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Resolving DVD Movie Problems (Windows XP, ME, and 98)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers with Windows XP, Me, and 98.
This document is intended to fix problems that occur when playing DVD movies on a computer. Use the section below that fits your situation. If the problem is not listed, reinstall the DVD software. You might also want to review the Related support section at the end of the document.

Before you begin: Check to see if the DVD drive can read any discs

If you have a data DVD, an audio CD, or a data CD, insert one of these discs into the DVD drive and confirm that the drive can play the media. If it plays all discs except DVD movie discs, continue to the next section.
NOTE:If the DVD drive cannot read any discs, the drive might have failed. If your computer was purchased after 2001, it probably contains a software program called PC Doctor. Use PC Doctor to help verify DVD failures before calling support or repairing the computer. Use the HP support document HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Using PC Doctor for further help. Write down the error code number so that you can provide it to a support agent.

A specific movie title does not play

If you cannot play a specific movie title, but other movie titles play correctly, the most likely problem is that the DVD movie is defective - scratched, dirty, sun damaged, or it has a manufacturing flaw.
In some cases however, the firmware for a DVD drive (the driver) might be unable to recognize certain movie titles because of the type of disc media used in the DVD manufacturing process.
To make sure that the drive firmware is up to date, download and install any available DVD drive firmware updates from HP that match the type of DVD drive that is installed in your computer. For more information about how to find and update the firmware for your computer, see the HP support article Obtaining Software and Drivers .

Resolving playback quality problems (DVD skips, overlay)

Complete each of the following steps in order. Try to play a movie after performing each step, until the playback problem is resolved.
NOTE:If InterVideo WinDVD version 5.0 is installed, download the InterVideo WinDVD 5.0 Update (sp26634) from the HP Web site. Go to the HP Web site and type sp26634 into the search field. In the search results, click to download sp26634, and follow the instructions on the download page to install the update.

Step 1: Clean the DVD movie disc

A dirty or scratched DVD surface is the main reason that a DVD movie skips when playing on a computer. Because the reading area on a DVD is smaller than on a CD, DVDs are more susceptible to skipping and playback problems than CDs. Skipping is more likely to occur with DVD movies that have been handled frequently, such as those from a movie rental store.
To fix playback problems, clean the DVD. Clean DVDs with filtered water and a lint-free cloth. Wipe from the center of the disc to the outer edge. If cleaning does not work, buy a CD/DVD repair kit available at an electronics store.
If cleaning the DVD does not work and all DVDs play erratically, continue to the next step. If only a few DVD movies have problems, the discs are probably bad. The data on a DVD can be destroyed over time.
To increase the life of DVDs:
  • Keep discs in their cases when not in use.
  • Avoid exposing the discs to direct sunlight.
  • Never slide or rotate discs across any surface.

Step 2: Log off the Internet while playing movies

Software programs can access the Internet or network while a movie plays. This can disrupt the movie. Make sure to disconnect from the Internet before playing a movie. If you are not connected to the Internet while playing movies and movies still skip, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Disable WinDVD video hardware acceleration

If movie playback in WinDVD is not smooth or the sound volume is too low, try disabling hardware acceleration.
If your computer does not have WinDVD, skip this step.
  1. Open InterVideo WinDVD.
  2. Right-click in the main InterVideo WinDVD window.
  3. Click Setup in the drop-down menu.
  4. Click the Video tab at the top of the Setup window.
  5. Remove the selection next to Use Hardware Decode Acceleration to remove the check mark.
    Figure 1: Video tab
    Video tab
  6. Click Apply , and then click OK .

Step 4: Enable software acceleration and write combining

Write combining can increase the efficiency of how movie data is transferred. Perform the following steps to make sure that write combining is enabled:
  1. Right-click an empty part of the desktop, and select Properties .
  2. Click Settings , click Advanced , and then click Troubleshoot .
  3. Adjust the Hardware acceleration slider to Full .
  4. Select Enable Write Combining , and click OK .
    Figure 2: Troubleshoot tab
    Troubleshoot tab
  5. Restart the computer.

