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Reset the DVD Region settings in NEC ND-3500AG

by rodel / October 25, 2004 1:49 PM PDT

PLZZZZZZZ HELP!!! anybody out there who can tell me the solution.. i have bought a NEC ND-3500AG DVD-Writer by ignorance i've played all my DVD movies which have different region settings thingking that this dvd-writer can read any region then finally i was stuck with region 3 (to find out later that the writer automatically select the region of the dvd your playing which is maximum of 5 times only), which totally render the writer useless to me cause i'm in U.K. which is region 2... so is there any way i can revert this settings?

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Re: Reset the DVD Region settings in NEC ND-3500AG
by FrankQTran / October 25, 2004 4:48 PM PDT
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For your reading pleasure and information.
by Cursorcowboy / October 25, 2004 9:41 PM PDT

1. Download the Doug Knox "XP_CD-DVD-Fix.exe" file to restore CD/DVD drives to Explorer.

2. Supplemental reading:

a. "DVD Support in Windows 98 (Q188513)."

b. "How to Troubleshoot CD-ROM or DVD-ROM Read Issues (Q218617)."

c. "Troubleshooting DVD Problems in Windows 2000 (Q249334)."

d. "How to Enable Direct Memory Access (DMA) (Q258757)."

e. "DMA Is Not Automatically Enabled in Windows Millennium Edition (Q266908)."

f. "Available Troubleshooters in Windows Millennium Edition (Q288838)."

g. "Stop 0x00000050" Error Message When You View Files on a DVD (Q290321)."

h. "Supported Software MPEG-2 DVD Decoders in Windows Media Player for Windows XP (Q306331)."

i. "Some Controls May Not Function During DVD Playback, Windows XP (Q306698)."

j. "Resources for Troubleshooting DVD Problems in Windows XP (Q308012)."

Note: This article list several recommended articles for reading that are not included here.

k. "Windows Media Player May Not Recognize or Play DVD (Q309321)."

l. "Cannot Play a DVD in Windows XP (Q310436)."

m. "DVD Information Is Stored Locally When You Play DVDs (Q318671)."

Note: Do you want this? "WMP retrieves additional information about the DVD from the Web service, and then stores the information in your media library, a file on your hard disk.

n. "You Cannot Play a DVD-RW or a DVD+RW Disk by Using Windows Media Player or Sonic CinePlayer (Q814846)."

o. "DVD Demystified", Internet DVD FAQ for the Usenet newsgroups.

p. "DVD Technology."

Note: The following content starting with #3 (partially excerpted from the "archived" TechNet article which might not be around much longer, "DVD Region Selection in Windows") is provided for your information and interest.

3. DVD is simply a large storage medium much like CD-ROM and support is based on an WDM Stream class driver issued by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) who created the WDM decoder (controller) card that is subsequently installed on a computer. Non-WDM components may include a class driver for the DVD-ROM drive, a collection of DirectMovie filters, and the Universal Disk Format (UDF) file system to ensure support for UDF-formatted DVD disks. Note that a single WDM Stream demands a potentially large and constant load on a computer, over what could be considered a long time in computer terms. For DVD, the system must be able to independently manage and decode at least four separate streams: MPEG-2 video; AC-3 or MPEG-2 audio; Subpicture; and Navigation. This must be done so that Streams are totally synchronized when they reach their final destinations, with no dropped frames or degraded video. This requires precision in load balancing, synchronization, and processing.

4. Many devices rely on the WDM Stream class driver(s). They are uses as a standard interface for interconnecting device drivers to optimize the flow of data within the Windows kernel. A WDM Stream class driver is used by some audio devices and video-capture devices, as well as hardware decoders (such as MPEG-2) used for playing DVD movies. In addition, the class driver helps to deal with common operating system tasks, such as direct memory access (DMA), scatter/gather memory use, and Plug and Play. The WDM Stream class driver functions on both internal and external buses.

5. The Universal Disk Format (UDF) system supports reading media formatted according to UDF specification 1.02 included by default in the Windows operating system. Most DVD movie discs are authored with UDF bridge format, which contains both the ISO-9660 and the UDF file system structures. To determine if a disc is mounted by UDF or CDFS, check the properties of the drive in Explorer. In My Computer, right-click the drive, and then click Properties. The File System line in the properties page should indicate the disc is mounted by UDF or CDFS. Unlike CDFS, UDF is a generic file system, but it is primarily used by DVD.

Note: Although most DVD discs contain both ISO 9660 and UDF file system structures, UDF takes precedence in mounting such discs. If UDF is disabled, CDFS will try to mount. However, Microsoft DVD playback software requires UDF be mounted on DVD discs.

