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WMP no longer shows wmv video, other strange anomalies

By NevileMoof ·
I have a HP notebook touchsmart laptop. Recently the hard disk started playing up so I had the hard disk replaced. When I got it back they had preinstalled Windows 7. Since that moment I have had odd problems with occasional crashes for no reason, either with the screen display suddenly turning into a chaos of random colours, or sudden blue screens and restarts. In addition, IE frequently displays an odd, very noticeable and distracting flicker, esp. with Yahoo mail. Finally, a wmv video file which displayed fine yesterday, after one of those system crashes has stopped displaying any picture in WMP, though I still get the sound. In Media Player Classic it displays but does not resize to fit the window as it used to.

I suspect all these problems might be related, or at least the last two. It strikes me that most likely there is a problem with video memory or drivers but I don't know what to do about troubleshooting it. I tried some advice I found online which suggested running some built in WMP troubleshooter program that comes with Windows 7 but when I ran it, it gave me an error code and stopped working.

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"recently"

by santeewelding In reply to WMP no longer shows wmv v ...

How recently?

If it was yesterday or last week, hie back to those you "had" replace the hard disc. And, what OS did you have previously?

Whatever.

Hie. You presumably paid them. Let them slap their foreheads. Unless you personally enjoy auto-masochism. And unless "recently" means last year sometime. In which case, you have screwed something up and you are welcome here.

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alas, if it were that simple

by NevileMoof In reply to "recently"

I live in Ecuador. The laptop was bought in New York by a friend who visits the country infrequently. When the HD went for a Burton, I had to get his son to take it to NY on one of his trips so he could get it replaced under guarantee. It was returned by the same route. It is unlikely I'll get the chance of sending it back to NY in the near future. Also, I rather like using it, as opposed to waiting for six months for a return courier.

THe previous OS was Vista Ultimate. As for having screwed something up, this is possible, though I am naturally cautious and am aware of the dangers of installing 3rd party codecs etc. The only thing I can think of that might have any relation is the Real Alternative which I normally have installed as I hate RealPlayer. It (Real Alt) worked fine in the previous Vista incarnation. Interestingly, the only file format which is giving me problems seems to be WMV. MPEGS and RMS display fine. Is there such a thing as a downloadable WMV codec? Microsoft seem very coy on this.

As for the system crashes, I can live with those, as they seem to be endemic to anything created by HP. But I would rather like to be able to see WMV videos.

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You are, indeed

by santeewelding In reply to alas, if it were that sim ...

Between a rock and a hard place.

Try, VideoLAN.

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That is a tough spot you're in for warranty support.

by seanferd In reply to alas, if it were that sim ...

A couple of things:

1) Just for sheer amusement, download the 7 upgrade advisor, and see how your system rates for using 7.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1b544e90-7659-4bd9-9e51-2497c146af15&displaylang=en

2) Go to HP support http://www.hp.com/#Support and enter your exact model number to get the proper drivers for that system, especially any new drivers specifically for Win 7. You may also find there some opinion from HP regarding the suitability of 7 running on that particular model.

3)Uninstall all your video players, then download and re-install the current WMP for Win 7. This may fix your codec problem. (VLC is also an excellent media player to use as well, as santee mentions.)

Also, if you enable Install on Demand for WMP, if there is a codec missing, WMP should ask you if you want it to find a driver for any file that won't work. And yes, you can get other codecs. I've had to do it before. The K-Lite codec pack has always been good. Get if from a reputable download site, like CNet. http://download.cnet.com/K-Lite-Mega-Codec-Pack/3000-13632_4-10794603.html

4) For the future: If they did not provide a set of optical disks for Win 7, drivers, HP apps, etc., and before anything else decides to take a dive on that laptop, see if there isn't a recovery partition created on the drive and create a set of disks. There should be some wizard app available for doing this if there is a recovery partition.

If there is no recovery partition, and no disks, contact HP and demand them. (You may just demand a Vista set if 7 is problematic on the laptop.) You shouldn't have to pay for these if you weren't given any recovery options with the warranty repair.

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Thanks for that reply. Further questions.

by NevileMoof In reply to That is a tough spot you' ...

Thanks for a detailed and thoughtful reply. As it happened, the day after I posted, WMP suddenly started to display WMV files again without any problem,following a reinstall of the HP recommended video driver and a reboot. However, now I have the same problem again: with WMV (and ASF) files I only get sound, no video. The problem appears to be intermittent. I have rebooted three times now but no joy.

Further info: Media Player Classic displays the files, but seems unable to resize the picture to fit the window. VLC media player (which is touted as coming with its own built in codecs) can both display and resize the files. However, I don't like this program much, as it displays a main window showing a blown-up icon that appears to be a traffic bollard or possibly a dunce's cap, and then opens the video quite pointlessly in a secondary window. Actually the reason I really want WMP to work is I have a VB.NET app that uses an embedded WMP window. But I digress.

Am I right in surmising that if WMV video displays fine in VLC, that rules out a screen driver problem or an OS problem?

Is there any chance that the WMV codec DLL is corrupted? Do DLLs have "bad hair days" that might explain them only working sometimes? Should I be looking for a replacement wmvdecod.dll ?

Might it be worth my while to try to uninstall WMP v. 12 and install an earlier version?

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This is getting ridiculous

by NevileMoof In reply to Thanks for that reply. Fu ...

Posted the preceding last night. Subsequently did things like check my laptop was Windows 7 compliant (it is, 100%), install the latest K-Lite codec pack (caused erratic behaviour, had to go back to a previous restore point), reregister all the codec DLLs using a special utility found elsewhere, etc etc. Nothing worked. Went to bed at 3am having once more forlornly tried to get a wmv to display. Left laptop in hibernate mode.

Got up this morning, fired up laptop, and hey presto, wmv file displayed first time.

I do not believe in fairies, but might make an exception here. Alternatively, WMP works better if it's allowed to hibernate first. Go figure.

I expect it will go wrong again though, following the next reboot.

Perhaps WMP 12 only works after you've had coffee?

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