Region-free workaround on Macbook

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by faizan, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. faizan macrumors newbie

    faizan

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    #1
    I've been using a black Macbook for the past two years and I was frustrated with the region limitation on the DVD drive. I travel quite often and have DVDs in region 1 and 2. After switching the region on my Macbook 5 times, I could no longer watch my region 1 DVD's as it got locked on to region 2 permanently.

    I looked for a workaround for ages but couldn't find one. I now have an Aluminum Macbook. I just inserted a DVD into the superdrive for the first time. And instead of following the DVD Player prompt (to choose a region for the first time), i just opened up VLC and the movies playing. I've left the DVD Player running because if I click cancel the DVD gets ejected.

    I think this might be a credible workaround for the problem (at least for people who're buying new computers anyway). Has anyone else experienced this?
     
  2. FarSeide macrumors 6502a

    FarSeide

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Earth Lane
    #2
    Thanks for info. I travel quite a bit too and I will give this a shot.
     
  3. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #3
    System Preferences -> CDs & DVDs -> When you insert a Video DVD: Open other application... -> VLC
     
  4. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #4
    Is who're a legitimate contraction? And thanks for the DVD region tip.
     
  5. faizan thread starter macrumors newbie

    faizan

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    #5
    Haha.. excuse my grammar. I had to look up the word "contraction" in the Apple dictionary. You're welcome.
     
  6. faizan thread starter macrumors newbie

    faizan

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    #6
    It might not work if you've already set the region on your DVD drive.
     
  7. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    You can just disable auto-play by going to:
    System Preferences —> CDs & DVDs
    Where it says 'When you insert a video DVD, either choose 'Ignore' or choose VLC.

    [​IMG]

    It should work because VLC ignores the region code on your computer.
     
  8. Everlast macrumors newbie

    Everlast

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for the tips, I wish I could learn it earlier...

    I just got my new Alu Macbook Pro a couple weeks. I was ignorantly let the built-in DVD player to open the region 1 DVD, and now it's stuck in region 1..... VLC player won't do nothing... Is that mean I'm screwed? :(
     
  9. Everlast macrumors newbie

    Everlast

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    #9
    Sorry if this sounds silly... but I have to ask the OP, faizan, have you ever open any DVD movie with the built-in DVD player on your Macbook? I'm wondering if I go replace a new superdrive and follow the tips here will work?


    I believe my MBP have the LG superdrive (HL-DT-ST DVDRW GS21N), which VLC won't help... :( What I did, was just put in a DVD movie and the built-in DVD player pop out and play(It didn't ask me to choose a region for the first time tho), then it start asking me everytime whenever I put a differ region disc in, and even I try the tricks that provided here won't help, VLC just crash or do nothing.... :(

    Did I made a mistake by using the built-in DVD player run the disc for the first time, and that DVD player did automatically pick the first DVD as it's region code?
     
  10. faizan thread starter macrumors newbie

    faizan

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    #10
    On my old Macbook, I did set the region using DVD player. I had to keep switching regions too. I might be wrong but I don't think there is a suitable workaround to fix this.

    If you replace your Superdrive, it will ask you again to set the region for the first time. If you then disable DVD player as the default player in system preferences as indicated in earlier posts, you can use VLC for a region-free drive.

    However, I'd suggest getting a region-free external DVD player instead because it'll be much cheaper.
     
  11. eleven7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Location:
    Japan
    #11
    Hi, having a bit of a problem running this method on my new macbook 2.4 aluminum. Just wondering if any who has got this to work could check the steps I'm taking to check if I'm doing it right.

    1. I put my first DVD into the drive and the region option comes up/DVD player opens. (I have not selected any region previously)

    2. I don't select any region but leave that and the DVD player open.

    3. Open VLC player. Open DVD via File>Open Disc

    The drive spools up for a sec then just spits the DVD out again. I have tried playing the DVD by both using the "DVD" and "VIDEO_TS directory" options in the VLC "Disc Menu", both have the same result.

    I also tried playing the DVD via File>Open File and then attempted to play a .vob file but as soon as I click a file, VLC crashes and shuts down.

    Any pointers? Thanks! :)
     
  12. semenzato macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    #12
    VLC trick doesn't work on recent (2009) MacBooks

    Unfortunately VLC does not seem to be able to bypass the region code check on recent MacBooks. I have one bought this year (2009) with Matshita drive model UJ-868, firmware revision KA14. VLC cannot play a region 2 DVD. It shows a black screen for a few seconds, then stops playing. VLC works fine with Region 1 DVDs.

    I also looked around but there doesn't appear to be any hacked firmware version available as of this date. I hope that this will change, but in the meanwhile I will have to rip and recompress all my region 2 DVDs, which is a royal pain. But I have to do it anyhow for the DVD player in the minivan---I doubt there will ever be a region-free firmware for that one.

    Shouldn't it be possible to get the Australian or New Zealand version of the firmware? Don't those countries have laws that prohibit region restrictions?
     