6. After the BIOS initialization, the Windows operating system attempts to determine the current configuration for all devices. The hardware profile (built by a detection process that collected information about interrupt usage, BIOS serial and parallel ports, BIOS computer identification, Plug and Play BIOS docking station data, and, if possible, docking station data that is unique to each original equipment manufacturer (OEM)) is then checked. If everything appears in order, the real-mode startup process is started in static configurations only (that is, no dynamic resource allocation or arbitration is provided yet). When the Windows system startup process switches to protected mode, the Windows Configuration Manager ensures all devices have been properly configured.

7. Windows then uses a safe detection method to search for hints from configuration files, read-only memory (ROM) strings, or drivers loaded in memory to determine whether the computer contains each class of hardware recognized during boot. If no such hints are found, the detection process skips detection of the entire class. If hints are found, the detection process seeks information from specific I/O ports for that device. It tries to detect any hardware resource conflicts early in this process to perhaps avoid the problems that occur when such hardware resources as Interrupt Requests (IRQs), I/O addresses, and direct memory access (DMA) are used by more than one device.

Note: UDF can be turned off for troubleshooting (Click Start, Run, type msconfig and then press Enter. Click the Advanced tab and then click to select the Disable UDF file system check box. When finished troubleshooting, clear the Disable UDF file system checkbox to re-enable).

8. DVD encompasses a broad range of uses and technologies and the use of DVD must be viewed in the context of the whole computer. It is especially important for Entertainment PCs, but is also important for any multimedia hardware platform that wants to provide good quality support for playback of movies.

a. DVD-ROM class driver - is provided in the Windows Driver Model (WDM) DVD-ROM device driver in WinXP. In Win98/Me and Win2000, the DVD-ROM has its own industry-defined command set referred to during development as the Mt. Fuji command set and support is provided by an updated CD-ROM class driver supporting the full Mt. Fuji command set, including commands for copyright protection by default.

b. Universal Disc Format (UDF) file system - is provided in Win98/Me and Win2000/XP which provides UDF installable file systems similar to FAT and FAT32 by default.

c. Windows Driver Model Streaming Class Driver - is a single binary fully compatible across Win98/Me and Win2000/XP, written to follow WDM support and the WDM Streaming class driver supports streaming data types that will support MPEG-2 and AC-3 hardware decoders. Since this support is already provided in an operating systems, hardware vendors have to write only a small amount of interface code in a minidriver to ensure that the specific features for their hardware are supported natively under Windows. Because of this, most existing DVD decoders should simply work with Windows without any user intervention.

d. DirectDraw HAL with VPE - Decoded video streams are huge -- possibly too big even for the PCI bus on a PC. Manufacturers have solved this problem by creating dedicated buses to transfer decoded video streams from an MPEG-2 decoder to the display card which Microsoft provides software support for these interfaces using the Microsoft DirectDraw hardware abstraction layer (HAL) with Video Port Extensions (VPE).

Note: What I've alluded to -- as far as supporting all the above in the Windows environment, is DirectX - a technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3-D animation and surround sound.

9. There is a common interface needed to drive both sides of the hardware interconnect and also from the interaction side, the device software used. There are many different varieties of CD/DVD and optical storage that can be added into or purchased with PCs that include, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-R, DVD-RAM, CD-RW, MO (Magneto Optical), and PD (Phase Change Drives). One of the major caveats is some of these devices share a common interface and command structures (such as the Mt. Fuji specification for DVD and CD devices and others) that is implemented on a unique command sets and when attempting to use multiple devices together in the same system, it is pretty much left up to the user to sort out and ensure each are set us properly without conflict. For instance:

? The implementation of multiple logical units (LUNs) of distinctly different features into one drive forces the Windows operating system to present confusing information to the end user. For example, a drive with PD/MO and DVD/CD functioning on separate LUNs may appear as two separate drive selections and units with this style of LUN support and is not attractive to the end user or to support organizations.

? There is no single LUN support implementing common command sets which support all features of these device as one Logical Unit. Microsoft fully supports current technology and the support is integrated by default into the Windows operating systems. Even though LUN support for DVD-ROM and CD devices is currently there and supported, future expansion of this type support is not expected. Therefore, new devices such as DVD-RAM, DVD+RW, or others, would be expected to use only a single LUN approach in the future (agreed-upon technology between Microsoft and the manufacturers of these devices. Upgrades will be furnished by Microsoft as change is implemented, approved, and tested).

