Question about Dell Inspiron 1501 Notebook

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DVD Drive won't read DVD's.

I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 running Windows XP. My CD/DVD drive reads CD's, but not DVD's. I had a problem with getting my speakers to work before, but I installed a driver or something, and they work just fine now. Is there something I need to install to get it to read DVD's? If so, what is it?

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  • thinkinhard Jan 19, 2009

    Sorry, the speakers have nothing to do with the drive.
    I just tried to play a DVD in Windows media player, and a thing popped up that said "Windows Media Player cannot play the DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer." ...I have no idea what that means.

  • thinkinhard Jan 19, 2009

    Thanks fowlercomp! However, I'm now getting a message when I try to play the DVD saying "Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder, and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card."
    Sorry, I'm not the smartest when it comes to drivers and such. Any idea how to do that?

  • thinkinhard Jan 19, 2009

    Thanks so much, Boogerhead! It works! Have a good night everyone!

  • shauna902002 Feb 01, 2009

    im trying to play a dvd on windows media player and everytime i do it says that i need the dvd decoder

  • Boogerhead01 May 11, 2010

    You may have a bad drive. It "should" work.

    You can look for updated firmware to the drive -- you'd need to just just what drive it is. Try Start: Control Panels: System: Device Manager, and try to find the model number of the drive. You can then try to find the manufacturer's Web site and see if there's "firmware," which is essentially a software update to the hardware.

    If worst comes to worst, you may be able to get a replacement drive much cheaper than Dell might sell it to you. But one step at a time.

    In mentioning the speakers -- do you have any indiciation that anything you did there has anything at all to do with the drive?

  • Thomas F. Schneider May 11, 2010

    Yes. You  need softwware that reads DVDs such as NERO. Does it read movies? Try telling the Windows media player to play a DVD movie. 



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You just need to install a codec package(clickhere) for you to play the media...

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • Shane Fowler
    Shane Fowler Jan 19, 2009

    you can either try updating by typing in the manufacturer of your dvd drive and going to their downloads site or you can send it in for service.


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DVDs are encrypted. For a time, "they" didn't want you to watch DVDs on your computer.

You can use Windows Media Player with the right codec if you want.

A better option may be a free player that already comes with all the options, like a Swiss Army knife. Check out VLC from here:

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • Boogerhead01 Jan 19, 2009

    Again, VLC will play *anything*.

  • Boogerhead01 Jan 19, 2009

    Well, if you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound ...
    This link from Dell makes me think you have an ATI Xpress 1150 video card.

    So go to ATI's driver download link here:

    Pick your operating system (XP? Vista?)

    Pick Integrated/Motherboard

    Pick Radeon XPress 1150.

    Follow the instructions and you should have an updated video card driver.

    Now, if you do anything graphic intensive, you may want to update Windows' own internal video drivers. Go to Google and type:
    download directx

    The first link *from Microsoft* is the one you want. It'll be a relatively small file that you run; that program will then download all the updates. Don't be too worried about how many updates there are -- DirectX gets updated about every other month.



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SOURCE: inspiron 1501 wont read blank dvd

download and install the latest firmware and will the latest by version number.

to check you computer configuration go this link and type in your service tag number

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

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