Troubleshooting Audio and Video Codecs in Windows 95/98

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Article ID: 141801 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q141801
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SUMMARY

This article lists troubleshooting steps to help you troubleshoot problems with codecs in Windows. A codec is an algorithm used to compress and decompress sound or video files. The following problems are addressed in this article:
  • Missing codecs
  • Disabled or damaged codecs
  • Conflicts between 16-bit and 32-bit codecs

MORE INFORMATION

Missing Codecs

Windows includes 32-bit versions of several common codecs. These 32-bit codecs are installed by default during Windows Setup when a sound card is installed in the computer, and are used by multimedia programs even if a 16-bit version of the same codec is available.

To verify that the 32-bit codecs included with Windows 95 are installed, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs, click the Windows Setup tab, click Multimedia, and then click Details.
  3. Verify that the Audio Compression check box is selected. If it is not selected, click to select the check box, and then click OK.
If you still cannot play a particular file after verifying that the 32-bit codecs included with Windows are installed, the file may have been compressed using a third-party codec that is not included with Windows. To determine which codec was used to compress the file, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Find, click Files or Folders, type the name of the file in the Named box, and then click Find Now.
  2. Right-click the file, click Properties, and then click the Details tab.
The Audio format line should contain information about the type of compression used to compress the file, the sound quality of the file, and whether or not the file is in stereo.

If the codec that is used to compress the file is not one of the codecs included with Windows, contact the codec manufacturer for information about troubleshooting the problem. The following codecs are included with Windows:
  • DSP Group TrueSpeech Software Audio Codec
  • Intel Indeo R3.1 Video Codec
  • Intel Indeo R3.2 Video Codec
  • Microsoft Adaptive Delta Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM)
  • Microsoft Interactive Multimedia Association (IMA) ADPCM
  • DSP Group Truespeech Software
  • Microsoft Groupe Special Mobile (GSM) 6.10
  • Microsoft Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph (CCITT) G.711 A-Law and u-Law
  • Microsoft PCM Converter
  • Microsoft RLE Video Codec
  • Microsoft Video 1 Video Codec
  • SuperMatch Cinepak Video Codec
NOTE: Microsoft PCM Converter is installed by default.

If the codec used to compress the file is one of the codecs included with Windows, you can verify that the particular codec is installed by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Multimedia, click the Devices tab (Advanced tab in Windows 95), and then double-click Audio Compression Codec or Video Compression Codec to expand the branch.
If the codec used to compress the file is not listed, install the appropriate codec using the Add New Hardware tool in Control Panel. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add New Hardware, click Next, click No, and then click Next.
  3. Click Sound, video, and game controllers, and then click Next.
  4. In the Manufacturers box, click the name of the manufacturer for the codec you want to install.
  5. In the Models box, click the codec you want to install, click Next and then click Finish.

Disabled or Damaged Codecs

If you still cannot play a particular file after verifying that the codec used to compress the file is installed, the codec may be disabled or damaged. To verify that a particular codec is enabled, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Multimedia, click the Devices tab (Advanced tab in Windows 95), and then double-click Audio Compression Codec to expand the branch.
  3. Click the codec used to compress the file that you are attempting to play, and then click Properties.
  4. Click Use this audio codec, and then click OK.
To ensure that you are not using a damaged codec, follow these steps to reinstall a codec:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Multimedia, click the Devices tab (Advanced tab in Windows 95), and then double-click Audio Compression Codec or Video Compression Codec to expand the branch.
  3. Click the codec used to compress the file that you are attempting to play, and then click Properties.
  4. Click Remove, click Yes, and then restart your computer.
  5. When the computer restarts, click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  6. Double-click Add New Hardware, click Next, click No, and then click Next.
  7. Click Sound, video, and game controllers, and then click Next.
  8. In the Manufacturers box, click the name of the manufacturer for the codec you want to install.
  9. In the Models box, click the codec you want to install, click Next, and then click Finish.

Conflicts Between 16-Bit and 32-Bit Codecs

If the 32-bit version of a codec that Windows needs to play a particular file is not installed or is disabled, Windows uses the 16-bit version of the codec if it is available. If the 32-bit version of the codec is installed, Windows uses this version by default. However, you may experience problems when both the 16-bit and 32-bit versions of a particular codec are installed on your computer.

The following 16-bit audio codecs are installed by the run-time versions of Microsoft Video for Windows, Microsoft Windows Sound System, and many other Microsoft multimedia programs:
  • Microsoft ADPCM
  • Microsoft IMA ADPCM
  • DSP Group Truespeech Software
These 16-bit codecs appear in the [Drivers] section of the System.ini file. These codecs may not be displayed in the Audio Compression Codec or the Video Compression Codec branch of the Multimedia Drivers tree. To disable a 16-bit codec, remark or remove the line in the System.ini file that corresponds to that codec. After disabling the 16-bit version of the codec, you should reinstall the 32-bit version using the steps described in the "Disabled or Damaged Codecs" section of this article.

The following lines in the System.ini file correspond to the 16-bit versions of the Microsoft ADPCM, Microsoft IMA ADPCM, and DSP Group Truespeech Software codecs, respectively:
   [Drivers]
   msacm.msadpcm=msadpcm.acm
   msacm.imaadpcm=imaadpcm.acm
   msacm.trspch=ts_soft.acm
				
If you are using a 16-bit program in Windows, you may want to disable the 32-bit version of a particular codec instead of disabling the 16-bit version. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Multimedia, click the Devices tab (Advanced tab in Windows 95), and then double-click Audio Compression Codec to expand the branch.
  3. Click the codec you want to disable, and then click Properties.
  4. Click Do not use this audio codec, and then click OK.
For additional information about verifying, installing and troubleshooting audio codecs, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142731 How to Install and Remove Codecs and MCI Devices in Windows

Properties

Article ID: 141801 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbmm kbsound kbtshoot KB141801

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