Desktop DVD fails to recognize "commercial" DVDs; fine otherw

I have an LG super-multi DVD drive in my desktop computer (Win XP) that works fine except it fails to recognize commercial (ie. bought or rental) DVDs.

Both Explorer and media players (VLC, WMP, PowerDVD) behave exactly the same as if the tray were empty. This behaviour only occurs with commercial DVDs (I've tried three different ones). Other media, such as Audio CDs, data CDs, data DVDs, blank DVDs, and the original WindowsXP DVD all work properly, so I assume the laser(s) etc. are okay.

I've done the usual restarts, cleaned out temporary files and the Registry, and have searched the Internet, all without resolving the problem,

Any ideas, 'cause I've run out?
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More about desktop fails recognize commercial dvds fine otherw
  1. Did you get the drive from out of country? I would expect that this is a built in 'anti-piracy' control present in DVD players. Basically, each major section of the world has its own DVD encryption and you need to set the drive to play DVDs from your area. You can change the set area a certain number of times, but I don't remember how ATM.
  2. Thanks. The drive came with the computer, which was built locally here in Toronto, and is set to Region 1. The DVDs I've tried are also local and work in other DVD players. Shouldn't there at least be some sort of message if the inserted DVD is considered "not playable"? The behaviour with Explorer and other software is exactly the same as if the tray has no disc. For example, PowerDVD reports "No disc in Drive D:"; Explorer > Properties shows a blank volume label and "unknown" file system, etc., for both an empty tray and a commercial DVD. It's got me beat!
  3. While perusing an online manual for a possible replacement LG DVD-RAM player, I found a brief reference stating that certain MPEG cards or software may cause the drive to not recognize DVD-ROM discs. I believe this is my problem, and a replacement drive would likely suffer the same affliction. Wish the offending software was identified so I could remove it!

    The drive also failed to recognize my new Win 7 installation disc, preventing me from upgrading my OS!

    My solution was to install a slave CD/DVD-ROM player that I had salvaged from an old computer years ago... works like a charm!
  4. That's wierd. The only software that I have had mess up my computer was the free lightscribe stuff that I got from the official website. It broke nero 6 and the built in writing software under win xp until I uninstalled it.
  5. Here is the quote from one of the LG optical drive manuals...

    "Please Note: Since this product supports Region Playback Control Phase II,
    a certain MPEG decoder card or Software without regional code setting may
    cause this drive not to read DVD-ROM discs. This Drive enables you to change
    the regional code up to 5 times."

    While re-installing Visual Studio 2005 back onto my system after a clean install of Win7, I discovered the VS DVDs were read without problem, but not the accompanying MSDN disc! Had to use my oldDVD-ROM drive. If it continues to act up, I'll have to see about replacing it.

    Anyway, thanks for your suggestions.
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