PC Buyer Beware!

I can’t watch DVD movies on my Windows XP laptop/notebook computer

PROBLEM: When I go abroad with my Windows XP laptop computer, I would like to watch some DVD movies that I can take with me, but they won’t play on my laptop. I get the following message: “Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer.” I have Roxio Creator 7 installed, but its player gives me the message: “DVD is copy protected Please insert a non-CSS DVD.” Please tell me how I can make my laptop play DVD movies.

ANSWER: Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 have a built-in DVD decoder, but Windows XP does not and Roxio Creator 7 won’t work because its player can only play non-commercial discs that don’t use CSS encryption. However, the problem is easy solve and, what is more, the solution is free.

Download and install the free VLC multimedia player from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/. Run it from the Start menu and insert the disc you want, and it should start playing the disc immediately. VLC can be used to play most other media files, such as downloaded videos. VLC is a powerful media playback application and supports DVDs and many other media file types. If necessary, read the FAQ page. When I had a look on January 28, 2010, its website reported that it had been downloaded 115 million times at a rate of 8 downloads a second.