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Loading some DVD's

I have an odd problem that is causing me enormous grief in attempting to research a solution. I have a Sony Vaio CR notebook, running Windows Vista, genuine, home edition, with a Pioneer DVR-K17 DVD disc drive. My problem is this. The Pioneer drive will only play Some DVD's and not others. Also, DVD's that I burn myself on the same laptop will not play. I have used the Windows burning device and various other software burners with the same results. Now I have been three times around the internet in my attempts to research the problem and can add some more details. I do not believe there is anything essentially wrong with the Pioneer device due to the fact that I can play Some DVD's perfectly well and All VCD's this suggests to me that this is not a problem associated with a faulty drive or dirt. I also lean towards that this is Not a DVD region protected code problem because I cannot find a solution to this problem even when I have DVD X Utilities running, i.e. DVD Ghost. Also some of the discs that will not play are Region Free or All Region DVD's with this information appearing on the back of the DVD packaging. The exact problem is I believe, that some DVD's will not load, while others load perfectly well. Windows does not even see them. When I insert the DVD into the DVD RW Drive (f) a normal disc spinning sound can be heard the drive appears to be starting to open the disc but then it just dies. Nothing. In 'Computer' no disc details, name appears under the DVD RW Drive. When I right click on the DVD RW icon there is no 'Play With' on the menu. Open does appear at the top, when I attempt to open the disc Windows tells me to insert a disc. I therefore think that Windows cannot read SOME DVD's I cannot understand this as it is happening on many different types of DVD media. Many DVD's that I purchase that must be recorded on a wide range of different manufactured discs do not play. PLEASE remember that Some of these DVD discs play perfectly well. With my disc burning problem I use Princo DVD-R X16 discs. When I insert a brand new blank Princo disc Windows sees the disc every time. I go through the formatting process and the naming of the disc and the actual burning of the disc perfectly well. At the point when the burn is complete and I eject the disc Windows informs me 'please wait so that Windows can prepare the disc so that it can be played on other computers' I believe this is closing the session or finalizing the disc. Windows provides two choices in how to burn the disc I am using the mastered method. Everything seems to go perfectly well with no sign of a problem. However when I then try to play the disc Windows cannot see it. Now I realise the Princo discs are cheap and far from the best but if Windows can see the disc to format it and burn to it I then find it incredible that it cannot see the disc when it is time to play it. To add to this nonsense the new disc has the same problem on a second pc (desktop) that is running Vista speedy. But as I have found out tonight when I take the disc to my friends house they all play perfectly well on his Toshiba laptop running Windows XP ?

Any thoughts on this baffling problem would be appreciated.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Confused.

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  • 2 more comments 
  • irobinrobin Jan 30, 2009

    rtrahan

    ---------





    "If you format with the Live File System Format you can take the disc out immediately after burning,"



    To begin with I was using the Live File System Format as this seemed to be the choice that Windows made by itself or default. Same problem.



    On my computer taking the disc out immediately causes
    Windows to automatically close the session, in fact I have read within Vista help that any use of Eject after burning and Windows closes the session. This is true and you are advised by Windows in the bottom right hand corner of the screen that Windows is preparing the disc to be played on other computers. Later I noticed that on the right click menu of the DVD RW icon in 'Computer' there is a 'Close Session' choice. I tried using this on some of the discs before using Eject upon which Windows would tell me that it was preparing the disc to be played on other computers and then curiously enough straight after this was finished when I then tried to eject the disc Windows would again report that it was preparing the disc to be played on other computers, so it seemed to be running the same process twice. Still these discs would not play.



    There was a time when I thought briefly that this was a close session problem but last night proved that it was not as the discs play on my friends Toshiba notebook.



    It cannot be a close session problem.



    "in Vista there is one more step if you intend to play this CD/DVD on another computer. It will play fine on yours but not on others"



    No the reverse is true, the discs I burn on this computer will not play on this computer but will play on my friend's Toshiba laptop.



    "if you do not take this final step. Its called "closing the session."



    I am taking this final step with some of the discs not once but twice.



    "If you try this CD or DVD in somebody else's machine and it doesn't work"



    But it does work on somebody elses machine.



    "and you realize you forgot to close session;"



    but I didn't forget to close the session and if you eject the disc within a few minutes after burning you have no choice Windows automatically prepares the disc for playing on other computers.



    "you can take the disc back to your machine and close the session there...."



