|Then the first thing to do is check that the DVD drive is running in DMA mode. Some older Dell machines ship with DMA mode disabled on the optical drives. |
Haven't used XP in quite some time, but if memory serves, you right-click "My Computer", choose Properties, click the Hardware tab, and click Device Manager. Expand the IDE/ATAPI controllers section and make sure that all of your ATA channels are running in some sort of Ultra DMA mode, not PIO.
PIO mode forces the processor to get involved with every bit that streams out of your DVD drive. This overloads the processor, which can cause movie playback to stutter.
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