HOW TO: Troubleshoot DVD Problems in Windows Server 2003

Summary

This step-by-step article describes how to troubleshoot DVD problems in Windows Server 2003.

How to Troubleshoot DVD Playback

Use one or more of the following methods:
  • Make sure that your computer has a functional, compatible DVD decoder. To do so, start Microsoft Windows Media Player, and then click Options on the Tools menu. If the DVD tab is not available, your computer does not have a functional, compatible DVD decoder.
  • If you cannot play a DVD, try playing a different DVD to make sure that the problem is not specific to only one DVD. For example, a damaged or scratched DVD may not play, but other DVDs will play. If the problems continue, test a DVD in the player that was provided with the DVD decoder. If the player program does not work with the hardware decoder, contact the manufacturer of the decoder to request additional assistance.
  • If the player program works with the hardware decoder, you may have to reinstall the DVD decoder software and any patches that are available.
  • Try to play other media that relies on Microsoft DirectShow. For example, try to play a .wmv file by using Mplayer2.exe. To start Mplayer2.exe, click Start, click Run, type mplayer2, and then click OK.
  • Reduce video hardware acceleration in Windows Media Player:

    1. In Windows Media Player, click Options on the Tools menu.
    2. On the Performance tab, move the slider under Video Acceleration closer to None, and then click OK. If this change makes it possible for you to play DVDs, there is a problem with your video adapter or video adapter driver. Contact the manufacturer of your video adapter to inquire about the availability of an updated driver for your video adapter.
  • Reduce your display settings:
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click
      Display.
    2. On the Settings tab, move the screen resolution slider to 800 X 600.
    3. In the Color quality box, click
      Medium 16 bit, and then click OK. Some video adapter drivers cannot support DVD playback at higher resolutions and color depths. If this solution works, you may be able to play the DVD at higher color depths and resolutions by using an updated driver.
  • Make sure that your DVD decoder is compatible with Windows Server 2003. For information about how to do so, visit the following Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) Web site:
For additional information about supported software DVD decoders, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306331 Supported Software MPEG-2 DVD Decoders in Windows Media Player for Windows XP

Requirements for DVD Video Playback

Windows Server 2003 requires the following items for DVD video playback:
  • A DVD drive.
  • A software or hardware DVD decoder.
  • A video adapter and driver that supports Microsoft DirectShow and Macrovision copy protection.
  • A sound card.
For more information about hardware requirements, visit the following Microsoft Windows HCL Web site:

Troubleshooting Ideas

The following list has examples of situations you may experience, and possible solutions for the situations:
  • After you upgrade from Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows 95, you cannot play DVD movies.

    If your DVD-ROM drive included a software decoder, you may need an updated version of the software decoder to play back movies in Windows Server 2003. Contact the manufacturer of the software decoder to inquire about the availability of an updated version that works with Windows Server 2003.
  • When you try to play a DVD movie, you may receive the following error message:
    DVD Player

    Analog copy protection violation: Windows cannot play this copy-protected disc because it cannot verify that the video outputs on your DVD and/or VGA cards support copy protection.
    This error message may occur if one of the following conditions exist:
    • Your DVD or video adapter driver does not fully support the adapter's capabilities. Install an updated driver to try to resolve this issue.
    • The hardware does not support copy protection. Try to work around the problem by unplugging any cables that are connected to the video outputs on your computer.
    • The video adapter driver may not properly support copy protection for Windows Server 2003. Contact the manufacturer of the video card to inquire about the availability of an updated driver that supports copy protection in Windows Server 2003.
  • Your video adapter documentation states that it supports DVD but you cannot play DVD movies.

    Many video adapters help to decode DVDs but that does not mean they fully decode a DVD movie. Obtain a hardware decoder or software decoder or obtain an updated driver for your video adapter.
  • You want to play back a DVD movie through your USB speakers, but the computer does not have a sound card.

    Hardware and software decoders typically need a sound card to play back DVD movies.
  • When you try to play a DVD movie, you may receive the following error message:
    DVD Player

    While setting up DVD-Video playback, it was found that * Video cannot be shown on the computer monitor because of one of the following reasons:

    A) Low video memory. Please try using lower display resolution and/or colors.

    B) Another application is currently using the necessary display resources. Please ensure that no such application is running.

    C) The display adapter is incompatible with the DVD decoder. Please try to obtain a display driver update.

    Do you want to continue?

    Yes No
    If you receive this error message, you can try to lower the color depth, resolution, and refresh rate of your display driver. This error message can also occur if Microsoft NetMeeting is started or if the NetMeeting icon is on your taskbar. NetMeeting and DVD playback both use the overlay mixer. Only one program at a time can gain access to the overlay mixer.

DVD Region Settings

DVD movie titles and DVD-ROM drives both have a region code. Region codes prevent playback of certain DVDs in certain geographical regions. Region codes are part of the DVD specification. The following list shows the DVD regional codes:
  1. U.S. and Canada
  2. Europe and Japan
  3. South East Asia
  4. Latin America and Australia
  5. Russia, rest of Asia and Africa
  6. China
  7. Undefined
  8. Special venues such as airplanes
You can only play a region 1 DVD movie title on a DVD-ROM drive that is set for region 1. If you set a DVD movie title to region 0, you can play the DVD movie on any DVD-ROM drive. Some DVD decoders are preset for specific regions and cannot be changed. There are currently two types of DVD drives:
  • RPC Phase 1: Does not have built-in support for region management. For these drives, Windows maintains the region count information and you can only set the region one time.
  • RPC Phase 2: Maintains the region change count information in hardware and you can change them up to five times.
When you reach the limit of changes, you cannot reset the limit by reinstalling Windows Server 2003. Contact the manufacturer of your DVD drive to find out if you can reset the region. A DVD-ROM drive manufacturer or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) can preset the default region. For more information about how to set the default region and other region issues, visit the following Microsoft Web site: To change region settings for DVD drives:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, double-click Computer Management, and then click Device Manager.
  2. Double-click DVD/CD-ROM drives, right-click the DVD drive for which you want to change region settings, and then click Properties.
  3. On the DVD Region tab, make the changes.
  4. The DVD Region tab might not be available for all DVD drives.

    To configure your DVD drive to play DVDs from other regions, select a geographic area from the list of regions. Typically, you would select the region in which you reside.

    You can only change the region settings a limited number of times. When the number of changes remaining is 1 and you select a new region, you receive a warning message that after you make this change, you will only be able to play DVDs from that region. Note that you might not be able to change the region setting for some DVD hardware and software decoders.
IMPORTANT: Because many software decoders require Direct Memory Access (DMA), check the settings of your IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers to make sure that the DMA if available option is set under Transfer Mode. If applicable, also check this setting for the Secondary IDE Channel.

NOTE: To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Administrators group might be able to perform this procedure.

General Troubleshooting for DVD Video

  • Some software decoders only work with specific video adapters. Contact the manufacturer of the software decoder to determine which video adapters work with the decoder.
  • Make sure that Direct Memory Access (DMA) is turned on for the DVD-ROM drive. Some decoders do not work unless DMA is turned on.
  • Some software decoders require an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) video adapter or work better with AGP video adapters.
  • Some laptop computers cannot work properly with DVD video until you upgrade the BIOS.
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Article ID: 327994 - Last Review: Jan 7, 2008 - Revision: 1

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