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Home > Windows XP Common Issues > DVD Region Codes
August 27, 2015

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DVD Region Codes

DVD Region Map

The world is split up into 7 DVD regions, 1-6 shown on the map above as well as region 0 that will play on all drives. Original generation DVD drives came with a firmware level that has become known as RPC 1. RPC 1 drives themselves are capable of playing any region but are dependant on the installed player software to control which region is played. Once software became available that was able to change the players region RPC 2 was implemented.

DVD Region Playback Control

RPC 2 drives come normally with a 5 change limit on regions, once the counter gets to 0 your drive is permanently locked to the last region it was set to. Even if you reformat or move the drive to another system it will still be locked to the last region. There are ways to get around it, some models have resetting tools made by 3rd parties to reset the change limit back to 5 and some also have firmware patches to remove the region lock. Using either of these will invalidate your drives warranty and particularly the later can turn your drive into a paperweight, though if your prepaired to take that risk these can normally be located by searching on google for your dvd drive model and the word firmware.

So how can you tell what RPC your drive is? You can download the Drive Region Info program written by Erwin van den Berg to check the status of your drive, the program is very small (8kb)

Download: Drive Region Info v2.2

DVD Drive info unprotectedDVD Drive info protected

On the left you can see my Hitachi drive shown as having no region protection, you will see this on RPC1 drives and those who's drive firmware has been patched to remove the region checking, if your drive shows up as this you will be able to use software to play other regions DVD's. On the right you can see a friends RPC2 drive, this drive will need some kind of tool or firmware patch before it will play other regions disc's, DO bear in mind that using such software on your drive may KILL your drive dead and will defiantly invalidate your drives warranty.

If you have trouble running this tool you may need to install the Adaptec ASPI layer from here

If you have a drive without region protection you can download and install DVD Genie, run this program before you start your DVD player software, click the auto region tab and DVD Scan and Set on that page. As the name suggests it will scan the disc in your DVD-Rom then make your player software think that it is the correct region.

Download: DVD Genie 4.10

DVD Genie Auto Region Tab

If your using Windows Media Player to play DVD's you'll need to configure the equivalent player software. For example if you have the Cyberlink DVD playback kit edit the settings for Cyberlink PowerDVD.

Visit the Official DVD Genie site for more details on this program and more PC DVD firmware/playback information.


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