Puzzling. I should have asked earilier. What is the brand annd model
of the drive? You can find this in the Device Manager .......
Start | Control Panel | System in classic view | Hardware tab | Device Manager
Click on the (+) next to DVD/CD-ROM drives. Post the brand and model of the drive.
Sorry - no help - device type listed as 'DVD/CD-ROM drives' and manufacturer simply listed as 'Standard CD-ROM drives'
It appears the system does not recognize the drive as
a DVD drive, but in your first post, you were able to
set the DVD region to 2. Also, the Device Manager only
sees the drive as a CD-ROM drive. It should indicate the
brand and model of the drive. I am puzzled and do not
what to do next.
In the Device Manager, right-click the drive and select
Uinstall, then restart the system. This will reinstall
the driver. I doubt this will help, but it should be tried.
I tried the uninstall but to no avail. I will contact Dell Support UK tomorrow to see if they have had a similar problem in the past. I expect this problem has existed since I purchased the PC but unfortunately didn't find out until it was too late. I am out of warranty by 4 months and they won't be keen to speak to me without holding me to ransom over an extended maintenance contract.
Thank you so much for all of your help (and patience) it has been much appreciated.
Bill.. . .
Just read your problem discussion of back in 2009....of course we are now in 2016 and, since I am having exactly the same problem only 7 years later, your conclusion would be of great interest.
Like you, I never used the CD / DVD player for DVD's until a few days ago only to find it would not recognize store-purchased movie DVD's nor music DVD's. Data and music CD's are OK. Purchase of the Dimension 5150 computer was back in 2005. Windows Media Player is what I normally use successfully for audio CD's
I also tried VLC Media Player and RealPlayer to no avail.
My investigations have ended up finally finding a Microsoft utility called "Microsoft WindowsXP Video Decoder Checkup Utility" that concluded that I had no video MPG-3 Decoder (necessary for viewing a DVD).
However, in a folder for a program called CYBERLINK that came with the computer I just found a MPG2 decoder file .....PdcMPG2V.dll ...and am awaiting a reply from Cyberlink on what to do next....will let you know what happens.
Glad to hear you're keeping an older system still running.
Normally when I hear about a drive that reads CDs but not DVDs, I immediately suspect a failure of the DVD laser itself. Normally VLC will install the required codec, so I'm not convinced that's the problem. Here's how to diagnose this. With a movie DVD in the drive, even if you cannot play the movie, if you open the drive letter in file explorer, you should be able to view the disc contents and the audio and video folders. If you try this and get an "insert disc" message, then I'm pretty sure the drive is bad.
Your 5150 has two SATA ports and one IDE port. If you have only one hard drive, then the other SATA port can be used for a DVD drive. An SATA DVD drive will run about $20. An IDE DVD drive is going to be more difficult to find except at a flea market or on Ebay.
Hello Osprey. . .thanks for spotting my S.O.S.
Good to hear from you on my mystery CD/DVD drive.
I followed up on your suggestions.plus tried more sleuthing on my own. Here are the results :
1. When I click on the "D" drive in the folders list in 'My Computer' (I guess this is the equivalent to 'file explorer that you mentioned) there is no message asking "...to insert a disc..". When I try a CD and in Windows MediaPlayer, when I select the 'Play' tab the drop-down menu shows "DVD,VCD or CD Audio". Clicking on this the play jumps back to the first track. With no CD this menu item is shaded out as not available.
2. Going via the 'folders' list under 'My Computer', and with the movie DVD in the drive, nothing happens and if I Left-click on the Drive Letter (D) and eventually the "not responding" notification comes on at the top of the screen — I have to go to the 'Task Manager' to get out of this bind and back to the beginning. This leads to the small window appearing about a need to notify Microsoft with an 'error report' — which I do, If I Right-Click on the Drive Letter hoping to to obtain the small drop-down menu with 'Properties' as an item, nothing happens — just a blank screen, followed by the "not responding" , etc as before. All this time the small light at the CD/DVD drive just keeps blinking.
If I remove the movie DVD, I can then obtain the drop-down menu with the 'Properties', etc. by Right-clicking. If I Left-click with an EMPTY drive D nothing happens (just a blank screen, but no hangup and no "not responding" notification and no "insert disk " notification".) . . . As a comparison, Left-clicking the Floppy Disk Drive (A), when empty, I get the "insert disk" message.
