Laptop won't play DVD's with region formatting.?

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-N130G with a Pioneer DVR-K16 DVD burner. The OS is XP Media Center Edition. The default player is WinDVD. I usually use K-Lite's Media Player Classic to watch DVDs.

If I put any DVD with a region format (always Region 1 for the USA), I will get a message saying that it can't be played. Everything else will play fine.

I've flashed the drive with some firmware from It may be that the drive is broken, but I am leaning to a software/firmware problem.

An NEC external drive plays fine.

Here's a link to a prtscrn of the info for the Pioneer:

And one for the NEC external.

I think the differences in info at the bottom are causing the problem. If I can get the info on the Pioneer to match the NEC, I think I can get everything working fine.

Also, if I use the firmware from Sony, I get a "target is not found" message.


Additional Information:

I do not want it to be region-free. I think that is what is causing the problem. All the discs I plan on using are from the proper region. If I were to play a Region 1 in the external, it plays. If I play it in the Pioneer internal, it won't. And this is with firmware that is region free.

I think the region free is what is messing it up.

As for an external program like Any DVD, I have no use for it. I've had it installed for some time, at least the trial version, and I've never needed to use it.

So, if I can get a firmware to work or alter the region codes and such to make it similar to the external, I am guessing things will work.

I think the VAIO motherboard bios may have something to do with the problem. That is, changing the drive to region free, actually locks up the drive.

Thank you for the info on Any DVD and other such programs.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    even i encountered the same prob with my dell. i used VLC media player and all was fine, and ya u can change ur DVD's region code 5 times according to u ( but beware even after reinstalling windows if ur chances of changing the region are gone then u cant do it nomore) i finished all my chances. and ya after installing VLC player u can even see DVD's region free in Windows Media player or any player ( happened with me)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Download a program called AnyDVD. This will allow your laptop drive to be 'region free'.

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