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winDVD error "Create overlay failed" - dvds won't play

by Strangette / April 8, 2004 1:06 PM PDT


This is the first time I played a DVD on my Gateway laptop, but WinDVD kept giving me the "create overlay failed - lower your resolution or color depth". I checked, and 800x400 is as low as it can go. I googled for some more answers, and it says to "turn off your extended desktop" but I am not using the laptop as an extended desktop (no multiple monitors either) so what else can I do to fix this?

I am using Windows XP Professional. I have a S3 Graphics Savage IX video card.

Thanks in advance!

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"This error message has a wide variety of causes and no single solution works for everyone"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 8, 2004 1:12 PM PDT
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Sad, but this link requires you to pay a monthly fee to get the solution. Is there another location? I have the same error and have not found a solution. It is al;so a Gateway 1.5 Ghz.

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Not so sad....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 25, 2004 2:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Re:

The link provided has discussion items IF you scroll down. If you read it, then if helps us narrow it down to what could be your cause.


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Re: Not so sad....
by phsing / November 12, 2004 6:18 AM PST
In reply to: Not so sad....

I was having the same issue on my laptop, and I followed the links provided in the response to this question....I messed with NetMeeting by taking it off my taskbar and I went to Display Properties > Settings > Advanced and moved my Hardware Acceleration to Full. Voila! It works now!

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Re: winDVD error "Create overlay failed" - dvds won't play
by glopez / November 23, 2004 5:45 AM PST

Hi Strangette,
I saw your message on the CNET.com board.
Did you get a solution for your problem? I'm having the same problem but I've used my DVD before and now it's not working anymore...
If you came across a solution, I would really appreciate your collaboration!
Thanks a lot!

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Re: winDVD error "Create overlay failed" - dvds won't play
by Jupp / November 23, 2004 6:40 AM PST
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Create overlay failed
by Charlie52 / January 13, 2005 3:13 AM PST

Could consists of several Solutions, To Solve My Issue I Start/run/Dxdiag/Display/ Make Sure All Directx Are Enable, If Not Then Enable, If Not High Lighted Go to Device Manager Locate Display Video grapics and run wizard. Worked for me

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Good - tip & Thanks!
by markbc / March 31, 2005 12:19 PM PST
In reply to: Create overlay failed

I fought with this problem quite a bit when, suddenly,I could not get the DVD player to play. No major change in my setup, but suddenly just did not work ;-( I followed your recommendation & discovered DirectDraw Acceleration was disabled! Reenabled it and all works! Your simple, effective check was the best! Wish it were on some check-list that was more easily searchable. Thanks again! (markbc)

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by petrarque / April 25, 2005 4:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Good - tip & Thanks!

It worked for me too! Thanks.

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Create overlay failed fix (for me).
by washingd / March 5, 2005 8:30 AM PST

I read somewhere that traveling software might be the problem so I uninstalled laplink, restarted and I have not had the problem since.

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I agree
by rafitek / March 10, 2005 6:11 AM PST

Maybe there is a conflict with the remote client asset managment utilities, like SMS, Netmeeting, laplink, etc..
I'm using the netmeeting so when I turn off the program my dvd works great!!

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by culture_of_one / March 15, 2005 7:41 AM PST

A lot of people have had problems with WinDVD. Most of my friends have ended up using some other DVD software. Do a search for "DVD" on your computer. Sometimes there's a program called simply "DVD Player" which comes with Windows. If you have it, it should play your DVDs.

I hope this helps you. Wink

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The Ultimate Solution
by culture_of_one / March 15, 2005 7:50 AM PST

Let's face it...some software should be fixed and tweaked...and some should be taken out and shot. Silly

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create overlay failed for dvd players on windows
by segasaturn1 / March 29, 2008 8:44 AM PDT

in the run bar type in dxdiag the direct x diagnostic tool should open goto the display settings and make sure that direct draw is enabled. this fixed all my problems i hope it helps u out there too.

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by Ptricky / October 17, 2008 3:40 PM PDT

I thought I'd post my solution, since my problem was slightly different. This happened mere hours after everthing was playing fine. I was even watching a DVD fine. I then encoded something with nero vision (yeah i know it sucks), and when I came back, bam, I get that damned error. Interesting I could change my resolution to any other rez and my video would appear and the DVD would play normal! Even a higher resolution! Also, change the color to 16 bits worked... but that wasn't good enough for me. All the solutions I got by googling it didn't work:
Nothing wrong with 3D acceleration
Nothing wrong with DX9
No Netmeeting software even on my computer

And like I said, the problem popped up in a matter of hours, for no reason. So I FIXED this problem by right clicking the desktop -> properties -> Settings: I rightclicked the second monitor in the top part (I have multiple monitors by ATI on my laptop) and clicked 'attach' or 'attached' and bam, screen blinked and my DVD's play again!

I have NO IDEA why or how this worked, just that before I did this, the second monitor wouldn't accept any setting I tried to change on it, from Color quality to resolution, and I knew it used to even if I didn't have a TV attached at the time. Well I hope that wasn't to long, but I pride myself in being complete

Good luck everyone

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RE: winDVD error "Create overlay failed" - another solution
by Czill / February 26, 2009 5:53 AM PST

Here's another possible solution to this issue. After trying every solution posted here and others on the web, I was down to looking for conflicts in windows. Another tech and I had 2 identical systems sitting side by side and found that the one producing the WinDVD error had the LANDesk Remote Control Mirror Driver installed in the video adapters area. After removing this, we were able to play DVDs.

Apparently the mirror driver was disabling the DirectDraw hardware acceleration. This was seen when checking the directX diagnostics. We're pretty sure this was disabling the DirectDraw to improve the display quality when people are remoting into PCs. I wouldn't be surprised if other remote access packages do something similar.

Hope this saves someone some time and frusturation as I know I wasted hours on it.

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This solved the problem
by dudleypounce / December 27, 2012 5:11 AM PST

Following the advise in the post from phsing, I simply turned on hardware acceleration for my video adapter (set to full) and winDVD worked as expected.

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