DVDs stop playing mid-way

I recently received some DVD’s from a friend. I think the content was copied from VHS tapes. The picture quality is quite good (not perfect DVD quality) but the programmes all stop after about 20 minutes and cannot be restarted. I’ve successfully played 2 ‘original’ DVDs on the laptop from start to finish, which has a Pentium III chip and 128mb RAM, using Windows 2000 professional OS. The DVD software is PowerDVD. When the problem occurs and I go into the Task Manager, the programme status seems to alternate between ‘running’ and ‘not responding’ for a few seconds each, swapping over a few times. Finally, a dialogue box pops up that states that the disc might be dirty or damaged and therefore unreadable, but they all look very clean and scratch-free.

Any ideas on how to get the programmes to play right through? Would they work better on a dedicated DVD player than a laptop PC? Is there anything I can adjust on my PC, or was there a problem with the way the discs were created (burned) that prevents them from playing all the way?

I heard that some blank DVDs are not very good quality (dye?) and this can cause games to stop, but don’t know about films/movie material.

I’m new to DVD use, so any ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks.

All the above !

The DVD brand/type can effect playback. Laptop DVDROM’s are not what I would call 1st class players (from my experiance). Most modern DVD players will playback most dvdr’s now.