Windows Media Player stopped working

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  #1  
Old 02-19-13, 08:03 AM
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Windows Media Player stopped working

Just last week, I could play a DVD via Windows Media Player flawlessly. Suddenly, it won't play. It "loads" OK - the movie name shows up in the upper left corner, but the movie never plays.

Windows 7

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 02-19-13, 08:17 AM
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I personally don't care all that much for media player watching discs, I'd look to VLC or DIVX to replace it.

Assuming you want to keep using media player, my first thought would be to look at recently downloaded updates to your PC.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 08:19 AM
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Quick Google search says it might mean you need to download a codec.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 12:47 PM
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I think the problem may be in the unit itself. Though I don't know why; it's barely a year old and hardly used...

Codec didn't help.

I downloaded VLC and it started playing, but will stop at random.

I don't suppose that MS Troubleshooter will be much help (It never is...) but I'll try it next.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 01:22 PM
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Issue with two programs makes me think player or media, can't disagree with your thought process.
 
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Old 02-19-13, 01:34 PM
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It very well could be Windows Media Player but since you said it started and stopped with VLC I am thinking more along the lines of a hardware problem. If you can swap out DVD drives then you should know for sure. Best though to swap between two of the same brand as each brand has its own software that allows its drive to play dvds. Liteons for instance will not play DVDs if a Creative drive is in the computer. There may be a universal player that doesn't require proprietary software but I am not personally aware of it. Good luck to you!
 
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Old 02-20-13, 08:25 PM
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DVD drives have never been proprietary. They are IDE or SATA. Way back in the day when CD-ROM drives were new they had proprietary controller cards (usually built into a sound card), but that's WAY beyond out of date. No drive manufacturer has their own DVD software either. IF a device comes with software it's usually a trial version of PowerDVD or something similar, but nothing that would be locked to their brand.

WMC/WMP will play a DVD off any drive, regardless of brand or interface. So will Media Player Classic and VLC, as well as paid programs like PowerDVD. They will even play off a USB DVD drive. There are also no additional codecs that could be required for playing DVD's, because DVD-Video is a standard with zero deviation allowed. So if it worked yesterday with Title A, it should work today with Title B.

My money is on a dirty/scratched disc (a smudge or scratch in the right spot can render the entire disc unreadable) or a dirty lens in the drive. If it's a laptop with a pop-out drive, simply wipe the lens with an alcohol swab and then a soft, lint-free cloth (the kind you would use to clean your glasses or a camera lens are perfect). If its a desktop style with the motorized drawer, you have to take the drive apart to get at the lens. It's not real difficult, you just have to pay attention to what you're doing and be good at puzzles.. Some of them do not have an obvious way of taking them apart...
 
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Old 02-20-13, 10:26 PM
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What I meant by proprietary is that I have an old version of Power DVD and it would not allow playing videos on certain drives as the software was written that way. I will concede though that software has changed over the years. I also haven't made any recent changes to my drives which are all the same brand in my newer desktops.

Also worth mentioning even though few people have these is that some computer DVD drives will not play recordings that have been finalized on a DVD recorder. Even if you happen to have the same type of software it will not play the disk. It has something to do with how the drive is made and the integrated circuits. I agree though if you have been able to play a disc you should be able to still play that disc. Fingerprints on a disc are one of the major causes of a disc not playing. I always handle my discs from the side to prevent damage. Depends too on where you buy a movie too as to whether it will play. If a movie has been copied illegally there are copy protection schemes built into the movie to prevent it from playing. Not saying that is the case but anybody can be fooled into thinking something is legitimate when it isn't. Even stores have a hard time sometimes of telling the real from the fake item.
 
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Old 02-21-13, 05:52 AM
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JMatt, thanks for the advice. Actually it's a Dell Vostro (All-in-one). I can see what I think is the "lens" when I open it. I'll try the clean/different DVD route next.

(By the way - so far I'm not impressed with this computer. Too many issues.)
 
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Old 02-21-13, 02:31 PM
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Louuuu by the way you can buy lens cleaning kits with no need to take the drive apart. They work fairly well but if you ever start hearing noise from one of those drives best to just get rid of it. Once they get old is when you hear that grinding noise.
 
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Old 02-22-13, 05:32 AM
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Between the lens cleaning and trying other DVD's, it's working again. For how long, who knows? I "un-installed" (Why don't they just say "remove"?) VLC. Windows Media Player is functional.

I may re-install VLC just for backup.

Thanks to everyone for their advice.
 
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Old 02-22-13, 01:47 PM
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It certainly will not hurt to have VLC installed I have it on my Windows XP computer and it hasn't caused me any problems. Depending on how often you use the DVD drive I seriously doubt you will need to clean the drive more than once a month and would actually advise against it as over cleaning causes problems too. Then to too much cleaner on the disc that you use for cleaning can cause a problem so just a little cleaner will do the job. I wouldn't use more than one drop per brush. Try to avoid rental discs if you can because they become scratched over time and real dirty. So using your own collection of discs is really better. You might even be better off going digital and using a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime or even Hulu Plus. Anyway glad everything is working well for you.
 
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