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Playing DVDs on Windows XP Computer (Resolved).


Best Answer Channeal , 17 January 2017 - 01:02 PM

Hello there, Just to let you know that Terry extremely kindly sent me the old DVD writer with an IDE connector which he found in an old PC. This afternoon, I successfully managed to install it... Go to the full post »


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#1
Channeal

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Hello there.

 

I have a Dell Dimension 9150 desktop running Windows XP.

 

I recently tried to burn an ISO file to DVD and found that I was unable to do so. I have now discovered that I cannot play DVDs either. I read that you have to either have a special codec installed, or a program for playing DVDs. Please can anyone advise?

 

I think I used to be able to play DVDs, but it it really such a very long time (probably several years) since I even tried to do so, so I do not remember which program I used to use. Maybe whatever it was got deleted at some time without me even realising it was important! :(

 

Chris.


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#2
phillpower2

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Hello Chris,

 

Could be a problem with the drive itself as in lens failure or a driver issue, have you checked the Device Manager for any yellow ! or red X against the drive.

 

For playing media try VLC (free)

 

A browser that still supports XP here


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#3
Channeal

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Hello Phill and thanks for answering.

 

Could be a problem with the drive itself as in lens failure or a driver issue, have you checked the Device Manager for any yellow ! or red X against the drive.

 

Sorry, meant to say that Device Manager shows no exclamation marks or crosses and says that the drive is fine.

 

I also intended to say that CDs are picked up and played by the drive. It is only DVDs it doesn't like; they don't show up at all. I just discovered that neither CDs or DVDs will play in my other DVD drive though.

 

N.B. I have two optical drives, currently listed in Speccy as: -

SONY DVD-ROM DDU1615
HL-DT-ST DVD+-RW GWA4164B
 

 

 

For playing media try VLC (free)

 

Have downloaded that and couldn't get anything to play on it.

 

Just had a thought which is probably completely ridiculous, but I will run it by you anyway. Don't know if you remember when I was having all the problems caused by the battery going this summer? Well, I was swapping backwards and forwards between my two hard drives then. I have noticed that the drives all have different drive letters since then. I suppose that couldn't make any difference?

 

 

 

 

A browser that still supports XP here

 

Have tried that browser before. I deleted it eventually because I just didn't like it. I really like Maxthon and use that a lot (though you will probably tell me it isn't safe! :unsure:)

 

 

Am not doing very well here! I tried to burn the ISO I was talking about on the notebook and that failed and all I got was yet another error message. Then I tried playing a DVD on the notebook and couldn't get that to play there either (though the drive did recognize the presence of the DVD there, I think the problem was most likely that I couldn't work out how to use the program/app).

 

Even my mobile phone is causing problems at the moment! This is just not a tech-friendly house right now! :(

 

Cheers,

Chris.

 

EDIT: I have managed to get a DVD to play on the notebook now, so that's one good thing at least! :thumbsup: 


Edited by Channeal, 14 November 2016 - 05:06 AM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Apologies for the late reply Chris, got sidetracked yesterday afternoon  :(

 

In case you are not aware, DVD/CD capable drives have lasers for each and so it is possible for one type of disk to be ok but the other not, that said it would be unlikely (but not impossible) that both DVD drives would fail, see steps below to try (only the ones that you have not done already);

 

One of these may help:
1. Uninstall the drive through Device Manager.
Restart computer. The drive will be automatically reinstalled.
or...
2. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314060
Restart computer.
or...
3. Download, and run  http://www.dougknox.com/xp/scripts_desc/xp_cd_dvd_fix.htm
Double click on cdgone.zip to unzip it.
Right click on cdgone.reg, click Merge.
Accept registry merge.
Restart computer.
or...
4. Go to Device Manager, click a "+" sign next to IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers.
You'll see two items:
- ATA Channel0 (or Primary Channel)
- ATA Channel1 (or Secondary Channel)
Right click on each of them, and click Uninstall. Confirm.
Restart Windows. They'll be automatically reinstalled.

 

Thanks to Broni for the above instructions  :thumbsup:

 

Have tried that browser before. I deleted it eventually because I just didn't like it. I really like Maxthon and use that a lot (though you will probably tell me it isn't safe! )

 

 

Wasn`t sure you still used the Dell on the Internet so suggested what I thought was the safest option.


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#5
Channeal

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 Hello Phill,

 

 

 

Apologies for the late reply Chris, got sidetracked yesterday afternoon   :(

 

No problem whatsoever Phill. I know you have an incredibly busy life!  :)
 
 

 

Wasn`t sure you still used the Dell on the Internet so suggested what I thought was the safest option.

 

I have to confess that I still find myself using the internet on the Dell sometimes, usually when working with my Word files on it - and my husband still uses it for everything. Didn't mean to dismiss your suggestion though. Maybe my husband would be okay with using Lunascape. (Is Mathon safe to use BTW?). 
 
