Why won’t my Vista machine play DVDs?

I used to be able to play DVD movies in my Windows XP computer, but when I put them in my new PC it says “Windows Media Player cannot play DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on the computer”. What’s wrong?

Windows Media Player

Vista comes in a number of different “Editions” some of which have the ability to play DVDs and some which don’t. Vista Home Premium and Ultimate can play DVDs without any extra software, but Vista Basic cannot. To play DVDs you’ll need to get a decoding program which can do this for you. Here are some options:

That’s all I can find out at the moment. Anyone have any free DVD decoders that will work in this scenario?

2 thoughts on “Why won’t my Vista machine play DVDs?”

  1. A quick google of vista free dvd found


    This is a codec package, and whilst I generally advise clients/friends to avoid them (I prefer the stability and lack of clashes that downloading separate DivX/XVid, AC3, MP3 (for ripping), MKV, MPC and both Real and Quicktime Alternatives codecs), if this package works well and enables DVD playing through Windows Media Player (or your fave media player), then who am I to argue?

  2. I saw that post, but wasn’t 100% it would solve the problem. I’d be curious to hear from someone using Home Basic who used the codec pack to successfully play DVDs.

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