3. Today, to add to the confusion, if I place a data CD (e.g. my 'DELL Resources' disc) I get nothing (as with the DVD). No way to view the list of files or anything else. I tried this with just a routine drop-disc-into-tray, close and wait, and also by the 'manual' method of going through the 'My Computer' folders list and selecting drive"D".
4. Further to the above, today playing a CD successfully was only possible by using 'RealPlayer'. Windows Media Player and VLC would result in the audio cutting in and out.
What do you think of all this ? Is there a possibility that the different media players are in conflict or is it all an indication of the drive becoming more worn out than me ?
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Best regards. . . JIM
Ok, that's helpful. Click the link below to my troubleshooting guide (which I really need to update). Try running the Dell diagnostics from the F12 utility partition. Try the READ test with a data CD (not audio), and then again with a DVD.
Hello again Osprey . .
Thanks for all the help info covered in your above reply .. .I see you are hard at it even on Sundays helping poor souls like me.
At this moment I am running a McAfee scan on the DELL 'Resources' disc' just to ensure that it has not picked up anything undesirable or become corrupted — since I have tried it a few times in read trials and re-installations until it finally it was not being 'read' (to at least see the list of files as described in my previous post). This is taking a very long time — but, at least it is being read by the scan procedure !! When completed, I shall follow-up on your latest suggestions and fill you in on the results.
Although mostly keeping an eye on the Rio olympics yesterday, a bit of further experimenting with the CD/DVD drive mystery produced curious results:
a) Right-clicking, followed by 'Properties' on the 'desktop short-cut' for drive "D" results in a window saying to the effect ".,, the target cannot be found.." Yet the 'target' is shown as" D:\ " (same presentation as when this is tried with drive "A" and is what is shown in the 'My Computer' folder/file list..
b) If I try this exercise to reach "D" by going to "MY Computer" , as described in the previous post I get a blank screen and eventually, the "not responding" message because of a time-out in the loading process. However if I hold down <Control> , left-click the "D" drive icon and drag it to my desktop, the normal small menu window can be right-clicked to open and "properties" selected with no complications....all this , of course, with no disc in the drive tray: the presence of a disc causes the same hang-up as described previously, including no 'read' of a CD-data disc.
Will be back with news following experimentation with the F12 procedure (I used this at one point as a check-up during my floundering around after finding my computer knocked to its knees by the ransom-type virus it picked up and that started all this current mess). Your Tool Box' guidance will also be applied where applicable — read through it and it sounds very thorough, congratulations on the thought and effort involved in assembling it.
Regards. . . Jim
Hi Osprey . . .
As always it is a pleasure to have your ear to talk to about my woes !
My long absence in getting back with the results of trying out your Trouble Shooting Guide is that I did that — and some more. Your Trouble Shooter is a great solid starting point and covers pretty well all the basic angles.
The conclusion, for the moment, is that a defective physical drive seems to be the main "Problem" (source) causing all my "Symptoms" (works sometimes and only on some media — sometimes — but not all audio or data CD's, movie or music DVD's). There is still a possibility that the software may be imperfect. But testing will have to wait until I obtain and install a new drive.
For your information and possible help to others in similar predicaments, here are the highlights of my "adventures" that started with your Optical Drive Troubleshooting Guide (my exploits represent many tedious hours of trials and re-starts, more searching and reading, etc.).
A) The F12 'Custom' test for a CD-ROM in the drive identified everything as "Pass" except for "Reading". After receiving too many Error messages similar to those below and with only 13% of the "Read" test completed, I aborted.
error code 0F00:021E Msg: Block 27806: Reset or Medium changed ...or
" " 0F00:021B " " 16956: Flaw in medium or an error in the recorded data. If this is a removable media device, try different media ...or
" " 0F00:0232 " " 31681: Timeout waiting for IRQ
NB: The CD-ROM's that I used (and changed when the error message suggested trying a new medium) were my two DELL Drivers & Utilities CD's, "Dimension and XPS Resource CD" and "Reinstalling V.9X(Capable) /56K Telephony Data/Fax/Voice Modem Software for Microsoft Windows"). Inspite of te error messages, they are both in perfect condition — I hope they still are ! Hopefully the exercise or previous trials attempting to read them (display contents) have not created file damage/corruption.
