well, ive figured it out, finally! i updated everything applicable from the dell website, ive also downloaded a firmware update not available at dell (which makes my internal drive make scary noises but...) and i can now view 6 out of the 10 data dvds i made using nero. unfortunately, my favorites of the batch are on the coasters Sony by Sony was crap for the external player. TDK by TDK was half crap for the internal player... its time to stop shopping at staples and comp usa... get myself some REAL media, huh? Thanks for everything, as frustrating as i've been, yall have been great!