To determine if a "workaround" to a "Remaining Changes = 0" actually exists here (without using the alterations posted by Pirate), I think I'm going to have to experiment with this by swapping the drive between systems a few times, and I'll probably have to restore the OS to before any assignment as I suspect registry changes are probably involved.
But for now, since the original problem is "fixed" I'm just dropping the subject until I have time to experiment some more.
Original Post Follows
You may know that I had an issue with re-installing Office on my cousin's computer.
I've noticed something very worrying, and IT MAKES NO SENSE.
I changed out the DVD drive for one from my day-to-day system.
Just before I removed the drive from my system, there were FIVE (5) region code changes left, and the Region Code was set to 1.
After I installed my DVD drive in my cousin's computer, I burned 6 CDs. They all burned fine, and I could verify them, and could use the data perfectly well. I was never asked to enter or change the region code during any of the operations.
But, then just out of curiosity, I checked the properties of the DVD drive (in Control Panel>>System>>Hardware>>DeviceManager>>DVD/CD-ROM drives>>Properties)
The drive's Region Code now says
"Not assigned" and I only have "2 changes left",
where before it said
"Region Code 1" and I have "4 changes left".
My cousin's OS is WinXP Home, mine is WinXP Pro.
1) Has anyone seen this before? Is this a known problem? (Where the region code changes seem to be changing without the user doing anything...but ends up staying "not assigned")
2) How do I stop the region code limit change from continuing to happen? I do not want my drive to be rendered useless (or stuck at a "not assigned") because it reaches the 5x limit.
edit: added OS info
|>> Re: DVD Drive Region Code "Changes Left" Being Eaten Up
Intel Core 2 6400 2.1ghz / ASUS SLI Deluxe / 4gb DDR2 800 G.Skill / ATi Radeon HD 3870 512mb OC / 7 years old Seagate Barracuda 160gb 7200
|>> Resolved: DVD Drive Region Code "Changes Left" Being Eaten Up
Thanks for the above info. I know those possibilities exist, but I was/am more interested about what's going on...because it shouldn't have happened that way.
Now I'm wondering IF my drive had originally been RC=3 with 0"changes remaining" if it would have let me reset things back to a first install setting.
Here's new info:
As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft provided erroneous information to the user and didn't follow the rules regarding Region Code Assignment.
Because the "changes remaining" counter was ticking down, I decided to "bite the bullet" and went ahead and selected Region Code 1. Re-booted the system (as required to ack the new setting), and now the system reports what I would have expected to begin with when I first moved this drive to this XP Home system (because the Region Code once set on a drive is per specification supposed to transfer with the drive from system to system):
So after I manually set the RC to 1, the drive went from
Current Region "not assigned", and "Changes remaining 1"
Current Region 1 and "Changes remaining 4"
In other words, this was simply badly written code. The earlier change limit reductions clearly were NOT actually being locked in place. It was only after I finally set the Region Code manually that the counter becomes accurate.
I don't know if this is only XP Home or not, but I've never noticed this before on XP Pro when moving an optical drive from one system to another.
But now I wonder if this is something that can be exploited to "reset" the "changes remaining" counter on an arbitrary optical drive.
Moving my drive to this XP Home system caused the drive to change from RC1 with 4 "changes remaining" to RC"not assigned" with x "changes remaining", and then apparently let me re-assign the RC and set the counter to 4 again.