Image credit Pawel 231
Are you searching Windows 8 for its  DVD player and DVD burner? Well stop wasting time – they aren’t there

Yep, that’s right. Windows 8 ships without a built in DVD burner and there is no installed DVD player software either. If you don’t have a DVD drive and I guess Microsoft thinks they are so “yesterday’s technology” you’re OK. But I still have a DVD drive and so do millions of others. The worst part of this is that Microsoft doesn’t warn you there’s no DVD burner or player – you have to work that out yourself.

So, all across the world, every day, thousands of man and woman hours are being wasted looking for something which, let’s face it, should be there, but isn’t. Gee, thanks a bunch for that Microsoft!

So, here’s what to do if you have a brand new Windows 8 computer or if you’ve upgraded to Windows 8 and you have a DVD drive.

1 Stop looking. There is no DVD burner and no built in DVD player. If you have either of these on your Win 8 machine it didn’t come with Windows 8 – your PC manufacturer (or tech savvy daughter or son), put it there.

2 Get the software. The best solution if you’re using Windows 8 Pro, although I hate to suggest it is to shell out $9.99 to Microsoft for the Media Center software. This isn’t included in Windows 8 but can be downloaded and installed. You use this to play DVDs on your PC. To get it, launch Windows 8, tap Windows + Q (Search) and in the box type Add Features and tap Settings. Tap Add features to Windows 8 and then click I want to buy a product key online and you can go ahead and buy Media Center.

Now, there is one caveat. If this option doesn’t appear (and it may not because Microsoft left it out of some versions of Windows 8 such as the UK version and other users have reported it as disappearing once it is used the first time – yeah! well done Microsoft!) you can try this. Click Windows + Q, type System and tap Settings and click System.  Now click View Details in Windows Activation. Once there you may find a link to add features or click Buy Windows for another computer to go to the website to buy Media Center – search for it when you get there. Until Jan 31, 2013 if you use Windows Pro you can get a licence code that lets you download it free of charge, otherwise it costs $9.99 if you’re using Windows Pro – it will cost a huge chunk of change if you’re using the Home version though.

3 If this all sounds like too much trouble, download the free opensource VLC Media player which is compatible with Windows 8 from all the open source folk love it.

4 To burn DVDs you need a DVD burner and the Windows DVD program no longer exists in Windows 8, so, you’ll need some burning software. There are plenty of programs around from folks like Nero but they can be pretty costly and not all are compatible with Windows 8 . If you just need a very simple burner, try Ashampoo Burning Studio Free 2013 – the Ashampoo products are great and the company does a good line in simple to use CD and DVD burners that don’t need a degree in computing to operate. Get the free version from Softpedia here or from CNET here.

Bonus Tip – where to find a list of features missing from Windows 8

If you’re searching for features that you think should be in Windows 8 but you can’t find, check this Wikipedia article: Features removed from Windows 8 for a handy list of what is missing from Windows 8 – it might save you some wasted time.




Helen Bradley