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Loading some DVD's

\015 I have an odd problem that is causing me enormous grief in attempting to research a solution. I have a Sony Vaio CR notebook, running Windows Vista, genuine, home edition, with a Pioneer DVR-K17 DVD disc drive. My problem is this. The Pioneer drive will only play Some DVD's and not others. Also, DVD's that I burn myself on the same laptop will not play. I have used the Windows burning device and various other software burners with the same results. Now I have been three times around the internet in my attempts to research the problem and can add some more details. I do not believe there is anything essentially wrong with the Pioneer device due to the fact that I can play Some DVD's perfectly well and All VCD's this suggests to me that this is not a problem associated with a faulty drive or dirt. I also lean towards that this is Not a DVD region protected code problem because I cannot find a solution to this problem even when I have DVD X Utilities running, i.e. DVD Ghost. Also some of the discs that will not play are Region Free or All Region DVD's with this information appearing on the back of the DVD packaging. The exact problem is I believe, that some DVD's will not load, while others load perfectly well. Windows does not even see them. When I insert the DVD into the DVD RW Drive (f) a normal disc spinning sound can be heard the drive appears to be starting to open the disc but then it just dies. Nothing. In 'Computer' no disc details, name appears under the DVD RW Drive. When I right click on the DVD RW icon there is no 'Play With' on the menu. Open does appear at the top, when I attempt to open the disc Windows tells me to insert a disc. I therefore think that Windows cannot read SOME DVD's I cannot understand this as it is happening on many different types of DVD media. Many DVD's that I purchase that must be recorded on a wide range of different manufactured discs do not play. PLEASE remember that Some of these DVD discs play perfectly well. With my disc burning problem I use Princo DVD-R X16 discs. When I insert a brand new blank Princo disc Windows sees the disc every time. I go through the formatting process and the naming of the disc and the actual burning of the disc perfectly well. At the point when the burn is complete and I eject the disc Windows informs me 'please wait so that Windows can prepare the disc so that it can be played on other computers' I believe this is closing the session or finalizing the disc. Windows provides two choices in how to burn the disc I am using the mastered method. Everything seems to go perfectly well with no sign of a problem. However when I then try to play the disc Windows cannot see it. Now I realise the Princo discs are cheap and far from the best but if Windows can see the disc to format it and burn to it I then find it incredible that it cannot see the disc when it is time to play it. To add to this nonsense the new disc has the same problem on a second pc (desktop) that is running Vista speedy. But as I have found out tonight when I take the disc to my friends house they all play perfectly well on his Toshiba laptop running Windows XP ? \015\012\015\012Any thoughts on this baffling problem would be appreciated.\015\012\015\012Thank you very much for your time and consideration.\015\012\015\012\015\012Confused.\015

Answers :

I'm getting this information right out of the "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual" and it does point out that there are compatibility issues if not burned properly or with the wrong format;
If you format with the Live File System Format you can take the disc out immediately after burning, however, in Vista there is one more step if you intend to play this CD/DVD on another computer. It will play fine on yours but not on others if you do not take this final step. Its called "closing the session."
This step has to be taken if one of the following conditions are true 1)intend to use this disc on another computer 2)put the disc in another computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive (playback only), and not a drive that can itself burn this kind of disc 3)It's a blank disk type that ends with the letter R (not RW); then it has a side note "If you try this CD or DVD in somebody else's machine and it doesn't work and you realize you forgot to close session; you can take the disc back to your machine and close the session there....

Since i also do not think it is a hardware problem on your part, it may be a user error on the part of the person burning the DVDs.

Finally, it states if you use the Master Format (.iso), which is the format everyone used before Vista, the .iso Master format will play on any computer anytime and you do not have to close the session...

So there is a new format "live" that Vista automatically burns on unless you tell it to burn in the older Master format. But some people are unaware that you have to close the session for it to play on other computers but it will play on yours..

Let me know what you think..

I have seen this same thing on a laptop. DVD drives use two lasers. One for CD and one for DVD. As you noted CDs are just fine and so is that laser. Although I believe the DVD laser is intermittent. And it will work with some DVDs and not others. Yes I have seen this before. What will probably happen a few months down the road is it will stop reading all DVDs.
\015\012It isn't economical to replace the failing laser. It is far cheaper to just replace the whole DVD drive. Lasers are like light bulbs. Some seem to last forever and some seems to burn out right away. Generic DVD replacements will generally work, although the face plate might not fit.
\015\012Another option is to get an external DVD that plugs into the USB port. And those Slimline models are really small (same size as laptop CD/DVD drives) and you can use them on other computers too.
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