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Why can't I play DVDs in my Dell laptop?

Posted on 2016-08-01
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
It's the first time since wiping out the Windows 7 partition installed when I purchased my Dell laptop 3 1/2 years ago, that I've attempted to play a DVD under the new Windows 10 partition. It's not working! I am presented with two options; RealPlayer and the app store. Since I've been planning on removing RealPlayer from my system, I elected to try my luck in the app store. I downloaded and installed the first thing I saw and attempted to play the DVD that was in the drive. As you might imagine, the application did everything but play the DVD, including repeated attempts to get me to "upgrade." I thought that Windows media player would play the DVD. Either it couldn't, or I don't know how to get it to see the drive. I've been playing DVDs in my computers since windows XP! in the good old days, my computers came with a DVD application. I guess that's no longer the case.
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Question by:babyb00mer
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Assisted Solution

by:Schnell Solutions
Schnell Solutions earned 500 total points
ID: 41737952
Definitively Windows Media Player includes by default the codes for playing an standardized DVD format. However, there are some cases where a DVD is recorded with other formats that may require special codes for their execution.

There are many options to been able to play your DVDs, one of them is to install the missing codes into the system, another one is to install a different application to reproduce your DVDs. For instance, there is an application called 'VLC Player', so far it can reproduce any kind of format that I have found anywhere, no matter what it is, and it can be downloaded from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html.
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Assisted Solution

by:n2fc
n2fc earned 500 total points
ID: 41737989
Windows 7 by default had a built-in DVD player...

When you upgraded to Windows 10, only CERTAIN versions of Windows 7 were qualified to receive the new Windows DVD Player for free; notably "Home Premium" and higher.

See explanation here:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10567/windows-10-dvd-player

If you upgraded from Windows 7 Basic or Home (or did a "clean" install), you can PURCHASE the player from Microsoft's App Store...

HOWEVER, that said, The alternative VLC player works just fine and is ALWAYS free!

More info here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html

(When downloading select the version 32/64 bits that matches your system!)
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by:
garycase earned 1000 total points
ID: 41738024
"... Definitively Windows Media Player includes by default the codes for playing an standardized DVD format " ==>  Absolutely NOT true in Windows 10.

Windows 10 Media Player does NOT include the CSS decoder required to play standard DVDs.   As noted above, a free DVD Player application will automatically be installed via Windows Update for certain versions of '10, but ONLY if they were upgrades from '7 or '8.   It is NOT installed in any clean load of Windows 10 => you have to purchase it from the app store.

The best solution is, as noted above, the free VLC Player.    This works very nicely; is free; and works in all versions of Windows.
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 41738169
garycase is correct. VLC is probably the best solution.
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Author Closing Comment

by:babyb00mer
ID: 41739154
Although my previous experience with VLC had been disappointing (I found the interface counterintuitive), on the advice of the experts who contributed to this question, I decided to try it again. This time, it worked as advertised.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41740117
I had the same experience with earlier versions; but it's evolved very nicely.

I uncheck all of the associations when I install it, so the only thing it's used for by default is playing DVDs.   And learn the keyboard controls for skipping forward/backward, toggling subtitles,  or navigating to a specific time ... they're very handy.
http://www.howtogeek.com/196371/master-vlc-with-these-23-keyboard-shortcuts/
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