Step 5: Change or reset the transfer mode

Make sure the transfer mode is set to DMA and that it is reset if needed.
Windows XP:
  1. Right-click the My Computer icon, and select Properties .
  2. Click the Hardware tab and then click the Device Manager button.
  3. Click the plus sign next to IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers to expand it.
  4. There are Primary and Secondary IDE Channel listings. Right-click the channel the DVD drive is using and click the delete button to remove the device.
    NOTE:Almost all computers have hard drives connected to the Primary IDE channel and CD/DVD drives connected to the Secondary IDE Channel.
  5. Restart the computer to reinstall the IDE Channel settings/driver.
    NOTE:If problems continue, open the Primary and Secondary IDE Channel listings in Device manager again and double-click the Channel listing. Click the Advanced settings tab and make sure that transfer mode is set to DMA if available and not PIO.
Windows 98/Me
  1. Click Start , click Settings , and then click Control Panel .
  2. Double-click the System icon
  3. Double-click the CD/DVD drive listing, and the Settings tab.
  4. Place a check in the box next to DMA. If the DMA box has a checkmark, DMA is already enabled on the drive. Continue to the next step.

Step 6: Change Windows desktop color properties

Windows requires more memory and processing power to display large desktop sizes with many colors. Your eyes cannot easily tell the difference between colors beyond 16 bit. Use the following steps to make sure that the desktop is set at 16-bit color:
  1. Right-click an empty part of the desktop, and click Properties .
  2. The Display Properties window displays. Click the Settings tab.
  3. Set Color or Color Quality to High Color (16 bit) , or Medium (16 bit) .
  4. Click Apply , and then click OK .
If setting the color depth to 16 did not help, continue to the next step.

Step 7: Turn off extra peripherals (connected devices)

Disconnecting non-essential devices that are connected to the computer can free up valuable system resources and result in better movie performance. Turn off printers, multifunction devices (all-in-ones), and scanners, and unplug cameras, thumb drives, and portable music devices. If this does not help, continue to the next step.

Step 8: Make sure that your DVD player software and DVD drive have the latest updates

Some models of DVD drives show improved DVD video playback after upgrading the drive firmware. The latest DVD player software for your computer might contain updates that address playback performance problems. Use the HP Support and Drivers site to find and install DVD drive firmware updates or DVD player software updates (InterVideo WinDVD). For more information, see HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Obtaining Software and Drivers

Step 9: Increase system resources

Increasing system resources provides more resources for the DVD software. Use the following HP support document for details on how to make the computer run more quickly and efficiently: How to Increase System Resources Without Adding Memory
If increasing your system resources does not fix the problem, try reinstalling the DVD software .

Error: Create overlay failed

This error that occurs in WinDVD can usually be resolved by toggling the Windows color setting to 16-bit or 32-bit, and the screen area to 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768. For more information, see Error Message: Create Overlay Failed (in English).

Error: DVD decoder not found

A decoder is software that tells Windows how to put the movie image back together from the DVD files for playback. A DVD decoder not found error occurs when the decoder is not installed or not properly registered with Windows. In the United States and many other countries, DVD decoders are not free and are not legally available for free download from the Internet. The only way to legally fix this error are to reinstall the DVD software or purchase new DVD player software.

