External DVD drive no longer plays movies - but only on my laptop


Beta member
Hello everyone

I bought an external DVD drive for my Toshiba laptop and set it to Region 2 so I can play European movies. My laptop is Canadian and so its internal DVD drive is set to Region 1. I am running Windows XP Pro. After 3 months of use the external drive will no longer play any movies when plugged into a USB drive on my laptop but it will work when plugged into someone else's machine.

The computer recognizes the drive when I plug it in (it appears in Windows Explorer) and shows it as working normally. It will play a music CD and read a data CD. When I put any Region 2 DVD in the light comes on and the drive rotates forever but does not start to play. Very soon the DVD icon disappears from Windows Explorer, sometimes completely and sometimes to be replaced by a CD-ROM icon. Sometimes it switches between the CD-ROM icon and nothing! Usually, when the DVD is taken out the DVD drive reappears in Explorer.

I have removed the upper and lower filters in the DVD drive part of the registry (as recommended on many internet sites). I have updated the firmware for the drive. I have uninstalled both this drive and the internal drive and then re-installed them to reload the Windows DVD drivers. I have tried different DVDs. I have tried different USB ports. I should add that the drive did NOT suddenly stop working. Over a period of time it became increasingly difficult to launch a DVD from the drive, sometimes taking a dozen goes, with system re-boots. Now, nothing will make it work. It is clearly a problem related solely to my laptop as the drive works elsewhere.

Can anyone help please?

Thanks, Eric


Baseband Member
The easiest way to tell if its an issue with the drive or your OS, is to get a bootable dvd(vista or media center dvd) and try to boot the laptop off the dvd. If it does then you know something in your OS is causing the interference, and if all else fails you can just format.