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Recon181
Copper

DELL External USB DVDRW drive GP60N won't play DVDs

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Hello,

I have a new Dell Inspiron 3531 with Windows 8.1.  The laptop did not come with an internal DVD/CD player so I purchased a Dell GP60N External USB DVDRW Drive. 

When I put a DVD into the drive the laptop acknowledges that it's there, but will not play regardless of how I set the autoplay settings.

I've also searched for drivers to see if mine was outdated, but could not find one that would help the situation.

Any help from the community will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Heath

4 Replies

RE: DELL External USB DVDRW drive GP60N won't play DVDs

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Windows by default can not decode DVD video, so you will need some playback software...

Usually when you buy a DVD player/burner you get some software with it, either WinDVD or PowerDVD for video playback and some other software if the device can also burn disks... UNLESS the hardware was a OEM version, which normally does not come in a box like retail version, then you normally get nothing...

So, for the moment the simplest thing is to connect the drive to the laptop and then insert a DVD into the drive. Go to Explorer and then right click the DVD drive selecting open. You should now see two directories AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS. This indicates that Windows can see the DVD drive hardware correctly and can also see the files within the DVD itself... Nothing wrong so far...

Now, go into VIDEO_TS directory where you should see a bunch of files, a bunch of .BUP, .IFO and .VOB files. The .VOB files contain the CSS encoded video while the .IFO files contain the DVD commands to play the appropriate video chain (stream). Normally, the .IFO and .VOB files will have an association with some playback software and double clicking the VIDEO_TS.VOB file will launch the player. If the player associated with .IFO files can handle CSS encoded DVD, the playback will start and you will see video and hear audio... If you have a player associated with these types of files, usually autoplay will kick in and playback starts automatically on inserting the DVD into your drive... But if you double click and no software is associated with that file extension, then there is no playback software associated with such files and you can't watch your DVD's...

But as mentioned, Windows does not includes DVD capable playback software by default, so you will need to install DVD playback software... One option is to contact the company (Dell?) that supplied the external DVD player and ask them why you didn't get the comercial DVD playback and DVD burning software that you expected would come with your hardware, they may provide it to you if it should have come within your package, or they will tell you where you can download it from...

If they won't help or they say that it was OEM hardware and did not come with software, then consider using VLC to play your videos as it's free quality open source software. This page describes how to use VLC to play back DVD in Windows 8... You can also use ImgBurn to burn CD's and DVD's (just don't blindly click on those large download buttons on this web site as they are advertisments for *** you don't need, simply page down to the news section where you have a download link)...

Recon181
Copper

RE: DELL External USB DVDRW drive GP60N won't play DVDs

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Sky,

Thank you so much!  This is perfect.  I downloaded VLC as I didn't have a disk in the package and it worked beautifully!

This was, by far, the most thorough and helpful reply post I've seen on any of these forums to date.  Thank you for being so detailed in your post!

Best regards,

Heath

RE: DELL External USB DVDRW drive GP60N won't play DVDs

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As i always say, the devil is in the detail.  Glad i could help.

aisro
Copper

RE: DELL External USB DVDRW drive GP60N won't play DVDs

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Yes, very helpful post, also sorted me out with a new laptop that had no inbuilt dvd player. thanks!