6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 30, 2009 4:50 PM by tedlyflyfisher
tedlyflyfisher Level 1 Level 1
it will play CD's, but not DVD's all of the sudden. It opens DVD player and tries to look at the disc, but then says it is not a supported disc format or something like that. I've tried many DVD's, including commercially produced ones; none will play.

Used to play them just fine. I think the last thing I did before having problems was trying to install some software for a memory stick that had a secure/password authenticated area. Could I have deleted something important? This is a reconditioned Mac, so I don't have the OS discs to re-install.

Thanks very much!

G4 iBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6
    Short of being able to try the normal and recommended paths of
    restoring the software, in case something was deleted and to also
    troubleshoot the hardware, most ideas may be too shallow to do
    the correct job of resolving any underlying problems the computer
    may exhibit since symptoms can mirror other issues.

    Routine maintenance requires you repair disk permissions once
    and awhile, perhaps fairly often if installing apps and updates;
    since before and after each intervention is recommended by most
    users with experience; the Disk Utility (see GO in Finder, note
    Utility Folder) can let you run 'repair disk permissions' and also
    you can try booting in SafeBoot (hold Shift key down on startup;
    and then login, and then run Disk Utility's 'repair disk permissions'
    followed by a normal restart. This may help clear up user issues;
    but can't fix damaged or missing system parts.

    Depending on what OS X version is installed in the computer,
    using a bootable OS X installer disc is even a marginal choice;
    since using the wrong disc can mess up the existing OS version.
    You can figure out fairly close, what OS X version your iBook
    shipped with by noting the hardware specs and also comparing
    them against the free information from http://mactracker.ca a
    download database of considerable usefulness with most Macs.

    The original restore install boot disc set the computer shipped with
    has the Apple Hardware Test and other options on the Installer to
    include Disk Utility and the ability to do an Archive & Install, where
    you can keep your user account into while the installer puts a new
    system in the computer (not a first thing to do, btw.) And there are
    things the correct boot installer disc allows you to do preventively.

    The optical drive lens may be partially dirty; so the drive can't read
    DVDs correctly. That may be remedied by using one of the cleaner
    devices which could work in a slot-load optical drive. Or, there is a
    chance the optical drive may be defective and require a replacement.

    If the seller has any ideas on getting a boot disc (any one could look
    and hope to find these original equipment parts on eBay, etc; they
    should be included with the computer, however) or has a decent cost
    for troubleshooting and repair - a last resort, if not a reliable company;
    these avenues could be checked into first.

    Not any bootable disc will work, it has to be the correct one; either one
    which the system - as shipped, was installed with and came from Apple
    or one which was a full retail installer disc and was newer than the Mac.
    Software such as iLife was not a part of the retail OS X disc install but
    may have been included with the original computer's OS X bundle.
    That is to say, Tiger 10.4.0 retail won't boot an iBook G4 which shipped
    with Tiger 10.4.2, etc and the Tiger retail disc won't have iLife apps in it.

    Troubleshooting the optical drive and system software, along with the
    rest of the computer's hardware is recommended as a first step. To
    find out what is right about the computer and go from there... And to
    do that, certain basic tools such as the OS X installer is recommended.
    Or take the computer to a shop where they have an authorized repair
    station set up and a trained technician who knows your product well,
    is the correct and non-assuming way to work on resolving this issue.

    Do you have more specific machine information to identify which iBook
    G4 you have? There is info in System Profiler, and also on the Mac's
    case; the latter would show the as-shipped hardware configuration
    while the System Profiler (see About this Mac, under Blue apple menu)
    may show any changes or upgrades in hardware, as well as OS version
    and applications installed in the system.

    It may be possible to download just the DVD Player from Apple Support;
    it would have to be the correct one for whatever OS X version you have,
    or if you had a retail OS X installer plus got the Pacifist utility, you could
    scavenge the DVD Player from the installer disc and only install it.

    Good luck & happy computing!

    edited to add more words.
  • tedlyflyfisher Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks very much for that info. I have to admit, though that when I saw your location I was a little distracted. Thoughts of salmon and fly rods swam through my head!

