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Thread: A DVD that works on some machines, not on others

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    A DVD that works on some machines, not on others

    My Mom teaches Zumba dance and she was trying to watch DVD #51 (ZIN 51 - Zumba Instructor Network) on her Dell Inspiron 15R laptop that I bought for her and installed Ubuntu and taught her how to use it. The DVD would not work.

    I gave it a try in my Lenovo y410p and discovered that it required some extra codecs. I install ubuntu-restricted-extras, libdvdcss2, libdvdread4, libdvdnav4 and got it working on my Lenovo. I did the same thing on her Dell Inspiron 15R but it spit out the following error:

    Your input can't be opened:
    VLC is unable to open the MRL 'dvd:///dev/sr0'. Check the log for details.

    Now as basic trouble-shooting dictates, I tested different DVDs without issue (she also teaches belly dance so I threw in a belly dance DVD without issue and even the other ZIN dvds work without issue) and I began testing the DVD in other computers. We have an old laptop with Windows 7 on it (my Mom's old laptop as I am in the process of converting her to Ubuntu) and it played the DVD in VLC right away. I also tested the DVD in a tower I built a few months ago running Ubuntu 14.04 and the DVD (ZIN 51) worked without issue. It works fine on my Lenovo laptop, as previously stated.

    I also have a tower I built 13 years ago running Ubuntu 14.04 (impressive for Ubuntu, I must say. 32-bit architecture), I think the DVD-RW drive has been replaced once in that 13 years but perhaps not. This is the only other system that seemed to have an issue with the DVD ZIN 51. It loads the DVD and VLC does not spit out any errors. ZIN 51 loads into the playlist but immediately stops. Double-clicking causes the title to go bold in the playlist for a second (as if it is playing) but stops immediately. I cannot get the DVD to play on this machine. All other DVDs play fine.

    The only other piece of useful information I can offer at this time is that inserting the ZIN 51 dvd into the Dell laptop does not even cause the dvd drive to mount. It is as if no DVD is detected, except that the drive speeds up and spins (kind of loudly). It does this for about 30-45 seconds then slows down and tries again for another 30-45 seconds, slows down and tries one more time and then gives up entirely. All the while no indication from the system that a dvd has been detected or inserted.

    I'm looking for some further trouble-shooting advice or if this is maybe some sort of hardware issue and if I can confirm that in some way and maybe get Dell to replace the laptop, or any kind of advice on the situation. I know it's just a single DVD that won't play on two out of my 5 machines, and maybe it's an issue with the disc itself, but I'd like to know for sure what the problem is. If it is an indication of some sort of hardware problem with the Dell laptop I would like to get it confirmed so I can sort it out with Dell before the warranty expires. Sometimes when I'm handling the Dell it makes certain noises like everything isn't completely securely in place. And I'd hate to have come this far in trouble-shooting to be left with no answers.

    I could also note that we have a scratched belly dance DVD that does not work in the dvd player but works on the Lenovo and Dell laptops; however when spinning in the DVD drive of the Dell laptop it makes a insanely loud screaching sound. This is another reason why I'm concerned the Dell laptop may have a hardware issue. Also the almost 10 year old DVD player has no trouble playing the ZIN 51 dvd, which is another reason why I'm concerned about there being a hardware issue with the Dell laptop. But no other DVDs have any issues playing in the dell laptop.

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by I.Bun.Tu; July 5th, 2014 at 04:22 AM.

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