I have a MBP and recently upgraded it by adding RAM and by removing the internal CD/DVD super-drive and replacing it with a second hard drive. There are some pretty nifty kits for doing this; I used the Data Doubler, which I bought from Other World Computing. You can also get a nice little USB-connected plastic case in which you can mount your newly-naked CD/DVD super-drive. The rationale here is that you hardly ever use the CD drive, but it’s nice to have when you need it.
The problem is that now, your MBP doesn’t know how to find the CD drive. This is extremely annoying when you want to play a DVD. OK, let’s be honest, more realistically, it’s extremely annoying when you want to rip and compress your DVD so you can take it on the road or convert it to an MP4 so you can upload it to your phone or tablet.
While searching for a solution to my problem, I contacted the support people at The Little App Factory (the makers of an excellent app called Rip It), and in a quick response, someone named Jane asked me if I could actually play the DVD using Apple’s DVD Player.app. Such a dumb question… oh wait, let me try… hmmmm… Good question… heh, no I can’t… it doesn’t work! SONOFABITCH! No wonder it couldn’t rip the disc!
See, in the old laptop, the DVD drive worked inconsistently, but did allow me to read data and rip movies. But I recently upgraded the laptop and swapped my existing SSD drive into the new machine, pulled the new DVD Drive, inserted the Data Doubler with my second HD and upgraded the RAM… all before even turning the new beast on. At no point did I ever initially use the new DVD player and set the region, and do all that annoying content molesting nonsense they force us to go through.
Digression: did you know that region-free DVD players are perfectly legal? It seems to me that imposing DVD regions by content providers, along with the willful inclusion of this feature by media player manufacturers, constitutes the largest anti-trust behavior in the history of humanity, in my opinion. I’m just saying.
OK. back to our regularly scheduled programming.
So having asked support people for help and being asked to check the OBVIOUS, I feel like that ID10T that I always pick on, who asks dumb questions instead of googling it. So I ran a search for the DVD Player.app error that I received: “A Valid DVD drive could not be found”. (Incidentally, I always got the same error in the old laptop.) In less than 5 minutes, I ended up in this forum, where a self-declared notebook geek proposed downloading this script: DVDDriveSwitcher.
Drum roll please… everything now works. The DVD loads, I’m asked for the content molesting region settings, DVD Player.app works, I can play DVDs, VLC works, Rip It, FairMount, and all the other wonderful tools you’d need just work again.
Yay – Problem solved.
Thanks for the sript, Notebook Geek!
May 20, 2013 Update: uh oh… looks like that link to the DVDDrive Switcher script is broken . Good thing I saved it! Looks like a super tidy perl script, but I couldn’t find anything about the author. Sadly, I can’t give the author credit.
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