|Playing DVD-Video on a computer can be complex, and involves many processes, each dependent on the one before it. Sometimes a DVD is released that includes features so advanced that some hardware may have a difficult time reading it properly. If the drive’s manufacturer has been advised about the issue, they usually release an upgrade to the firmware of the DVD drive to correct the issues.
Firmware is the control software in a storage device, and contains coded instructions for recognizing the contents of whatever disc is inserted. It is referred to as "firmware" because it is not stored on a disc itself, but rather a hardware chip inside the drive’s housing. Other devices, such as ZIP drives, CD-ROM drives, floppy disk drives, and even hard drives, all have their own firmware as well. This is a crucial component when using disc-based media.
Fortunately, the chip that stores the firmware information is designed to be "reprogrammed" with new instructions, should problems arise. If this situation exists in your computer, then it is possible that the manufacturer of your DVD drive has released an update that corrects the problem.
In order to determine what version of firmware exists in your drive, please do the following (these instructions are only available to Windows 95/98/ME users):
For Windows 2000 users, this operating system does not report the drive's firmware to the user. Please contact the manufacturer of the DVD-ROM drive, or the manufacturer of the computer, for assistance in determining whether or not an update is needed for your hardware if you are using Windows 2000.
- Click Start, choose Settings, and click Control Panel.
- Double click the System icon. This opens System Properties.
- Select the Device Manager tab.
- Make sure that the View Devices By Type option is selected, and click the "+" next to CDROM.
- Click on your DVD-ROM drive, and click the Properties button below. This opens the drive’s properties.
- Select the Settings tab. The FIRMWARE REVISION is visible near the top of this panel.
After getting this information, check with the manufacturer of your computer, or the maker of the drive itself, and see if an upgrade is available. If a newer firmware is available for your drive, it is highly recommended that you either seek professional assistance with applying the upgrade, or have the upgrade performed by a certified technician from your system manufacturer. If it is not done properly, or if the incorrect upgrade is applied, the drive could be rendered permanently inoperable, requiring service or replacement by the manufacturer.