C:/" and then double clck "Program Files" and in here should be a folder called "VLC" or "VideoLan" and inside this folder should be the File that will launch the DVD Player Program. It should be called VLC/VLC Player/VideoLan Player and depending on how your computer is setup it will have a ".exe" at the end of the filename.

f you right click on the file once you find it and then select "Send To" and the select "Desktop - Create Shortcut" you will now find a file on your desktop to double click from now on to launch the player.

Good Luck..


It does also depend on what version of media player you have installed.. version 11 is now avalable but some versions of XP come with version 9 which may not be compatible.. it costs nothing to update media player except a lot of time unless you have a fast internet connection...
Just click on "Help" and then select "check for upgrade" .

Also from the sound of it... your using a DVD -RW which means that it isnt a shop bought film... so this could also mean that the Film on the DVD may not be written is true DVD Format, it could just be a video file burned onto the DVD and there are Hundreds of different types of video, most types needing there own "Codec" so that your video playing software can correctly play the language that was used to encode the film... (Sorry its the easiest way to attempt to explain this)
so installing the codec pack (as recommended) is one way to make Windows Media Player capable of playing Lots of different types of Video.. I for one usually recommend the KLM Series of Codec Packs as they come with thier own player that isnt as user friendly as Windows Media Player is plays everything and is very resource friendly.

sadly its not as easy as saying Windows XP should be able to play DVD's because there are far too many VERY differnt ways to put a film onto a DVD.

31-Jan-07, 13:02
It works now, thanks for that.