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Hello to all you computer geeks out there! I am new to this forum, so this is my first post. I admit that (blush) this is "all geek to me". (I'm guessing you've never heard THAT before, right? :cheesy: )

I built my own computer from scratch (which was fun, and I did learn a lot), and I can install pretty much whatever simple hardware I need since it just takes a screwdriver and some common sense, usually. I can navigate the web, and generate HTML with reasonable proficiency, etc. But when it comes to the really technical terminology and software, I don't have a clue. Really, I guess I'm just an opportunistic kind of user in that I learn WHAT I need to know, WHEN I need to know it, and little else. It isn't that I don't find it all fascinating (really!) but I just don't have a lot of time. So, having said that...

My first question (and the reason I came here in the first place) is... What exactly do I need to do (and why) to get my brand new NEC DVD / CD-ROM drive to work? I plugged it in, popped in a DVD and voila - it wouldn't play. (Also wouldn't let me burn in a CD of photos and files I had stored on my hard-drive, but it will play ordinary music CDs or data files.)

I did do some research and discovered that I don't, apparently, have a decoder (or decoders - plural?) on my computer - which is running XP - home edition by the way. Okay, I'm not entirely stupid, so I figured out that decoders - um... decode... and that makes sense, but why would the system be without them in the first place? I thought these were a kind of package thing with XP, but I ran a check and sure enough, there are none present on my computer. Also, since the "why" is currently not quite as important to me as the "how do I fix it?!" any suggestions about the best decoder(s) to download (brands, etc.)? Can you get good ones for free, or is this something where you get what you pay for?

Also, I guess (strike that - I KNOW) I was ignorant when I made this purchase - its a NEC DVD_RW - ND3550A. It came sort of "bare" - no instructions, connectors or anything. It sounded okay, and the price was within my budget. I plugged it into place, but that was all. Do I need something - like Nero or other software to make it burn a CD & run DVDs, or are my problems not being able to burn also due to not having a decoder? (I did say I was ignorant, remember?)

I'm sorry to be bothering you all with these probably really obvious novice questions, but hey, I really don't know the answers, and I really do need to know them. I need this thing to work. I don't have a lot of computer smarts. I don't have a lot of money. Go easy on me please?! Thanks! :confused:

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Last Post by tailypo
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If the drive is a CD/DVD burner, personally I use Nero for burning both. In order to get the DVD to play, you'll need a DVD player application.
If you arn't looking to 'buy' any software for this, Windows Media Player 'may' work with all of the correct codecs/updates. Personally, I would use "AVS DVD Player 2.2" from here.

In about 99% of the cases, additional software is all that is required to get CD/DVD burners to work correctly. Unfortunately the other 1% are hardware malfunctions in which the lasers (these read the disks) arn't aligned properly, and need to be replaced.

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If the drive is a CD/DVD burner, personally I use Nero for burning both. In order to get the DVD to play, you'll need a DVD player application.
If you arn't looking to 'buy' any software for this, Windows Media Player 'may' work with all of the correct codecs/updates. Personally, I would use "AVS DVD Player 2.2" from here.

In about 99% of the cases, additional software is all that is required to get CD/DVD burners to work correctly. Unfortunately the other 1% are hardware malfunctions in which the lasers (these read the disks) arn't aligned properly, and need to be replaced.

Thanks for the help! I went to AVS and downloaded the free player as you suggested, and it worked like a charm. Then I checked my copy of Nero to find it very outdated, so went to that website to look for an update. They are REALLY expensive (for my budget anyway) so I found a good free version on the Kim Kommando site and downloaded it. It looks very similar to Nero and works great so far! Thanks again! :)

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