DVD region woes

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by elr93, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. elr93 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    Apologises if this in the wrong forum, I wasn't entirely sure where to post it.

    So, basically before today I was completely unaware you were given 5 attempts at changing the DVD region. Perhaps luckily(?) I realised this on my final attempt - to no such luck. Even though it is telling me I can change my region one last time, the DVD player crashes and when I start it up again, it gives me the exact same option. Even VLC won't play any region 2 (the region I actually want) discs. I have bootcamp with Windows; it gives me an error message saying it cannot change and requires a disc of that region, even though I'm mostly definitely using a region 2 disc.

    I contacted Apple and the guy told me there's no reason why it shouldn't change. We went through the usual procedure of repair the disc permissions, boot up in safe mode and finally to reinstall OS X - something I cannot do with my extremely poor internet, but reading other people with this problem, it hasn't helped them. (I will say that when I booted it up in safe mode and tried to load the DVD player it gave me a 70017 error - not savvy with this stuff so I don't know what that means.)

    Basically, short of taking it into a store and seeing if they can help, is there anything I can do? Would wiping the Mac clean and starting completely again solve this problem? (although this seems highly extreme and obviously I would rather try to avoid it.)
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    From memory, there's region coding information stored in the SMC, and I wonder whether it doesn't match what's stored in the drive. Try resetting SMC so that it's forced to read the details from the drive, and see whether that makes any difference.
     
  3. elr93, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014

    elr93 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #3
    Thanks for the response, but I tried it and unfortunately there's no change.

    Would an entire clean wipe of the computer reset this? Or is it a trip to the Apple store? Really quite concerned about this, since my DVD drive is now practically useless(!)
     
  4. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    #4
    Region lock for DVD drives has been standard since they started going mainstream. All drives sold have the region lock code, but it's in the firmware of the drive itself, not stored in the OS or SMC info (that's why you get the same error message in both OS X and Windows).

    Without knowing what kind of drive it is, it's hard to give any specific recommendations. What does System Information list for the model of the drive?
     
  5. elr93 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #5
    Unfortunately wasn't savvy with this. I rarely used the region changes. A total wipe isn't going to help here, then?

    But I hope this is the information you meant, let me know if it's not:

    MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-8A8:

    Firmware Revision: HB14
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipping Drive)
    Cache: 1024 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
    Media:
    Type: DVD-ROM
    Blank: No
    Erasable: No
    Overwritable: No
    Appendable: No
     
  6. 0n1cOn3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    #6
    DVD Regional is saved by the Device inside on the ROM - There won't be any possible choices than change the DVD Drive itself! Im sorry to tell this!
     
  7. elr93 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #7
    While I was aware that was a possible outcome, I know I haven't used up all my attempts - even Apple support said this. I've seen other people with this problem, but no one appears to have found a solution.

    But even if it was as drastic as replacing the entire drive, how would I go about doing this? Where would I even get a replacement drive from? (as you can see, complete novice over here, never had any problems of this regard before with my other Macbooks)

    Or should I just simply bite the bullet to go to Apple?
     
  8. barnettgs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #8
    Have you googled dvd 'region unlock mac' for this? There should be a few software out there to do this trick for you.
     
  9. elr93 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2014
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    Midlands, UK
    #9
    I'm not really prepared to try anything like that I'm afraid; a lot of the software looks rather... dodgy - think I'd rather just replace the entire DVD drive if it comes to it.
     
  10. barnettgs macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #10
    Fair enough.

    I think it did for me a few years ago but for me, it wasn't worth the hassle or the cost of the replacing the DVD drive. I wasn't even a fan of watching the movies.
     
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #11
    buy a cheap external USB DVD drive?

    the manufacturers have made it very difficult to reset the region code, due to pressure from the entertainment industry.

    The entertainment industry still lives in their own world, where people don't travel from one country to another and buy things in other countries.
     
  12. elr93 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2014
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    Midlands, UK
    #12
    I understand your point, but I invested quite a bit of money in this particular Macbook, so I'd rather shell out the money so it works(!)

    Again, not really an option I'm afraid; goes back to the point this Macbook was not cheap and I'd rather it work as it's supposed to.

    And yes, they're rather shooting themselves in the foot - you buy these DVD's legally and you can't even use them!

    Either way, sounds like I'm going to have to speak with Apple to see if they'll replace it. Any idea if they do this still? (obviously I've accepted it's likely going to cost me)
     
  13. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #13
    Apple will do repairs like that, but it'll probably be quite expensive coming from me.

    Not to necessarily advocate obtaining things from other sources, when things like this come up where the DRM makes it too much of a pain to use the stuff you legally got I tend to just get it from other places without that DRM like region locks.
     
  14. ya1950 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #14
    As others have said already the problem is in the firmware of the DVD drive which gets region locked. However solutions are available to solve this problem. Basically the drive's firmware has to be hacked to make it region free. The drive is the reflashed with this modified firmware. The procedure sounds scarier then it is and I'd recommend giving it a try before replacing the drive. This might help you if you are adventuresome.

    http://thetechjoiner.com/tech/mac/how-to-make-macbookpro-2012-dvd-drive-region-free/
     
  15. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    #15
    Just keep in mind that if you brick the optical drive while trying to update it, it wouldn't be covered by any warranty. But that link above should get you pointed in the right direction at the very least.
     
  16. 0n1cOn3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    #16

    Thats easy. You have to open it the case under the Macbook, where the battery is. You see on the right side a few screws, there might be a holder too for the drive. If all screws are out, you can push the drive out, like a external Harddrive.

    Perhabs, Ifixit has some replacements but i am not sure!
    I know just a Swiss Company where have replacement, but i dont think, thats interesting for you (Shipping and so far)
     
  17. elr93, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014

    elr93 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2014
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #17
    Thank you for everyone's help so far - I appreciate it!

    I'm not very confident with trying anything like this, given, as has been said, the risk of bricking the drive, even if my warranty is long gone (had it since summer 2012). Although I suppose you could take the view the drive is practically useless anyway - I will take it into consideration though. My only concern is that either option (reflashing it or leaving it be) means I can't really sell the Mac at a later date.

    The replacements are the only issue (don't know why it's such a hassle in the UK) and I'm not sure I'd want to attempt it myself, even though I don't quite trust Apple to do the job properly either.

    For the moment, I might go back on what I said and, as was suggested, invest in an external drive and at least get a quote from Apple for how much a replacement drive will cost, as it seems unlikely they'll roll it back for me (even if I am still convinced there's a fault somewhere because it is definitely the fifth attempt I'm on(!)).
     
  18. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Somewhere
    #18
    Reflashing it probably wouldn't have much of an effect on the ability to sell it in the future, unless of course it totally bricks the drive.
     

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