    This is inaccurate, certainly as far as my computer is concerned. What I quickly noticed was that if you do not sit on top of the burning process at about the 90 pct finished stage and are off doing other things the time to finalize or close the disc seems to pass rendering the disc entirely useless with the lapsed time. I fell foul of this a few times before realizing that I had to be right on top of the burning process, i.e. sitting at the computer at about the 90 pct finished stage ready to either inform Windows to close the
    session or to eject the disc. Once the disc is finished a red bar appears under the DVD RW icon in 'Computer' showing that the disc that has been burnt is now full, if you do not pretty quickly within a few minutes eject the disc or close the session at this time then your chance to close the session seems to pass. A few times I was busy doing other things when I came back the red bar had gone and when I ejected the disc there was no information from Windows that it was preparing the disc to be played on other computers the disc just immediately ejected and of course could not be played not on this computer or my other computer. No you cannot take the disc back at a later time and close the session. In a single one off incident my other Vista computer told me it was closing the disc for me but that only happened once. After 5 or 6 incidents where I missed this time limit I very quickly learnt not to leave it alone to keep an eye on the burn process and make sure I was sitting at the computer at about the 90 pct finish stage ready to immediately eject or right click close session upon completion of the burn process.



    " Since i also do not think it is a hardware problem on your part, it may be a user error on the part of the person burning the DVDs."


    I would say user error is Impossible because the burnt discs play perfectly well on a Toshiba laptop ruling out user error.


    "Finally, it states if you use the Master Format (.iso), which is the format everyone used before Vista, the .iso Master format will play on any computer anytime and you do not have to close the session..."


    Yes, I think I have read this somewhere. Yet when using the mastered format which I started to use after so much trouble with the live format, when you eject the disc Windows still reports to you that you must wait as it is finalizing the disc to be played upon other computers. The mastered format follows exactly the same procedure as the live format, no difference, I've tried them both. I realise you are reading this from a Windows manual and I do thank you for your time and effort but I am afraid that the manual you are reading is a total contradiction to what I am experiencing on my Vista computer.



    "some people are unaware that you have to close the session for it to play on other computers but it will play on yours.."


    1. I am aware that you need to close the session and have done so with 90 pct of the discs. No difference the discs will not work.

    2. There virtually seems to be no choice other than close the session as this finalizing of the disc process boots in automatically the moment you eject the disc. Unless as is true with my compuer you allow too much time to elapse after burning has been completed. This time elapse is not really the problem as I quickly picked up on the lost chance to finalize the disc and learnt to ensure that I was sitting ready at the computer to eject or right click close the session, once the burn was finished at about the 90 pct completion stage.

    3. But the problem is it WILL play on at least one other computer but not mine !!! so no it will not play on mine as you have stated above.


    "Let me know what you think.."


    I think you read my original post too quickly virtually everything I have stated in the above was included in my original post. I realise that my original post was long but I thought giving as much detail as possible about this quirky problem would provide anyone kind enough to respond the best possible chance of a good solution.

    Irrespective I really do appreciate your considerable time and effort in providing a response for me thank you very much.



  • irobinrobin Jan 30, 2009



    BillW50

    -----------





    Thank you very much for your response and let me say right away that you have taught me something that I did not know before. That being that there are two lasers one DVD one CD. I imagined that there was only one. Can I ask which laser plays VCD as there is not any sign of any problem when using VCD's they all play purchased discs as well as discs I have burnt myself on the same cheap VCD media Princo.



    The idea that one of my lasers might be on the blink or dying slowly is indeed a fascinating angle and could be the solution. The only thing I would say is there does appear to be a very distinct pattern between those DVD discs it will play and those DVD discs it will not play. At this stage I am a little hesitant to go into this pattern as I am a new user on fixya and fear that if I begin to provide you with details of the this pattern I may offend the rules and regulations of this site. Maybe if you are familiar with this site you might like to advise me are we free to discuss most things or will the walls of authority come crumbling down upon me. I am a permanent resident in Thailand and the pattern does seem to involve the type of discs that you might expect to find in Thailand.



    Let me know what you think if we are free to discuss openly and I will provide you with the full details of what I believe to be a distinct pattern between discs it will play and discs it will not play. I believe if this pattern turns out to be true this would rule out the dying DVD laser you have mentioned above as I would expect any device that is only functioning say 50 pct of the time, dying a slow death there would be no pattern but rather non playable discs would be on a random basis.





    Thank you once more look forward to hearing from you.





  • irobinrobin Jan 31, 2009

    BillW50

    -----------



    Thanks again Bill for taking the time and trouble to return to my problem. I think you have put forward a very interesting possibility with the dying laser idea. But I think the choice of DVD to play or not to play with a dying laser would surely be random. In other words there would be no pattern to the discs it decided to play and those that it didn't. Correct me if I'm wrong. With my problem there are very very distinct patterns between pre recorded discs it will play and pre recorded discs it won't play. I can predict before I even insert the disc whether it will play or not. This I think would be impossible with a dying laser.



    There's another indication which suggests that this is not a dying laser. In the case of DVD's that I burn myself the no play rate is 100 pct. So there are two very distinct patterns with DVD's that I buy and DVD's that I make myself. These patterns are too rigid, there is random element. I of course might be mistaken and I have no doubt whatsoever you are far more qualified to make a diagnosis than I am but you are at a disadvantage as you only have my posts to work on. This is very difficult. I have the computer in front of me. For example just look at these patterns, they apply 100 pct of the time.