    But back to computers...I tried repairing permissions, and it didn't seem to help.

    Then I tried downloading DVD Player from Apple. However, during the installation process it says "can't be installed on your hard drive, because a newer version of the software is already installed." That's in spite of the fact that as far as I can tell I have deleted the old copy of DVD Player.

    So then I found "Ultimate DVD Player" download on Apple's site. I downloaded that to give it a try. When I insert a DVD, I get the same old warning that, "Disk Insertion: The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." However, it then starts to play the video! Which is great, except that apparently only a trial (which only works for 10 minutes before shutting down) is free.

    More about this computer. Processor 1.07 GHz PowerPC G4
    Memory 768 MB DDR SDRAM
    OS: 10.4.11


    Firmware Revision: CA0T
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
    Cache: 2048 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw
    Media: No

    So...bottom line...at least I know there isn't a hardware failure. But I'd sure like to know what--if anything--needs to be deleted so that I can reinstall DVD Player.

    p.s. wasted lots of time looking for other freeware Mac DVD players, all to no avail.

    Again, thanks so much for all your good ideas. If you or others have anything else to recommend, I'd appreciate it.
  • tedlyflyfisher Level 1 Level 1
    I should add that the DVD does not show up in the finder when I insert it, although I hear the drive spinning while trying to recognize the disc. If I load the drive with a CD, the finder recognizes it. And, again, I have tried numerous DVD's, including many commercially produced ones that play just fine on other computers.

    Thanks again for any suggestions you may have.
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6
    There may be plist (permissions files) and application support files specific to just the
    DVD Player, and in some cases, there may be a package left from the installer which
    may be in a hidden location and perhaps whose removal may be required prior to a
    general re-installation of the Player.

    {You can use Find from the menu drop-down selection, to see what a search from
    there may tell you about locating parts of the DVD Player elsewhere in the system.
    Be wary of removing things from a system this way, since restoring them may
    require an Archive & Install of a new system folder, and a full update to that system.}

    Is the DVD Player you downloaded per above, the same as one listed in this forum;
    there is a link (have not tried it) c. 2006, to see about getting another within this page:
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os-x-applications-games/38052-package-contents- dvd-player-tiger.html

    (The above may be a file-sharing link, and could have issues of its own. Thought
    I'd tell you to be wary of that, after looking into it briefly. I did not download from it.)

    General ideas on updating a basic Tiger 10.4.0 to 10.4.11 require a path of getting
    the update parts, including Flash player, Java updates, & etc. If you get an install
    disc you could also try repairing disk, and other steps a boot-installer allows. A
    retail Tiger disc will not have iPhoto or iLife parts inside; an original install restore
    disc which accompanied the computer would have apps not in the retail disc set.

    I am not sure what kinds of existing parts of a previous DVD Player, if corrupted or
    remaining from an accidental removal, may need to be removed to facilitate a new
    or replacement one being installed; or how to troubleshoot only this issue directly.

    If the computer did not ship with Tiger installed in it (I believe it is older than Tiger)
    a retail installer disc - one that can boot the computer - may be able to help to
    restore or may be new enough to do an Archive & Install, then you'd have to up-
    date the OS X from whatever that installer's level was, up to 10.4.11 including all
    applicable security, java, browser, and other updates necessary for 10.4.11, too.
    A retail Tiger boot installer disc should be an easier find than an original iBook disc.
    I think your iBook may have shipped with Panther; and the original owner may have
    used an update-only disc to arrive at Tiger. Update-only discs cannot boot a Mac.

    Normally I don't look into these forums this early; I have to drive an elderly relative
    to medical appointments and stuff, so I've been online earlier reading news, etc.

    Hopefully this helps some...
    Good luck & happy computing!

    edited 2x.
  • kmac1036 Level 4 Level 4
    try VLC: http://videolan.org

    100% FREE

    Message was edited by: kmac1036
  • tedlyflyfisher Level 1 Level 1
    thank you, thank you, thank you! That works! (VLC).

    of course, I still can't load software from DVD's, since the finder won't recognize DVD's, but I'm not as worried about that...I can always connect by firewire to my wife's G4.

    Thank you both so much.