DVD-ROMs and regions

I have a crappity old DVD-ROM drive that I am thinking of putting into my current machine, switching it to Region 2 and leaving it there. I’ve got some stuff I want to order from the BBC and I thought this was a pretty good idea.

However, before I go ripping stuff up…can you have 2 DVD-ROM drives (one would be a DVDRW actually) in one machine using 2 different regions?

I would assume that the drives are completely separate, but I do alot of burning on the DVDRW and it is my main DVD player and I don’t want to muck anything up. I also only have one more “region switch” on the DVDRW and I don’t want to lose it.

Also…most DVD-ROM drives will let you switch region, right? This one is fairly old but I am assuming it has that option. Is it a function of the drive or the OS? (XP sp2)

Yes, that would work. The ability to change DVD drive regions is a combination of the OS and the firmware on the drive itself. As you seem to have noticed, Windows will allow you to change the drive’s region up to 5 times. Each time you do so, one “change” is recorded into the DVD-ROM’s firmware - so reinstalling a clean copy of XP won’t help when (if) you get to the point of no more allowable changes.

There are several other strategies you could use - flashing the firmware to a region-free version, or using a drive overlay software that will make both of your drives region-free, but will not alter the actual firmware on the drives themselves - although we’re not supposed to talk about it here at the SDMB… although there’s no “copyright infringement” involved and there’s nothing illegal about changing your drive’s region.