    DVD feature movies purchased - Play well 100 pct of the time.

    DVD music discs purchased - Play well 100 pct of the time.

    DVD other types of movies purchased - Will not play at all.

    DVD that I burn myself - Will not play at all.



    These patterns are just too distinct and rigid. A dying laser would surely be random in its selection of which discs would fail.



    I think what lays ahead of me is a good deal of testing to ensure that these patterns above are as rigid as they first appear rather than rushing out and replacing a DVD drive on my laptop which I cannot help but feel has nothing wrong with it. I am rapidly growing to hate the entire DVD culture it is just far too temperemental. I have a great love with all aspects of editing, the labrynth of file formats that exist is nothing more than a mess. I must have wasted thousands upon thousands of hours fooling myself that I could conceivably play around with VOB files cutting them up and joining them with virtually each and every type of editing software that exists out there today before I realised that this is just a bridge too far. I have now started working with MPEG2 files which seem a lot more tolerant. My wife bought two DVD players for TV's both of which lasted only 1 year before they stopped playing all DVD's although both players were cheap. I then purchased two middle of the road priced DVD players for the TV. Within 2 years one player now tells me No Disk with 90 pct of the DVD's I put into it. The other player either won't play 50 pct of DVD's freezes up during play or will not play the soundtrack, picture only. What a mess !!! Meanwhile I have 30 year old cassette tapes that play each and every time I use them. Thanks very much for your time and trouble but still no solution here.

  • irobinrobin Jan 31, 2009

    rtrahan

    ----------



    Thanks very much for your input into my problem. I really appreciate your further time and effort.

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I'm getting this information right out of the "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual" and it does point out that there are compatibility issues if not burned properly or with the wrong format;
If you format with the Live File System Format you can take the disc out immediately after burning, however, in Vista there is one more step if you intend to play this CD/DVD on another computer. It will play fine on yours but not on others if you do not take this final step. Its called "closing the session."
This step has to be taken if one of the following conditions are true 1)intend to use this disc on another computer 2)put the disc in another computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive (playback only), and not a drive that can itself burn this kind of disc 3)It's a blank disk type that ends with the letter R (not RW); then it has a side note "If you try this CD or DVD in somebody else's machine and it doesn't work and you realize you forgot to close session; you can take the disc back to your machine and close the session there....

Since i also do not think it is a hardware problem on your part, it may be a user error on the part of the person burning the DVDs.

Finally, it states if you use the Master Format (.iso), which is the format everyone used before Vista, the .iso Master format will play on any computer anytime and you do not have to close the session...

So there is a new format "live" that Vista automatically burns on unless you tell it to burn in the older Master format. But some people are unaware that you have to close the session for it to play on other computers but it will play on yours..

Let me know what you think..

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

  • Randall  Trahan
    Randall Trahan Jan 30, 2009

    Here's some data on the separate laser types to help:
    From:http://en.kioskea.net/contents/pc/dvdrom...

    However, CDs use an infrared laser with a wavelength of 780 nanometres
    (nm), while DVD burners use a red laser with a wavelength of 635 nm or
    650 nm. What's more, CD players generally use a lens with a focus of
    0.5, while the lenses of DVD players have a focus of 0.6. For this
    reason, DVDs have grooves whose minimum height is 0.4� with a pitch of
    0.74�, as opposed to 0.834� and 1.6� for a CD.

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I have seen this same thing on a laptop. DVD drives use two lasers. One for CD and one for DVD. As you noted CDs are just fine and so is that laser. Although I believe the DVD laser is intermittent. And it will work with some DVDs and not others. Yes I have seen this before. What will probably happen a few months down the road is it will stop reading all DVDs.

It isn't economical to replace the failing laser. It is far cheaper to just replace the whole DVD drive. Lasers are like light bulbs. Some seem to last forever and some seems to burn out right away. Generic DVD replacements will generally work, although the face plate might not fit.

Another option is to get an external DVD that plugs into the USB port. And those Slimline models are really small (same size as laptop CD/DVD drives) and you can use them on other computers too.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

  • BillW50 Jan 30, 2009

    Well it does sound too much like a faulty laser to me. I have seen this twice already. And it is in this state very picky about some DVD discs. So I first thought it was the DVDs themselves. Although those same DVDs would play just fine on another DVD drive. And all CD would be fine on the same drive.

    Later though, more and more DVDs became picky. Until finally, virtually no DVDs can be read from it anymore. I still have the drive and it still reads CDs just fine. Although pop in a different dvd drive and that one works perfect on the same machine. So it has to be the DVD drive. And unfortunately I have a very strong feeling you are going to find the very same thing.

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