B) In this F12 System Test program, the CD/DVD drive testing screen indicates that the mouse is inactive during this test, but, in my case, the pointer was inactive in all the tests available in the System Tests. It was "frozen" in the center of the screen — I could only go up and down and in the reverse direction of physical mouse movement and nothing could be clicked. The only available controls were the Enter and arrows on my keyboard. My mouse is a Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000 (it has a "zoom" feature and ability to scroll sideways).. Replacing with the original supplied by DELL, everything was as supposed to be — so, while in the test program, I tested that mouse — "Passed".
C) Testing a DVD the results were even worse — nothing could be "read", and the same type of error message posted right from the beginning.The "seek" test, etc did not produce results. I tried movie and also music DVD's.
D) At this point, going to the "Downloads" mentioned in item 2.1 of your Guide did not produce anything usable and the "Fix-It" Utility led to a Microsoft listing of handy downloads for troubleshooting called "Microsoft EasyFix Solutions" that replaces "Fix-It", but does not contain files ( .msi files) that apply to Windows XP. The whole list ( .diageb files) is for later Windows versions. This is the situation after a very well described procedure with images on how to download and use troubleshooter downloads from the list plus explanations that there were two types of files, etc — however, the type for WinXP must have been eliminated at some point and the descriptions not corrected.
E) All this exercise somehow got me into the DELL web page and finding a Support section that I have never seen before... hope was rekindled when I discovered that its features would take my Dimension 5150 model and use the recent test results to come up with recommended corrections. I quickly clicked the appropriate button and, when it was all over, things struck me as being much for the better — there had been things uninstalled and others installed. Next day I tried everything out. Audio CD's that had not played well (sound wavering or cutting in and out, or some tracks not playing) were OK. However, CD-ROM.s like the DELL ones used in the tests above, plus other installation CD's for monitor, mouse, digital camera, etc and both movie and music DVD's were failures. It was as if the drive just could not detect the media nor its content — the CD tray was even opening up and messages appearing asking to insert media when the media was already there in the tray !
F) During all the DELL Support evaluation , etc that occurred in (E) above, a desktop shortcut got installed to the 'DellAssist' Utility (this is new to me) that allowed another evaluation of the CD/DVD drive. It was quickly given a categorical "Failure" mark.....and that is it !
Osprey.... I hope all this will at least be of help to others in order to avoid the long hours that I have spent and all the time of yours that I have taken up. I certainly appreciate the guidance derived from your Guide, ToolBox, etc and your pointers in this post. I guess you inspired me to do a lot of sleuthing that I have appreciated from an educational point of view, even though it was tedious and long.
The DellAssist utility appears to be something made of gold — strongly recommended !! ...... Easy and quick to use. Many different things can be handled with this.
A few questions that I hope will not burden you too much, before I close up for the evening:
1) The descriptions that I ran across in these recent searches and trials did not clearly point out whether I have and IDE or a S ATA interface with my current CD/DVD drive. Apart from opening up the 'tower' to look at the connection, is there a place in the files that categorically says which interface is being used, or would both connections be available and even if it is currently an IDE, I could purchase a S ATA drive and install with no hangups ?. From what I see with DELL and others, the S ATA drives are more plentiful
2) Is the S ATA drive preferable to the IDE ?
3) Is there a question of compatibility with the Dimension 5150, or will any, presumably S ATA drive work? The current drive is described in the hardware section in Windows as just a "standard drive" — but with the new-to-me DellAssist Utility I was finally able to find out that the manufacturer was Hitachi-LG.
4) The move that I did not try, because of the more visible 'hardware' failure, was the 'removal of upper and/or lower filters'. Do you think I should try it anyway?
In the instructions it is mentioned to back-up the Registry. Could you step me through this procedure ? From what I can see in the folder listing in 'My Computer', it would mean backing-up 'My Computer'. Also, should the files in question be simply deleted or given another name to isolate them and keep them available if needed to re-install ?
Looking forward as much as ever to your reaction and answers, I'll call this a day.