how do I play different region DVDs on my Mac Mini (I have Parallels w. Windows7)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by felixen, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. felixen macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    I dont want to go out and buy a lot of software, so how do I make my Mac Mini (or the windows partion) region free so I can play all of my movies on there?
  2. savoirfaire macrumors 6502


    Nov 23, 2003
    New England
    It's more complex than you think. Ideally you would flash the firmware on your Mini's DVD drive to be region-free (see but this is not available for many Matsushita drives, and flashing the drive could potentially brick it. Some people have had success setting the OS so that it does not automatically launch inserted DVDs and then playing the DVD using VLC. Others have indicated that their computer will attempt to switch regions (your drive can do this a limited number of times-usually 5-before permanently locking itself to the last region).
  3. felixen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    but can't I do it when I have windows installed on my mac mini?
  4. savoirfaire macrumors 6502


    Nov 23, 2003
    New England
    The same issues apply whether you are using MacOS or Windows. The drive itself has a region lock that can only be changed 5 times before it locks forever. I don't know what drive is in the mini, so there is a possibility that region-free firmware exists. Again, I would use as a resource.

    In either case, you can try to use the VLC trick to watch the movies. I *think* that as long as MacOS or Windows doesn't try to play the DVD, it will not trigger the region change, but I'm not sure.

    What I did on my PC is flash the drive to region-free firmware, then I installed DVD Region Killer. On my older Mac, I installed Region X and flashed my drive. Granted, I haven't had to bother with other-region DVDs for a few years now, so I don't know if that method still works for Leopard/Snow Leopard.

    I'm not even sure I'm allowed to discuss this on this forum???
  5. felixen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    I dont see why we shouldnt be allowed to discuss this. But if our posts get deleted I better be quick to say thanks for your answers :) I will try and look at that website and try the VLC trick also
  6. vashim66 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    Just rip the DVD to your hard drive. Most ripping/decrypting software removes any region coding. That way you don't have to change the region of your physical drive.

    at that point you can either reburn the movie or play it off your drive.
  7. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    What surprises me is that the lynch mob that is against Hackintoshes and believes that Apple's EULA is a manifested law isn't also gathering to bash on people who try to circumvent the region locks on their DVD players. If you condone Apple's EULA, then you also condone region locks. And you would also approve it if Sony started to sell movie DVDs that - via license restrictions, mind you! - are only allowed to be played on Sony DVD or BluRay players...

    Coming back to the original question: The last time I needed to flash a DVD drive was years ago, on a Gericom notebook, so I really don't know how or if this can be done on OS X. I actually own multiple DVD drives, of which one is set to the US region and the others run in European mode. Thus the entire regional code concept of the movie mafia has been rendered useless by the availability of cheap technology - they probably never thought that it would ever become affordable to own more than one DVD drive.

    Furthermore, the best DVD players on the market can be bought for 40 Euros (yes, 40 Euros) and they come from the factory without a regional code and they can even play Xvid/Divx and other rip formats. Just in case you want another player to connect to your TV... ;-)
  8. felixen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2009
    yeah okay, but I would just like to use my mac mini because I have it set up with high definition and good surround sound. I actually have a region free dvd player so its not like I cant watch my movies, but this player is just set up with a scart cable (garbage) and the sound is only set to come out of my TV speakers. And I dont even use DVDs very often anymore so I dont want to buy a new DVD player (might buy a nice blu ray player when i find it at a reasonable price though).. So it would just be cool if I could watch a region1 DVD on my Danish mac mini every once in a while. i dont feel confident about the whole firmware modding though as I would have no clue what I'd be doing
  9. Thomas Davie macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    Regarding flashing your drive in Windows; be *very* careful. I flashed mine in Windows as I have done to many Windows PC's, and it worked....apparently. Ultimately a few days later I went to reboot my iMac and it wouldn't reboot. My superdrive was dead.

    Here is what I do now:

    1) buy a cheap external dvd writer/player that does have region free firmware.
    2) Boot up into Windows through Parallels or Fusion.
    3) Connect your external drive AFTER booting up into Windows.
    4) Select virtual machine when you are asked if you want this machine to be available for OS X or virtual machine.
    5) Flash the drive.

    Now you will be able to use the drive in either OS X or Windows region free. Additionally, if you are ripping DVD's, use this drive in Windows to rip the DVD's using DVD Decrypter after it is mounted as described above.

    Hope this helps


    Feel free to pm me if you need help or advice.

    I've got an LG super multi writer that I use.

    [edit: I downloaded the stock firmware for my 59$ external burner and downloaded a program called MCSE (media code speed edit), loaded the firmware, and applied an rpc-2 reset tool, and then flashed the drive with the modified firmware while in windows. Verfied that the DVD drive still worked, and then went to view a region 2 PAL DVD in OSX. It asked me to change the regiom, and then I switched back and forth between r2 and r1 dvd's. When you reach the limit for the number of region changes, you unplug or power off your external burner, restart/plug in and then the region count is reset. But again, be can bork your built in burner....always use an external burner to do this]

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