Error: Region errors

A region error occurs:
NOTE: The following information applies to region-1 DVDs. Depending on country/region, laws and drive behaviors might be different.
  • Illegal DVD Region
  • The region of the DVD movie you are trying to play does not match the authorized region of the DVD player
  • 0x80004003
  • 0x80034013
Region errors occur when the DVD movie does not match the country/region in which it was intended to be sold. The DVD drive is matched to the region it was sold in. If a DVD movie from a different country/region is placed in the drive, a message displays and the DVD software might not let the movie play.
Countries/RegionsCountry/Region CodesCountries/Regions
1 United States and Canada
2 Europe, Japan, Near East, South Africa
3 Southeast Asia (including Hong Kong SAR)
4 Australia, Central and South America, Mexico, New Zealand
5 Eastern Europe, North Africa, Northwest Asia
6 China
Region codes are set in the DVD discs that are played. For example, if you play a DVD disc from Region 1, and the DVD player is set to Region 2, a dialog box is displayed that states, a disc has been inserted from a different region . This dialog box displays the region for the inserted movie disc and the current player region, along with a list of new player regions and countries available to select. At this time, you can change the region.
Most DVD players play three non-region titles before they stop playing non-region titles. This feature is designed to prevent illegal selling of software titles between regions. Use compatible DVD movies for the region you are in or replace the DVD drive with one from the same region where the DVD movies are purchased.
When a new region is selected, a warning displays, stating the number of region changes remaining before the change is written.

Error: Media Center cannot play this DVD. The DVD may be in use by another application or it is copy-protected

This error message can occur on a computer with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 or 2004, when all the following conditions are present:
  • You are trying to play a DVD with protected content.
  • You are using a high-definition television and a component video cable.
  • Your television resolution is set higher than 640 x 480 pixels.
To resolve the error, first note whether your screen has a Display Settings icon. Then follow one or the other of the following procedures.
If your screen has a Display Settings icon:
  1. Remove the DVD from the drive.
  2. Click the Display Settings icon.
  3. In the Display Settings window, click Low resolution. Click Apply , and then click Yes .
  4. Click Exit in the Display Settings window to close the window.
  5. Play the DVD.
If your screen does NOT have a Display Settings icon:
  1. Remove the DVD from the drive.
  2. Click Start , click Media Center , click More Programs , click HP Settings , and then click Video Settings .
  3. Click the Display Connection Wizard to lower the display resolution to 640 x 480 pixels. Complete the following steps in the wizard:
    1. At the Welcome screen, click the check boxes for Verify connection and Display turned on , and then click Next .
    2. The select Display Type screen displays. Select Flat Panel , and then click Next .
    3. When the Verify Type of Connector screen displays, click Component .
    4. The Do You Have HDTV screen displays? Click Yes , and then click Next .
    5. On the Accept Terms and Conditions screen, click I Accept , and then click Next .
    6. On the Definition Type screen, select either 480i or 480p , and then click Next .
    7. On the Preview Settings screen, click Finish .
  4. Play the DVD.
When you have finished playing the DVD, you might want to return the screen resolution to the previous setting.

Volume is too low when playing a movie

Use the following steps, checking the volume after each step, until the proper volume levels are found:
  1. Make sure that volumes for CD player and Wave have not been turned down:
    1. Click Start , click All Programs , click Accessories , click Entertainment , and then click Volume Control .
    2. Remove any checkmarks from Mute and adjust the volume sliders up for CD Player and Wave .
    3. Close the Master Volume window.
  2. If you have WinDVD 2000 and the volume is still low when playing movies, an update is probably required. Go to the HP Drivers and Download page , and type the computer model name (such as XL768, or 8705). The update is in the audio section on the download page.
  3. If movie playback in WinDVD is not smooth or the sound volume is too low, disable hardware acceleration. If your computer does not have WinDVD, skip this step.
    1. Open InterVideo WinDVD.
    2. Right-click the main InterVideo WinDVD window.
    3. Click Setup in the drop-down menu.
    4. Click the Video tab at the top of the Setup window.
    5. Remove the selection next to Use Hardware Decode Acceleration to remove the checkmark.
      Figure 3: Video tab
      Video tab
    6. Remove the selection next to Use Hardware Decode Acceleration to cancel the selection.
    7. Click Apply , and then click OK .

