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If you reinstalled Windows from the Dell-provided "System Restore" CD/DVD disks, you should be able to play DVD disks.
If you reinstalled Windows from some "other" Windows disks, you should be able to view the files/folders on any DVD-disk, but you will be lacking the software to properly "decode" those files, and to "play" the content.
You need an MPEG-2 Decoder, it's a software program that will allow you to play DVDs, download VLC media player from www.videolan.org (free), It is kind of like windows media player but will allow you to play DVDs
Download and install this.. Klite Mega Codec packs.
Restart your computer and play the movie with Windows Media Player or with the player that's included with Klite Mega codec packs.. They will play smoothly without any further codec problem.
Windows Media Player, and many others, will not play everything, regardless of your hardware and it's supporting software.
To overcome this, I recommend a free media player such as VLC (Video Lan) which is free and has a huge amount of codecs and a multitude of other features, including the abilitiy to play most "Region Locked" movies. There are several other good free ones also such as GOM etc, but I prefer VLC due its' mutifaceted capabilities.
The reason for this issue is the lack of a codec software like Cyberlink PowerDVD or PowerCinema.These are paid versions.We could try installing a codec pack from Klite.Its free.The link is : http://www.free-codecs.com/download_soft.php?d=5075&s=775
Please let me know whether it fixed it
Windows XP does not come with the proper software to play DVDs. All major brands of pcs come with a piece of software called a DVD decoder. Once the DVD decoder is installed windows media player can play DVDs again. This software will be on your application recovery disks from your manufacturer. If you do not have these disks you can purchase them from the company who built your PC or you can purchase a DVD decoder software such as the ones found here. If you don't want to purchase one you can try a different program such as the VLC Media player to play your DVDs. VLC is a free download.