|I have 2 simple solutions to this problem that have both worked for me. Suggest trying these before getting into the more complex software updating solutions.|
I've been wrestling with this problem for over a year and had just been using another computer when I really needed to read a DVD. I found 2 solutions and with the 2nd one, I'm now able to read all DVD's with no problem.
Solution 1: Clean the laser head with alcohol. Take a dab of alcohol on a q-tip, let it air out for a second or 2 so it's not dripping wet. Then dab it on the glass laser head to clean it. Takes about 1 second.
Leave the drive open for a minute so it dries completely.
Retry playing DVD's.
Solution 2: Now this is a bit specific for my HP Pavillion with HP Smart Media Player installed.
Basically it seems that my DVD player/burner was encoded for the wrong DVD region. There are different regions based on geographical location (I guess this has something to do with pirating protection).
Anyway, if your DVD is not set for the right region, at least some, if not all, DVD's won't play. So I was trying to watch a regular DVD movie, which I've never done before on this computer, and the HP Smart Media software let me know about the region setting. I changed it to the recommended setting which the software did for me automatically and now all DVD's that would not read before work perfectly.
So the solution is to check the region settings for your DVD player to be sure they're right for the DVD's you're using.