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A techy non-sequitur post 20/01/2009

Posted by lmd64 in Mac, software.
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It irks me that my Macbook DVD drive isn’t region-free. I’ve a rake-load of DVDs purchased on assorted trips abroad, and I can’t play the damn things. So some stage, I have to try this out (and hope to hell it doesn’t brick the drive):

The Region Free MacBook

I’ve posted these instructions elsewhere but wanted to bring them here. The topic is how to play DVDs from anywhere in the world on your MacBook. The reason you might want to perform this hack is that DVD players are manufactured to only be able to play DVDs manufactured for the local region. That sucks. I buy the MacBook and the DVD andthey won’t let me play the darn thing. I could download the video illegally but I like to collect DVDs (I know, I’m already in the 12-step program). I could rant about this for hours but Wikipedia does a good job of describing the issues.

This is how I performed the hack and links to the software I used. Special thanks to the guys at RPC1.org for making this possible, especially Ben11 who did all the hard work.

Copy this at your own risk but it worked for me.

1. Go to Apple -> About This Mac -> More Info -> Disk Burning to check what firmware version you’re running.

2. Download the software you need. A list of the MATSHITA drives (the appropriately named company whose drives Apple uses in their MacBook and other lines) that can be currently upgraded by this method is available.

3. Apply the flash AT YOUR OWN RISK. Do not interrupt the installation. Restart the computer after the installation has been complted. FYI, my installation paused a couple of times; if yours does too, don’t be tempted to restart the computer or stop the installation before the installation is complete.

4. Use DVDInfoX to confirm that you’re flash worked.

When I did the check, this is what it showed:

DVD Info X v1.0.1, by xvi (xvi@rpc1.org)

WARNING — DVD Info X will only list DVD drives that have some WRITE
capabilities, like combos, DVD-R, DVD-RW, etc…
DVD-ROM-only drives will NOT be listed.
WARNING — You also must eject any inserted medium to list the drive.

Vendor: MATSHITA
Model: DVD-R UJ-857
Firmware: HBEA
RPC-1 (region free)

5. Set and change the region using (the Intel updated) Region X 1.3.

6. Use DVD Player to watch your region free movies and reset the region as need be (using Region X) or use VLC and don’t worry about changing the region (as it doesn’t set a region).

 

from http://hackthemac.blogspot.com/2008/06/region-free-macbook.html

Edit: took me 3 goes to figure out how to spell “non-sequitur” properly, servers me right for trying to be a smartarse.

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