The reason I was trying to burn an ISO to DVD was to try out a version of Linux. Somebody gave me a Linux CD but it wouldn't work on this computer, so I was going to burn a version recommended for older computers. That's when I ran into my DVD drive problem. (I could always burn it to a thumb drive, of course, but got waylaid by the DVD drive issues.)
 
 
 
 
Thank you very much indeed for your detailed reply and suggestions re. the DVD/CD drives. No, I was not aware that DVD/CD capable drives have separate lasers for each.
 
Yesterday evening I methodically worked through all the suggestions you gave, but nothing worked. It does indeed seem that both drives are faulty now. (When things go wrong in my world, they do tend to go wrong rather spectacularly! :yes:)
 
It is all good though, as there has been a change of focus here! I was telling my husband about the problems with the CD/DVD drives while he was giving me a lift somewhere yesterday afternoon (The best time to get his attention! :lol:). He asked could we replace the drives - and I said that would be a crazy idea on such an old computer, even if it was possible. The outcome of our conversation was that he now thinks it would be a good idea to buy a new computer. So, that it what we are now (at last!) looking to do! (Yippeeee! :yeah:)
 
Do you have any advice you can give me on buying a new computer, please? In particular, what should we look for as far as getting the best possible sound, as that is important to me because I play music a lot on here. Our current Dell has 5 speakers and the sound has been quite good, so I do not want to get a computer on which the sound quality would be poor.
 
I think I am right in saying that many of the latest computers have much more storage than the old ones and that will be great! I really like Windows 10 on the notebook, at least so far, so it should not be too much of a problem getting used to it (some guys at a computer club I tried out recently were turning their noses up at Windows 10, but I don't know why; although possibly I have just not yet discovered the drawbacks!
 
It will be strange not to be still in the dark ages as far as our computer life is concerned though. In a way I quite liked the fact we still had a very old computer and OS, in spite of the security issues. Maybe I just like to be different though!  :lol:
 
Thanks again for all your help with this.
 
Chris.

Edited by Channeal, 16 November 2016 - 05:24 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Hello Chris,

 

Can`t comment on Maxthon as I have had no dealings with it I`m afraid.

 

If you are looking for a new PC you may not want to spend time tinkering with the Dell but if you do let us know.

 

Most modern MBs have 7.1 audio ports so sound should not be an issue, will see what I can find that covers what you mention above and get back to you asap.

 

You are welcome  :)

 

Edit to add;

 

Couple of computers for you to look at, Tesco here and either of the top two here at ebuyer, purchased hardware from these in the past and found them to be very good.


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#7
Channeal

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Hello Phill,

 

 

 

If you are looking for a new PC you may not want to spend time tinkering with the Dell but if you do let us know.

 

Are you say that more tinkering is a possibility? I had assumed that nothing more could be done to solve the problems. Would be interested to know what sort of tinkering you are talking about though.

 

 

 

 

Couple of computers for you to look at, Tesco here and either of the top two here at ebuyer, purchased hardware from these in the past and found them to be very good

 

Thanks very much for the links to computers. Think I will probably not be able to look at them properly until tomorrow morning, as gotta rush out to a language class in a mo and when I get back my daughter has got lots of TV viewing lined up for me! :(

 

Actually I got my printer from ebuyer back in 2014, as a result of you giving me the link to it. I got a very good deal with a 2 year guarantee thrown in. The latter came in extremely handy as the printer went wrong just after a year and Dell sent me a replacement!  :thumbsup:

 

Bye for now,

Chris.


Edited by Channeal, 16 November 2016 - 11:31 AM.

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#8
phillpower2

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Hello Chris,
 
I would suggest checking the IDE ribbon on the drives by swapping them around on both the drives and the ports on the MB, you should also try connecting only one drive at a time.
 
No rush on checking the links, watch your TV quota first by all means  :happy:

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#9
FreeBooter

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I just want to include Windows XP cannot burn DVD's you need ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application.

 

 

How to Maintain Your DVD Player


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#10
Channeal

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Hello there,

 

Thanks for your input, Freebooter. I already have ImgBurn on my computer and it was when trying to burn a DVD with it that I realised there was a problem with the drive.

 

Your link re DVD player maintenance is interesting, but unless I am wrong it applies mainly to ordinary DVD players, not computer ones. I have no idea how to get access to the laser on my two computer drives - though I am pretty sure that after ten years' use they would definitely benefit from a good clean! :)

 

Phill, is the IDE ribbon the thick grey one? If so, I think it would be hard to swap them over as the ribbon goes from one to the other (rather than there being separate ribbons).  Am including a photo below, though am not sure if you will be able to see what I mean from it.

