vmiller64
1 Copper

PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

I have a  Alienware laptop purchased in 2010 with dvd rw blu-ray slot player.  I was able to watch one blu-ray movie ("Exorcism of Emily Rose") a year or so ago, using the OEM PowerDVD 8.  Recently, I tried to watch "Breaking Bad Season 4" and I kept getting a notice say I had to update the PowerDVD software.  I did, and it claims the update was made after I clicked ok, but I kept getting the message over and over.  The disk never played.  So I paid to upgrade to PowerDVD 12, and now the blu-ray loads, but plays for 1 second and then goes back to 0 on the timer bar.  It just keeps repeating 0 and 1, and never plays.  All I see is a black screen.

Now, the "Exorcism of Emily Rose" blu-ray won't play either.

I have paid for phone support from PowerDVD's CyberLink, hoping they will be able to help.

vm 

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9 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

Sounds like you are good on the software, but what about the hardware (the drive itself).

Test if drive still plays CDs and DVDs (uses different lasers inside drive).

Along those same lines, find a way to test reading (and maybe even writing) of Blu-Ray discs. Maybe start with Dell Diags.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
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Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

Hi, here's an article from the Dell support site that will help you troubleshoot your optical drive, as Tesla1856 said, we need to make sure the issue you're having is related to the software (PowerDVD) or to the hardware; the optical drive it self. Let me know how it goes please, I'll follow the thread.

Alex M
Dell | Alienware Technical Support Alienware Arena
Opening your case and/or replacing parts yourself does not void your warranty!
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vmiller64
1 Copper

Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

The PowerDVD and drive still play CDs and DVDs.  And I used the BD and 3D analyzer that CyberLink provided, and the drive passes on BD.

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vmiller64
1 Copper

Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

And the drivers are up-to-date, according to the Windows "check for update" button

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Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

ok in this case the problem you're having is software related, you mentioned before that you paid for the software support, How did that go?

Alex M
Dell | Alienware Technical Support Alienware Arena
Opening your case and/or replacing parts yourself does not void your warranty!
YouTube Logo Check out our disassemble videos on YouTube
If you need extra assistance please use Facebook Logo Twitter Logo, I can't always reply to PM's

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vmiller64
1 Copper

Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

I called, the rep said he would send me an email.  In that email he asked that I make sure drivers are up-to-date, for the PowerDVD serial number as well as the results of running DxDiag.  He would then reply to my email as far as next steps go.  So much for the "voice support."

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Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

Ok lets wait for their resolution, everything with the hardware seems to be working fine. Let me know if their resolution helped. Otherwise just send an email to awsocialmedia@dell.com including your service tag, name and phone number and I'll get someone from the software support to assist you with this. Also please include my name somewhere on the email so I can give personal follow up to the case.

Alex M
Dell | Alienware Technical Support Alienware Arena
Opening your case and/or replacing parts yourself does not void your warranty!
YouTube Logo Check out our disassemble videos on YouTube
If you need extra assistance please use Facebook Logo Twitter Logo, I can't always reply to PM's

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

The PowerDVD and drive still play CDs and DVDs.  

 
Right, but those discs use the red laser.
 
To test the blue laser, insert Blu-Ray disk and see if you can read the files and folders in Windows Explorer. Try opening a file (maybe an .XML file) in NotePad and see if it reads properly. It can display it because it's not ecrypted. If this works, you know the drive is reading files ok (at a core or basic level). That really just leaves decryption of the BD video files, which is most likely a software problem.
 
There are several pieces of software on the system that all have to be compatible with Blu-Ray playback, including (but not limited to ...)
CyberLink PowerDVD (BD playback app)
Video Driver (AMD or nVidia)
BD Drive Firmware (if outdated, might prevent some newer discs from decrypting)
 
My copy of Cyberlink Blu-Ray Disc Advisor v2.x never actually tests the drive or it's ability to read files from the disc. It only tests the other required system parts.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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vmiller64
1 Copper

Re: PowerDVD 12 and Blu-ray

Ok.  CyberLink had me run DxDiag.  When they received the text file, they said that there was no "Date/Time" information for the graphics card (ATI) driver, so I must download a new driver.  I downloaded a driver from the link they gave me, and then I started having pop-up errors with software, some of which wouldn't run (like BD and 3D Advisor).  And the screen resolution changed and I couldn't find a setting that would prevent it from appearing stretched in the horizontal direction.  The Alien head always looked flattened.  Big mistake obviously, so I rolled bact to the old driver.  CyberLink said I must deal with the manufacturer of the graphics card or Dell.  If either of them refused to help, since I was out of warranty, then I could have them send me a letter stating they refusted to help.  If I had that letter, CyberLink would then try to help me.

I tried calling Dell, and they offered to help me, for $89.  I decided to go with that.  Now, I'm in it for new CyberLink software ($93), CyberLink phone support ($29), and Dell phone support ($89).  The technician remoted logged into my laptop, opened PowerDVD 12, pressed "play" and then "next", and my blu-ray played!  What?!  Turns out when I ran GoToMeeting I was forced to switch to "Windows 7 Basic" Desktop Theme from my Alienware Desktop Theme.  That was the problem.  Windows 7 Basic Desktop theme.

I never once saw in any documentation that Desktop Themes could be causing the problems.  Tragic.  I was able to trade the $89 cost for a $354 year-long maintenance from Dell.  Looking back, I'll bet my PowerDVD 8 would have played the blu-ray if I had just known to switch to Windows 7 Basic Desktop Theme.  

That was an expensive lesson ($93 + $29 + $354 = $476), one that I hope others can avoid since it's documented here.

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