  13. eleven7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Unfortunately NZ and Australia are just as strict as everywhere else. I think I'll just have to buy an external DVD player :mad: Not that they are expensive or anything, but it is just a pain in the ass when you pay a decent amount of money for a laptop and are only able to play half your DVD collection, and have to lug an external DVD player around with you if you want to watch DVDs on the run.
     
  14. stu3ufc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
  15. PrincessPeach macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #15
    I can't speak for recent Macbooks since I'm using one from a couple of years ago still but the problem most people are having is that they are trying to use VLC during/after DVD Player has tried the DVD. This won't work. You have to have DVD Player completely Quit *and* have your drive not autoplay DVDs (i.e. so it doesn't open DVD Player when you insert a disc) or the region check will be made. If you see the region select screen when trying to use the VLC method, it will not work and you'll have to eject.

    I've never had a problem on any Mac using VLC (Command-D, OK) to play any region DVDs, and living in a terrible country where I have to import anything half decent I'm used to a wide range of regions.

    If I get a funny disc VLC chokes on (it happens a few times, VLC seems picky) I just rip it to my drive temporarily with MacTheRipper. You'll want to delete it afterwards, especially on a laptop, as the space consumption adds up!

    I miss the old DVD Region X when people were still making the Mac firmware updates for it. It made the whole thing so much simpler.
     
  16. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #16
    Yeah, I've been using the VLC trick on my MBP for a while.

    Apple claims to sell a premium product, but this region encoding **** is for the proles. /snob

    Really, I bought a $3000 laptop and I can't freely switch between NA/EU and Asia? One more brick in the wall that we should be using to stone the MPAA.
     
  17. stu3ufc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    #17
    I just followed the VLC instructions and VLC still wont play it even if auto play is set on ignore

    the disc drive makes some noises then VLC just goes back to a blank "controller" box
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #18
    With region encoding now in the drive firmware, its impossible to play back unless you have changed the firmware or are lucky enough to have a drive that has yet to have its region set.
     
  19. PabloGS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Europe
    #19
    Uj-868 Rpc-1

    You might want to read this topic / post over here:
    http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=44003

    I know that there's an RPC-1 FW for the UJ-868 KB19. Dunno about KA14/KB14. Be sure to post your drives info and ask if there is any firmware you can test for the guys and you might be just about lucky enough.
     
  20. JazzyJ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    #20
    How to Re-set the Region on a Macbook

    I have a White Macbook, with an LG GS22N drive, Firmware CP08 and every time I reboot my computer I have the same 3 changes left that I had when I flashed the firmware! If I'd only had one change left when I flashed it then every time I reboot I'd still have one change left....

    It's not so hard to do but you HAVE to be able to boot the Macbook into Win XP or Vista in order to flash the firmware and using Parallels is no good as OSX is still running, so you'll need to use bootcamp or pop another drive inside and install XP and use that. I had a spare SATA drive as I'd upgraded the one in my Macbook to a 7200rpm 320GB so I put the original drive back in, installed Win XP, flashed the firmware and then put my OSX drive back in and used USA, UK and Brazil Dvd's and still have and will always have three changes left every time I reboot!

    Here's how to do it, taken from 'The Firmware Page':

    I successfully applied the MCSE RPC2 Auto Reset patch to the CP08 firmware for my HL-DT-ST DVDRW GS22N (MacBook mid-2009) in the firmware database.

    1. Downloaded CP08 firmware EXE from this board's firmware database.
    http://forum.rpc1.org/portal.php
    2. Downloaded MCSE via this board's Utilities page.
    3. Ran MCSE (Windows) via Crossover in MacOS - it worked fine. Used it to apply the RPC2 Auto Reset patch to the CP08 firmware EXE. That also worked fine via Crossover.
    4. Rebooted MacBook into 64-bit Vista Ultimate (SP2) Boot Camp in Safe Mode.
    5. Ran the patched CP08 EXE - it worked fine.
    6. Rebooted into MacOS. Stuck in my first DVD and ran DVD Player, it said it needed to set my drive region for the first time, which I let it do.
    7. Shutdown and restarted MacOS. Again stuck in DVD and ran DVD Player, and it again said it needed to set the drive region for the first time. SUCCESS!

    GS22N: http://files.rpc1.org/index.php?act=category&id=1822
    MCSE: http://ala42.cdfreaks.com/MCSE/MediaCodeSpeedEdit.zip

    My story is a little different to the above as I did it all in Win XP and didn't boot in safe mode either but the results are the same. Good luck yawl!!
     
  21. szesam macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #21
  22. szesam macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #22
    fatal: Selected drive (null) does not appear to be a matshita device

    simple_flash V 2.01 compiled at Feb 4 2010 00:22:16
    Selected firmware: MATSHITADVD-R UJ-898 HC10
    fatal: Selected drive (null) does not appear to be a matshita device

    logout

    It's a compatibility issue with macs running version 10.6.5 and above
    Those having this problem, there are 2 methods to solve this:
    1. Method 1 - Downgrade and Update
    2. Method 2 - Use a bootable drive

    Instructions found at this article:
    http://app-cloud.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-post_28.html
     
  23. g00ber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    #23
    Fixed MatshitaFlasher attached.
     

    Attached Files:

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