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Windows 7: Windows Media Player 12 DVD Playback

14 Feb 2011   #1
CaelanAegana

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 
Windows Media Player 12 DVD Playback

I am having a very frustrating issue with Windows Media Player 12 and its plugin to Windows Media Center. Neither of these programs will play DVDs. What will happen generally is after a fresh boot, they will play the DVD for a few seconds and then stop. WMP simply reverts to the blue options screen and Media Center will display a message about files not being installed correctly. When I insert a DVD into the drive WMP/WMC will always recognize it, but whether or not it will play the disc is unpredictable at best.

I have eliminated other possibilities, such as it being the sensitivity of the drive (tried a USB DVD drive) or the DVDs being too worn (tried a stand-alone DVD player). The only pattern I have noticed is that the DVDs that won't work as well tend to be a bit older in production age.

This has happened to me several times now (I've owned this computer a year.) Previously I was able to use a system restore to back things up a few days and it seemed to work. I've tried that repeatedly this time but no luck.

I know everyone's first instinct is to say "CODECS!" but that's not the case. The DVDs play fine in other programs such as WMP Classic and SuperDVD, but I don't like either of these programs as Classic's quality is crummy and Super is annoyingly buggy and can't really handle W7. I've installed the freeware Windows 64-bit codec pack. When I installed it it did give me a message about several files being "empty" or something.

I've also tried another solution suggested on a Microsoft forum for turning off WMP/WMC from the control panel, restarting, then turning them back on. I only get halfway through this solution because on the restart, Windows tells me that the changes failed and reverts. (Tried this on my default account and on an Admin account created just for that purpose, as the post suggested.) Really have no idea what that problem is about. I'd try to repair/install through the Control Panel but WMP/WMC doesn't even show up on the programs list.

The only thing I'm thinking might be the culprit at this point is DirectX. For some reason when I installed Realplayer the DirectX installation failed, but it did not tell me why. I'm definitely nothing close to an expert on programs so someone else will have to rule that out as the cause. I also have PCTools Spyware Doctor and Registry Mechanic but I don't think they are the problem either.

I'd really love to find some solution that doesn't involve me doing a fresh install of Windows, since I have several product licenses that I'll have to pay for all over again if I do that.

System Info:
HP Voodoo Firebird
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, fully updated
Intel Core2Quad 2.66 GHz processor
4 GB RAM
NVidia GeForce 9800 x2, latest drivers

Please help, this is driving me mad!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Feb 2011   #2
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Actually codecs shouldn't even come into play when using a actual dvd. They are more a issue for computer formats like avi mp4 ac3 stuff like that.
It does sound like something has thrown itself off in wmp, I actually had the same problem. After trying various fixes and having it temporarily fix then revert back. Similar to what you are describing I finally stumbled on this program.
VideoLAN - VLC media player, Open Source video framework for every OS!

I haven't used media player for anything since.
I know it's probably not what you were looking for but vlc doesn't even use codecs. It will play dvd's and blurays along with any computer format you can imagine without the need for any external support... and it's free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2011   #3
CaelanAegana

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

I tried a lot of free programs and the ones that worked had really horrible picture, but I'll try it out...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Feb 2011   #4
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

If you don't like what you see, go into the options, there are a million tweaks in the advanced tabs, if you have a proper video card it can even use it to boost image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2011   #5
CaelanAegana

Windows 7 Home 64-bit
 
 

It works! And much better than Media Player Classic!

I darn well better have a proper video card (or two) in a gaming machine...:-)

Thanks so much!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2011   #6
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

no problem, glad I was able to help out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Media Player 12 DVD Playback




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