Reinstalling the DVD player software

Removing and reinstalling the DVD player software (such as InterVideo WinDVD or CyberLink Power DVD) can resolve a variety of problems, including missing file messages, encoder not found messages, and errors involving device library files (.dll). Perform the following steps to reinstall the DVD player software.
NOTE: If the computer has recovery discs, make sure that the discs are available before starting these steps. Otherwise, the DVD player software will not install. You cannot perform these steps if the operating system (Windows) on the computer has been changed.
CAUTION:Do not remove the DVD player software if you are using a 6400 series or s3000 series Presario desktop or if WinDVD is not listed in application recovery. For these two products, perform a system recovery to reinstall the DVD player software.
  1. Make sure the DVD player software is listed in the application recovery. If the DVD player software is not present in the application recovery list, you cannot remove and reinstall the software.
    If the DVD player software is not present, skip to the next section. If you purchased DVD player software separately, find the software installation and skip this step.
    In Windows XP, click Start , click All Programs , click PC Help & Tools , and then click Application Recovery .
    In Windows 98 and Me for HP computers, click Start , click All Programs , click HP Tools , and then click Application Recovery . Place the last disc of the recovery disc set into the top CD, CDRW, or DVD drive.
    In Windows 98 and Me for Compaq computers, click Start , click Help and Support , click Compaq Quick Restore , click Selective Restore , and then click the icon for the DVD software.
    In the Recovery window, click Applications , and then click Next .
    Find the DVD Player software in the list. If the player software is listed, continue using these steps to remove and then reinstall the software. If the DVD player is not listed, you must download it from the HP Web site, perform a full system recovery, or buy new DVD player software.
  2. In Windows XP, click Start , and then click Control Panel .
    In Windows 98 and Me, click Start , click Settings , and then click Control Panel .
  3. Double-click the Add/Remove icon.
  4. Click the DVD player title in the list of installed programs.
  5. Click the Add/Remove , Change/Remove , or Remove button, whichever is shown.
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  7. When the DVD player software removal is complete, restart the computer and wait until the Windows desktop displays.
  8. In Windows XP, click Start , click All Programs , click PC Help & Tools , and then click Application Recovery .
    In Windows 98 and Me for HP computers, click Start , click All Programs , click HP Tools , and then click Application Recovery . Place the last disc of the recovery disc set into the top CD, CD-RW, or DVD drive.
    In Windows 98 and Me for Compaq computers, click Start , click Help and Support , click Compaq Quick Restore , and then click Selective Restore . Click the icon for the DVD software.
  9. An Application Recovery window displays. Select the DVD player software from the list. For example, InterVideo WinDVD.
  10. Click OK and follow any instructions that display.
  11. Restart the computer when finished and test by playing a DVD movie.

Another DVD player is opening and preventing DVD playback

Some DVD titles open and prompt to install an additional player before the movie is played. If you have installed this player and are trying to open another software player, this error can occur.
To prevent the error, close and remove the DVD player that you do not want to use.
  1. Close software that is open and remove the DVD from the drive.
  2. In Windows XP, click Start , and then click Control Panel .
    In Windows 98 and Me, click Start , click Settings , and then click Control Panel .
  3. In Windows XP, click Add or Remove Programs .
    In Windows 98 or Me, double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  4. Select the DVD playback software title that you do not want.
  5. In Windows XP, click the Remove or Change/Remove button.
    In Windows 98 and Me, click Add/Remove , and then follow the instructions on the screen.
  6. After the software program is removed, reinsert the disc to play the DVD.

Related support

NOTE: If the steps in this document failed to resolve your issue, the DVD drive might have failed. If your computer was purchased after 2001, it probably contains a software program called PC Doctor. Use PC Doctor to help verify DVD failures before calling support or repairing the computer. Use the HP support document Using PC Doctor to learn more about testing for DVD failures. If you receive an error code after running a test, you need to Contact HP (in English) for further assistance. Write down the error code number so that you can provide it to a support agent.
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