Article ID: 306317
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Summary

This article contains steps and information about troubleshooting playback issues in Windows Media Player for Windows XP.

Mplayer2 is an extremely useful tool to use in troubleshooting almost all types of Windows Media Player issues; this article describes when and how to use it. If the same symptoms are experienced with Mplayer2 as well as Windows Media Player for Windows XP, it is not a Media Player issue; most likely it is a problem with the content or a driver issue on the system.

More information

How to troubleshoot playback of local media

  • Determine whether it is possible to play back any content. If you cannot play back any content, a greater issue exists.

    Note To test known correct file types for Windows Media Player, refer to the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    316992 Windows Media Player multimedia file formats
  • Make sure that the media is supported. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    234019 Windows Media Player invalid file format error message
  • If the media is generating an error that states that it is unable to download an appropriate decompressor, refer to the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    291948 Windows Media Player for Windows XP supported codecs
  • Try to play the file in Mplayer2:
    1. Click Start, click Run, and then type mplayer2.
    2. Click OK.
    3. On the File menu, click Open, and then select the media in question.
  • Run the DirectX diagnostics as Windows Media Player is very dependent on DirectX:
    1. Click Start, click Run, and then type dxdiag.
    2. Click OK.
    3. In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, click the Display tab.
    4. Now click Test DirectDraw.
    5. After the DirectDraw tests are complete, click Test Direct3D.
      • If the system cannot pass the DirectDraw and Direct3D tests, it usually indicates a problem with the display drivers. Normal playback of content in Windows Media Player will not be possible.

    6. After the display tests are complete, click the Sound tab, and then click Test DirectSound.
      • If the system cannot pass the DirectSound tests, it usually indicates a problem with the sound card drivers. Normal playback of content in Windows Media Player will not be possible.

  • Obtain updated, Windows XP compatible display adapter drivers for the system.
  • Obtain updated, Windows XP compatible sound card drivers for the system.
  • Lower video acceleration in Windows Media Player:
    1. In Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. On the Performance tab, under Video Acceleration, move the slider closer to None, and then click OK.
  • Reduce video resolution and color quality in the display settings:
    1. In Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display in Category View, or double-click Display in Classic View.
    2. On the Settings tab, move the screen resolution slider to 800 X 600.
    3. Select 16-bit for the color quality, and then click OK.
  • Make sure that the latest version of DirectX is installed. For more information about the latest version of DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx

How to troubleshoot playback of network or Internet media

Streaming media over the Internet is subject to all standard network connectivity troubleshooting. Server-side issues cause the most commonly-experienced issues.
  • Make sure that the Internet Wizard or Network Connection Wizard has been run on the system. If it has not been, run either wizard:
    1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Communications.
    2. Click New Connection Wizard.
    3. Follow the instructions and complete the wizard.
  • Try connecting to the stream with Mplayer2:
    1. Click Start, click Run, and then type mplayer2.
    2. Click OK.
    3. On the File menu, click Open, and then type the URL for the media.
  • Verify that the system is not behind a firewall or proxy and verify the Windows Media Player specific network settings:
    1. Open Windows Media Player, and then on the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. On the Network tab, make sure that all of the protocol boxes are selected, and then verify that the proxy settings are correct.
  • Try disabling Internet Connection Sharing or any firewall software if it is enabled.
  • For more information on setting your firewall configuration for Windows Media, please see the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/serve/firewall.aspx
  • For more information about how to open ports for the built-in Internet Connection Firewall in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    308127 How to manually open ports in Internet Connection Firewall in Windows XP

How to troubleshoot CD-ROM playback

  • Try playing a different CD-ROM title, which may indicate whether the problem is specific to one CD-ROM).
  • Enable error correction:
    1. In Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. On the Devices tab, click Properties for the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive that is being used for playback.
    3. Under Playback, click to select the Use error correction check box.
  • Disable SRS and the graphic equalizer:
    1. In Windows Media Player, on the View menu, click Now Playing Tools.
    2. Select SRS WOW Effects and Graphic Equalizer respectively.
    3. Click the On/Off toggle button to the Off mode.
  • Make sure that the sound card drivers and CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive firmware are up-to-date.
  • Try to use analog playback instead of digital:
    1. In Windows Media Player on the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. On the Devices tab, click Properties for the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive that is being used for playback.
    3. Under Playback, click Analog.

How to troubleshoot DVD playback

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306318 Troubleshooting DVD playback in Windows Media Player for Windows XP

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Article ID: 306317 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 8.0
Keywords: 
kbenv kbinfo kbtshoot KB306317
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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