 

Will get back to you about the computers in the links you provided as I still haven't had an opportunity to really study them in detail. :(

 

Chris.

 

EDIT Have just taken both connectors out and put the connector from the top drive (the one which doesn't work at all) into the bottom one which only plays CDs. No change to the bottom drive: it still only plays CDs. Likewise, the top drive still will not work when the connector from the bottom drive is connected to it.

 

DSC_0002.JPG


Edited by Channeal, 17 November 2016 - 08:27 AM.

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#11
FreeBooter

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If the DVD optical player did not work both connectors of the gray IDE cable than issue is the DVD optical player. You can use the guide at that website as its for DVD players including computer DVD players. Try burning the DVD with lowest burning speed see that will resolve the issue.

 

 


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#12
phillpower2

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Hello Chris,

 

the top drive still will not work when the connector from the bottom drive is connected to it.

 

 

When you say that it will not work at all, does this include the drive tray not opening and closing when the button is pressed or ejected through Windows.

 

Please do not consider opening up the drives, there are no user serviceable parts inside and if either lens has gone the drive should be thrown in the trash.

 

You only need one optical drive and a replacement is quite inexpensive, example here  at this point though I would not purchase anything as there is nothing 100% certain that both drives have failed.


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#13
Channeal

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Hello Phill,

 

When you say that it will not work at all, does this include the drive tray not opening and closing when the button is pressed or ejected through Windows.

 

Nope, I meant that nothing will play in it. If I put a CD in the top drive, the green light comes on it makes a noise for a while as if it is trying to get info from the CD, but then it stops and the green light goes out.

 

Both drives seem to open regardess to which one is connected up.

 

 

Please do not consider opening up the drives, there are no user serviceable parts inside and if either lens has gone the drive should be thrown in the trash.

 

Wasn't going to try to open it. I have however looked inside the computer at how to get the drives out, if only out of curiosity. Need to have another look though, as have printed out instructions now.

 

NB Have not abandoned the idea of buying a new computer and have been looking at your links (no idea which one to choose though!). Am just curious to see if anything can be done with the CD/DVD drive - and am learning a lot along the way! :)

 

Chris.

 

 


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#14
phillpower2

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Hello Chris,

 

 

Nope, I meant that nothing will play in it. If I put a CD in the top drive, the green light comes on it makes a noise for a while as if it is trying to get info from the CD, but then it stops and the green light goes out.
 
Both drives seem to open regardess to which one is connected up.

 

 
It is not a power issue then.
 
Only two suggestions left I`m afraid, restoring the default settings in the BIOS and trying a replacement IDE ribbon.
 
You have a usable computer with the notebook so a bit of troubleshooting with the Dell will hopefully cause no problems.

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#15
Channeal

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Hello Phill,
 
 

Only two suggestions left I`m afraid, restoring the default settings in the BIOS and trying a replacement IDE ribbon.

 
Understood. The BIOS settings caused me a lot of problems in July/August while Rkinner was helping me when the computer was refusing to boot as a result of the CMOS battery failing - and I think I restored the default settings then. I Probably need to make a note of the present settings again before trying it now (the photos I took before got deleted due to problems with my phone! :(). 
 
I like the idea of trying changing the ribbon before tackling the BIOS setting first. Will try to get hold of one.
 
I found out how to remove the CD/DVD drives this morning (after using this computer for ten years, I only just discovered the catch for removing the drive panels - just how stupid is that?!!!! :() I think I would like to replace the drive if we have no success in solving the problem, because I am thinking that if I could get it all working and install Linux Mint on it, then maybe my husband could use it (he often uses our son's old room for doing paperwork etc and might want to put it up there). If not, then I think I might be able to find somebody else to give it to.
 
I have run into yet more problems as far as trying out Linux is concerned though. Having given up on burning an installation CD, I amused myself on this horrible, rainy day by creating a bootable thumb drive instead. I ended up deleting it at least 3 times because it wouldn't boot and I thought I had done something wrong. Eventually though, I tried it on the desktop and it booted okay so the problem is related to the Dell. I wanted to put on Linux Mint 17.1 Xfce which is supposed to be specifically for old computers. Before I go and ask somebody on the Linux Mint forum which I found, can you think of any reasons why it won't boot on here? (I think I remember you saying that you don't use Linux, but thought I would ask anyway just in case you have any ideas) 
 
 
 

 
You have a usable computer with the notebook so a bit of troubleshooting with the Dell will hopefully cause no problems.

 
Yep. This is the great thing about having the notebook as well as the desktop!  :thumbsup:
 
 
I hope you are enjoying your weekend, despite the appalling weather!
 
Chris.

EDIT Please forget the bit about Linux, as I have managed to get it to boot now. The problem was caused by the fact that my external drive was still connected.

Edited by Channeal, 19 November 2016 - 06:50 PM.

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