I have just purchased this older Laptop from my grandson's school, I am trying to watch a DVD and it keeps telling me I don't have a decorder installed... I am using Windows media player, I am really not that computer savy, any help is greatly appreciated........
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Check the front of the drive for a DVD logo - if it doesn't have the logo, then it can't read or play DVDs.
If the DVD logo is present on the drive, then you still need a program with Windows in order to play back a DVD video. I'd probably use something along the line of WinDVD from Corel (previously InterVideo).
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the combo drive you listed above is a cd-rw/ DVD-ROM....meaning that it will play and burn cd, cd-r, and cd-rw disks. the dvd rom will only be able to play dvd-rom and dvd-r disks providing they are in the proper format. check that the disk in question is not a dvd-rw or (+2) disk. the drive will not recognize that a disk is in the drive if the disk isnt compatable. try a dvd movie, if that works then a dvd-r, if that works then try a dvd-rw +1. if the last option doesnt work then you will have to stick with the dvd-rom and dvd-r, or purchase a dvd-rw drive to install.
Both Dell Part numbers 18THT and 5W299 are 8X DVD-ROM Drive Modules. DPN 18THT is compatible with Latitude C series and DPN 5W299 is compatible with Latitude D series. The two drives have different and incompatible connectors.
Your Latitude C640 is a C Series Latitude. You can therefore not use DPN 5W299.
If you need a DVD drive module, get DPN 18THT or an alternative Latitude C series drive.
I'm assuming you have tried a different dvd also and no joy, but it may need a lens clean or it is unable to read dvd anymore as the tracks are closer together than a cd and the alignment of the laser is faulty.
Notebook roms are replaceable but only mainly from your notebook manufacturer.
You could also use an external dvd writer via usb, although this then doesn't make your notebook as portable, if you need to read a dvd disc.