Note: At the present time none of the Windows operating systems supports writable DVD discs by default.

a. DVD Discs - most DVD-Video titles are marked for a specific region. Some titles can be played in multiple regions while others can be played in all regions. A byte on the disc is reserved for region codes, with each bit representing a region. If a bit is set to 1, the disc is not allowed to be played in the corresponding region. A disc with all bits cleared to 0 will play in all regions. Note that drive, decoder, and system region settings use an integer value, not a flag bit. Regions 1 through 6 were defined in the original DVD-Video specification. Region 7 is currently undefined. Region 8 was added in 1999 for special venues, such as airplanes. DVD-ROM discs (those with no video zone) should not contain any region coding.

b. DVD-ROM Drive - every CSS-licensed DVD-Video playback device must be set to a single region. There are two types of DVD-ROM drives:

? RPC Phase 1 (hereafter referred to as RPC1) drives do not have built-in hardware support for region management. For these drives, Windows maintains the region change count information, and the region can be set only once.

? RPC Phase 2 (RPC2) drives maintain the region change count information in hardware, and in general the region of such drives can be changed up to five times.

c. DVD Decoders (some hardware or software) are preset for a specific region. Generally speaking, a user cannot change the decoder's region. The decoder is not involved in the initial region selection, or in subsequent changes, but the decoder region is checked during playback and must match the disc and the drive.

Note: Initial DVD Region Selection - The OEM can set a registry key containing the default DVD region for a system and is provided by default in Windows and during the first boot, the drive region will be set to:

? For RPC1 drives, the region is managed by the operating system.

? For RPC2 drives, the region is set in the firmware of the device.

? The responsibility rest with the manufacturer to select a default DVD region on PCs shipped supporting installed devices. Windows however will picks a region during first boot or first disc playback based on settings such as locale, language, and time zone. If there is no disc in the drive, or if the disc has multiple regions (including an all-region disc), a user may find the resulting region setting inappropriate. The following registry key should be created and set to the desired default DVD region for the system in Win98:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DefaultDVDRegion (binary)

d. For an RPC1 drive, when the first disc is played back, Windows sets the region for the drive. If there is no default region, Windows selects a region. If the disc allows the initial region, then the drive region is set. If the disc does not allow the initial region, the lowest numbered region on the disc is used to set the drive.

e. For an RPC2 drive, when the first disc is played back, Windows sets the region for the drive if it is not already set. If there is no default region, Windows selects a region. If the disc allows the initial region, then the drive region is set. Otherwise, the lowest numbered region on the disc is used to set the drive. This will use one of the allowed region changes in firmware. Once the initial region is set for an RPC2 drive, it is not changed by a reinstallation or clean installation of the operating system.

Note: If the user installs a new drive later, the same procedure will take effect.

f. In Win2000/XP, the following registry key should be created and set to the desired default DVD region for each DVD-ROM drive:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\ Class\ <CDROM GUID> \ <instance number> \DefaultDVDRegion (binary)

? For RPC1 drives, the first time a DVD title is played or the DVD-ROM drive is accessed in any manner, Windows selects a region for the drive. The default region key is used if it matches one of the regions of the disc or if there is no disc in the drive. Otherwise, the lowest numbered region on the disc is used.

? For RPC2 drives, the first time a DVD title is played or the DVD-ROM drive is accessed and it contains a disc, Windows sets a region if none is set. That is, region setting only occurs if a disc is in the drive. The default region key is used if it matches one of the regions of the disc. Otherwise, the lowest numbered region on the disc is used. This will use one of the allowed region changes in firmware. Once a region is set for an RPC2 drive, it is not changed by a reinstallation or clean installation of the operating system.

Note: If the user installs a new drive later, the same procedure will take effect.

g. The Microsoft DirectShow DVD Navigator may detect a region change requirement when a disc is inserted that forbids playback in the current DVD region. The appropriate application (Win98) or property page is used to ask the user to change the region on the drive which they can select only the region that matches the disc.

? For RPC1 drives, Windows components manage the region change. This happens only once. If the user attempts to play a disc that does not match the initial region, the user is allowed to select the permanent region for the drive.

? RPC2 drives maintain region changes in hardware. If the number of allowed changes are exhausted on a RPC2 drive, the drive will fail the call to change the region and the region change component will notify the user of the error.

? Region change under Win98 is provided by DVDrgn.exe which is regionalized along with other components of the operating system. This application is installed only when a hardware decoder with a WDM Stream Class minidriver is installed using the standard INF file provided.

? Otherwise, region change is provided by Storprop.dll (%windir%\system32 folder). This component installed by default and requires no additional steps to be made available. The user interface of this property page is very similar to that of DVDrgn.exe application and it is regionalized in the operating system.

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