After formatting dell notebook and install window xp, it cannot play dvd with DVD decoder issue

Hi Experts,

I formatted my dell notebook and install window xp home again.
After that I play a DVD but gave me this message -

Window Media Player cannot play this DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer.

Please help.
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The DVD decoder is not included in Windows XP.  To play a DVD in Media Player you must have the DVD decoder installed.  Typically your Dell should have come with multiple CDs.  One is the operating system, one Resource CD and one or more Recovery CDs.  If you do not restore the additional application you will not have the decoder unless you purchase and install another DVD player program on the notebook.

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Normally, you need to purchase a DVD decoder. Your dell may of come with a pre-installed version, full or trail. You will have to check your orgional CDs.  If you have DVD Decoder software installed on your computer, but you are having trouble playing DVDs, download this utility to check for problems.

Otherwise, your options are:
Buy a DVD decoder: I would recommend WinDvd


You a free player that has th ability to play DVD formats, like The VLC media player found at:
ricjavaAuthor Commented:
I don't seem to have the DVD decoder in any CDs...
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ricjavaAuthor Commented:
About purchasing a DVD decoder, I bought the dell notebook with the DVD drive.  Isn't it all paid?
Unfortunately, no; its not all paid. Computer manufactures provide you with the DVD drive and to save costs they normally ask the end-user to purchase the "rights" to play DVDs using the drive.

Unlike your standard DVD players, which already include these rights. A computer DVD drive has the ability to read any DVD disc, however to play the content you need the DVD codec installed on your computer.
If you have no restore CD with your dell, there is another option.  If you install a freeware media player that also plays DVD ( then you would get DVD playback capability.  Otherwise you may have to contact Dell to get a restore CD to get the factory installed decoder back.
Just install VLC or media player classic both will give you the DVD codecs mpeg, both have what's known as direct draw and are open source so are free
Why on earth woudl you format the drive what was the sevear problem?
DEL have specific mainboard drivers that would restore all the normal functions.
 you could use the troubleshoot list, download guides and manuals for your model here>
Dell Notebook, Inspiron 6400

You say you formatted your drive did you delete the hidden partition too, some systems ship with a recovery partition.
Check it
Control panel> administrative tools> computer management>disc manager
here you can see your partition/s

Have you tried this decoder for media player??
Ric TuteroCommented:
try calling dell & ask for the DVD decoder disc. If still available, it should come at no charge (availability may depend on when ypu had purchased the system). it would either be cyberlink powerdvd or bundled with burning software, if your drive is write-capable. it is not included in any of the resource or OS discs. They are usually, if not always, on a separate disc.

for some reason, they do not include the disc unless user requested.

If your system has it, you can also restore it using the backup partition. it will include all factory-installed applications
ricjavaAuthor Commented:
Sorry I was offline for internet at home down..
I have got my notebook fixed by dell.
However, for giving pts, shall i give 100pts to RaymondPayne, and 75pts each to Damionas and Merete?
Any objections?
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