Windows Legacy OS forum

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Windows Media Player won't play video files

by cebuBill / April 28, 2006 8:43 AM PDT

I recently re-loaded XPPro onto my 2 nonth old PC but now Windows Media Player produces an error message each time I try to play any video file.
(Windows cannot open this file... Windows needs to know what program created it)
Also my integrated sound card does not work. Attempts to get it up and running produce warnings that there is no sound card on the system!
I had to format and reload Windows due to a virus which AVG and other virus checkers were unable find.

The system consists of:
CPU: AMD 64 3800+ dual core
M/B MSI K8N Neo 4 (MS-7125)
Video Card: Radeon X800Pro
Memory: 1Gb Corsair DDR-SDRAM in 2 banks
HDDs: 2 striped as one drive with one partition

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2006 9:26 AM PDT

VLCPLAYER is easier on people since they don't have to learn about CODECs.

2. Install the motherboard drivers. Microsoft won't do this for us.


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Windows Media Player won't play video files
by cebuBill / May 1, 2006 7:03 AM PDT
In reply to: 1. Try VLCPLAYER

Thanks. I hadn't heard of VLCPLAYER.
I loaded the drivers at the outset but they obviously didn't work!

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Windows Media Player error
by cebuBill / May 1, 2006 9:40 AM PDT
In reply to: 1. Try VLCPLAYER

Hi Bob and Mark
You were both spot on!
I reloaded the M/B drivers, for the 3rd time, and it worked. I still get an error message on Windows Media Player at times but I can manage without that. I am using DivX instead.
Many thanks to you both.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / April 28, 2006 10:05 PM PDT

I agree with Bob about the motherboard drivers. Reinstalling Windows may not reinstall them. That might solve you sound problem or you may need drivers for the integrated sound card. You may also need to install video card drivers.

I'm not sure about the codecs at this stage. The error message you get when you use WMP doesn't seem to me to be a codec issue.

You will need codecs, (COmpression/DECompression), as they are needed to decompress video and audio files to allow WMP to play them.

You say this is a 2 month old system and already you have had to reinstall Windows because of a virus problem so you may need to look again at your security procedures. You haven't said what you use, but you need the following;

1] A third party firewall. Windows XP firewall is not up to the job.

2] An anti-virus that is reguarly updated for its virus definitions, and continuoulsy running in the background to check downloads, emails and anything installed from CD's etc.

3] More than one anti-spyware utility, one of which runs continuously in the background.

4] Don't trust emails or email attachments. Don't let your email software display images in emails, (a source of viruses). Don't open attachments in emails without saving the attachments to your hard disk first, (the Desktop is a good, temporary storage area), and then scanning the attachment with your anti-virus before opening it.

5] Do not allow popups in web sites. Do not allow any BHO's, (browser help objects). Check your security settings in Internet Explorer and do not allow any ActiveX components. Better still, download and install a browser like Firefox which is much more secure than IE.

6] Keep your Windows uptodate. Set the Windows Updates in the Security Center to notify you when updates are available, and download and install them immediately.


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Windows Media Player won't play video files
by cebuBill / May 1, 2006 7:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Drivers

Hi Mark
Difficult to know which way to turn. I'm sure you are correct about the codecs, I have loaded just about every one I can find without the slightest effect.
I had reloaded all drivers a second time. Perhaps if I install my older S/Blaster that will solve the problem.
I am almost paranoid about security. (even more so now!) At the time of the virus attack I was running Zone Alarm Pro, up to-date AVG 7, Ad-Aware and several anti-spyware utils.
I am still puzzled how it got past. It was so extreme I couldn't get as far as identifying it.
I will try a further reload of the M/B drivers but I have a strong suspicion that the on-board sound card has failed. Nothing I try can find any 'sound device'.

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Windows Media Player error
by cebuBill / May 1, 2006 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Drivers

Hi Mark and Bob
You were both spot on!
I reloaded the M/B drivers and it worked. I still get an error message on Windows Media Player at times but I can manage without that. I am using DivX instead.
Many thanks to you both.

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WMP problems
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 1, 2006 8:19 PM PDT

Hi GTee,

I'm glad you got some of your problems sorted, but I am still puzzled about the Windows Media Player problem.

Can you describe how and when this error message appears.

You say the error message is;
''Windows cannot open this file... Windows needs to know what program created it''.

This sounds like a Windows problem, not a WMP problem, and one that might show with a ''File Association'' problem. What I mean is, if a video file, eg mpeg, avi, etc, is double clicked to open and play it, Windows ''may'' come up with an error message that means it doesn't know what program is needed to open the file.

In itself, that sort of problem should be easy to solve. Either;

1] Right click the file with Shift pressed down, select ''Open With'' and scroll down the list to find WMP, or

2] In WIndows Explorer, goto Tools > Folder Options, click the File Types tab, then scroll down to mpeg, (or avi), and associate WMP with that type of file.

But what I am confused about is when this error message appears. If you open WMP first, then use the File > Open command to navigate to the file and open it, then I would either expect WMP to play the file, or to display a different error message if it can't.

So, what is the procedure you use that actually gives this error message?

Also, what type of video files does this happen to? ie what file extensions?


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WMP problem
by cebuBill / May 2, 2006 8:32 AM PDT
In reply to: WMP problems

Hi Mark
Initially the problem happened with all video formats. Now it seems to be all .mpeg some .mpg and some .avi files.
If I right click on a file the following window - which I have never seen in over 10yrs of using a PC, appears:

''Windows cannot open this file.
File XYZ.avi
To open this file Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select it from a list of programs on your computer.
What do you want to do?
Use the web service to find the appropriate program or
Select the program from a list''

Clicking on the Web service option simply leads me to a Microsoft page which is of no help. If I click on the 'select the program' option I can select WMP or other players and the file will run but I have to do this for every subsequent file. I have tried the ''Open with'' option but again that works only for that one file.
I followed your second option and reset the file associations to WMP but they failed to play. The 'searching for codec' message was displayed but none was found.
I then re-associated the file types to Windows Media Classic and they played! This may have solved the problem, I can only wait and see.

If I open WMP and use File>Open the file name in the File Now Playing list turns from green to orange and is preceded by an exclamation mark BUT the sound will normally play.


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That now sounds like a codec problem.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 2, 2006 7:10 PM PDT
In reply to: WMP problem

As Bob said much earlier, this now sounds like a codec problem. Or, perhaps it is a legal problem?

I know that some videos are copyrighted, (I don't know the mechanics of it), and later versions of WMP will not play them unless certain conditions are true.

But if it is just a codec problem that WMP cannot handle, but Windows Classic player can, then why not try the utility called GSpot. When run and a video file selected it will display what codecs are needed and whether they are available on your computer.

Google will find GSpot.

If it is a copyright issue, there is little I can suggest.


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WMP won't play files
by cebuBill / May 7, 2006 7:29 AM PDT

Hi Mark
I have Gspot I will give it a try.
There isn't a copyright problem, most of the affected videos are my own, created with Pinnacle software! They used to play with no problem.

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