Windows 7 x64, Video DVDs come up as unrecognizable

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Jorpho
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Windows 7 x64, Video DVDs come up as unrecognizable

Postby Jorpho » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:24 am UTC

The subject line says it all: my Windows 7 installation suddenly no longer acknowledges the existence of video DVD discs.
-Ordinary DVD-ROMs appear to work fine.
-Media Player Classic (installed via the K-Lite Codec Pack) can play DVDs stored as directories.
-MPC can also play DVD ISOs mounted in Daemon Tools.

But a physical video DVD inserted into the physical drive might as well not exist as far as Windows is concerned. I have tested several DVDs that have been known to work perfectly elsewhere.

DVDs were working not so long ago – sort of. I started off trying to play a DVD in Media Player Classic, but for some reason only the first few horizontal lines at the top of the screen appeared correctly – everything below that was in washed-out black and white. So I downloaded and installed the latest version of the K-Lite Codec Pack, after which I had audio but no video in MPC. I think I have since uninstalled and re-installed the codec pack and am now in my current predicament. Uninstalling the codec pack does not resolve the problem.

I tried the Microsoft troubleshooter at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314060 , and it did not fix the problem. I do not seem to have any upper- or lower-filters in my registry anymore.

I can't think of anything I might have installed or uninstalled lately that would otherwise interfere with the functionality of the drive.

Any other suggestions?

EDIT: Pressed DVD-ROMs (as opposed to burned DVD-Rs) don't seem to be recognized either, and discs don't seem to be readable with Geexbox (Linux-based) either. I guess the hardware quietly kicked the bucket. (Time for a BD-drive, maybe.)

EDIT 2: And of course things are suddenly working normally again for no discernible reason. Rrrr.

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phlip
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Re: Windows 7 x64, Video DVDs come up as unrecognizable

Postby phlip » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:52 am UTC

Is it possible it's a hardware problem? It's not unusual for a failing drive to stop being able to read certain kinds of disks before other kinds...

Can you try something like installing a Linux livecd to a USB drive, and see if that can read your DVDs? See if it's something in Windows that's messing up...

I mean, the codec stuff you described sounds relevant, but I'd be confused if any amount of codec problems could cause Windows to just refuse to mount the disk at all... you're saying that it won't even show up in Computer, you can't even open it up and see that the VIDEO_TS exists?

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Jorpho
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Re: Windows 7 x64, Video DVDs come up as unrecognizable

Postby Jorpho » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

phlip wrote:Can you try something like installing a Linux livecd to a USB drive, and see if that can read your DVDs? See if it's something in Windows that's messing up...
Yes, the aforementioned Geexbox is a USB-bootable distribution, to be precise.

phlip wrote:you're saying that it won't even show up in Computer, you can't even open it up and see that the VIDEO_TS exists?
Yep. It's doing it again right now. The light on the drive seems to flash for considerably longer than usual when I insert the disc, and occasionally makes some pretty loud noises. Hardware failure seems like a very likely culprit. I have indeed seen drives go nuts like that before – I had one once that could only read DVD+R discs but not DVD-R. (Or maybe it was the other way around.)

Aside from replacement I can't think of anything I would be able to do to fix the problem except randomly spray some compressed air inside – which I would think could make things worse.

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Re: Windows 7 x64, Video DVDs come up as unrecognizable

Postby phlip » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:43 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
phlip wrote:you're saying that it won't even show up in Computer, you can't even open it up and see that the VIDEO_TS exists?
Yep. It's doing it again right now. The light on the drive seems to flash for considerably longer than usual when I insert the disc, and occasionally makes some pretty loud noises.

Yeah, I've had exactly that. My guess has always been a dirty lens, or something out of alignment, or something... for whatever reason, it can't read the disk properly. I've never been able to fix it when it happens short of replacing the drive. Maybe you could get lucky with one of those lens-cleaning disk things, but they've never worked for me.

There also exist videos on YouTube about how to pull a drive apart and clean all the bits, which might help if you're desperate... that seems like a quick and easy way to completely destroy your drive, though. And if you don't feel safe doing that yourself, you probably won't be able to find someone to do it for you for less than the price of a new drive...

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Re: Windows 7 x64, Video DVDs come up as unrecognizable

Postby cphite » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:45 pm UTC

phlip wrote:you're saying that it won't even show up in Computer, you can't even open it up and see that the VIDEO_TS exists?
Yep. It's doing it again right now. The light on the drive seems to flash for considerably longer than usual when I insert the disc, and occasionally makes some pretty loud noises. Hardware failure seems like a very likely culprit. I have indeed seen drives go nuts like that before – I had one once that could only read DVD+R discs but not DVD-R. (Or maybe it was the other way around.)

Aside from replacement I can't think of anything I would be able to do to fix the problem except randomly spray some compressed air inside – which I would think could make things worse.


If it's making unusual noises and whatnot it's almost certainly hardware; it's having trouble even reading the disc. Probably a dead or dying laser diode.

Canned air probably won't do anything for you, since you're spraying into a confined space, any dust you can move is just going to stay inside. One of those lens cleaning discs might work, but frankly the odds are against it.


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