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If it is your cd-dvd rom, or your dvd's, your movies would skip, freeze, like any other movies players such as a scratch dvd played on your home dvd player. So,
did this happen before any updates to your o/s, such if you are using windows media player to play your movies?? If not, it could be a software issue, where some updates will bring your programs up to date, but uses more cpu/memory and even your GPU (graphic processor) and thus cause your movies or video to play back slowly because your computer hardware is underpower to handle the up to date versions., or it could be vise versa where your program will needs an update to the newest version to play. (Usually like adobe, java to watch youtube or online videos). You might want to see if you can play with another program and see if you get different result, or maybe undo your update to previous version.
So when you insert a DVD in your drive your computer probaly starts the default software to see that DVD. So if you installed any movie viewer recently uninstall it.
You may need also to update your windows media player to the latest version.
Of course i bet you already tried more than 1 dvd but i suggest that you try to insert a data/backup/game dvd anything that would not start the movie player software, and see how it goes.
About your movies folder, it could be an old problem i had many years from now, about some video codec messing up the XP thumbnails.
To fix this i had to find and remove that codec. now i use VLC as my video player and no need to install a million codecs anymore.
So it could be related to the first problem, a video codec is messing with your video player.
Hope this helps
Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or
higher, or Windows Vista; Internet Explorer version 6 or higher;
Windows Media Player version 11 or higher; an active broadband
connection to the Internet; 1.0 GHz processor; 512 MB RAM; 3 GB free
hard disk drive space.
you should be ok with the movies download and watch.
Other wise you will probablt need new hardware which is really tough to upgrade on a laptop.