Fix Error “Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device, Path, or File” When Playing DVD Movies in Windows 7



When you insert a DVD media in the drive, right-click on the drive and choose Play from the context menu, the following error may occur.

Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

However, you may be able to play DVD movies via the AutoPlay dialog, or by starting Windows Media Player and using the Play menu. This happens if the DVD/Play association setting is missing or incorrect, or is of incorrect value type. The DVD Play verb is stored in this registry key:


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HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD\shell\play\command

The value data for the (default) value in the above key is as follows:

Windows 7 64-bit:

"%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /prefetch:4 /device:DVD "%L"

Windows 7 32-bit:

"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /prefetch:4 /device:DVD "%L"

How could this problem occur?

When the above key is missing or its (default) value data is incorrect, the following error occurs when accessing Play from the DVD drive context menu:

This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel.

… so you try to reset Windows Media Player as the default via Default Programs / Set program access and computer defaults…

When resetting the values using Set program access and computer defaults, it does reset the data (unexpanded path), but the value type is incorrectly set as REG_SZ where as it should be REG_EXPAND_SZ. As a result, the following error occurs:

Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

Registry Fix

Download w7-dvd-play.zip, unzip and run the corresponding REG file for your Windows 7 Edition (32-bit or 64-bit.)

21 thoughts on “Fix Error “Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device, Path, or File” When Playing DVD Movies in Windows 7

  1. This fixed the error problem however non of my players within my computer will play a DVD anymore and I can hear it reading the disc and it shows me the name of the DVD in the drive window. So I’m not sure what went wrong now.

    OS 7 64bit

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