You receive an "Invalid File Format" error message in Windows Media Player

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Article ID: 842183 - View products that this article applies to.
Important This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
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SYMPTOMS

You may receive the following error message:
Invalid File Format. (Error=8004022F)

CAUSE

This problem may occur if any one or more of the following conditions is true:
  • Some of the Windows Media Player files are missing or damaged.
  • The media file that you are trying to play is not a supported file format for Windows Media Player.
  • The media file is damaged.
  • The media file uses a codec that is not installed.
  • The media file uses a codec that is not supported by Windows Media Player.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, follow these steps in the order that they are presented. After each step, test to determine if the issue is resolved.

Note Windows Media Player does not support playing every kind of media file that is currently available. However, Windows Media Player supports the most common kinds of media files. Make sure that Windows Media Player supports your media file kind. If your media file is not a supported, do not follow the steps after step 1. If Windows Media Player does not support the file format that you are using, contact the distributor of the file to inquire about the availability of a viewer for the file.

Step 1: Verify that Windows Media Player supports the file format that you are using

Windows Media Player supports the file formats in the following list:
  • Windows Media formats: .asf, .asx, .avi, .wav, .wax, .wma, .wm, .wmv
  • Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) formats: m3u, mp2v, .mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe, mpv2
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) formats: .mid, midi, .rmi
  • UNIX File formats: .au, .snd
Note Windows Media Player does not support playing files in the .avi files that are created by using the Microsoft MPEG4v3 codec. The file must be encoded again by using the original source in a supported format such as the .asf format. To do this, you can use the Windows Media tools. For additional information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb676148.aspx
If you have access to the original source, contact the creator of the file and request that the creator convert the file to a kind that Windows Media Player supports. Microsoft supports MPEG4v3 files in .asf streaming format only. These files are not supported in an .avi file.

If you receive the error message that this article describes and are using a file format that Media Player supports, go to Step 2.

Step 2: Verify that you can play a media file that uses the same file name extension

Verify that you can play a media file that uses the same file name extension as the file that you were playing when you received the error message.

For additional information, and for samples of the kinds of files that Windows Media Player 7 supports, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316992 Windows Media Player multimedia file formats
If the other file plays correctly, the original file that you were trying to play may be damaged. If you receive an error message when you play both the files, go to Step 3.

Step 3: Reinstall Windows Media Player

Remove Windows Media Player, restart the computer, and then reinstall Windows Media Player.

To remove Windows Media Player, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. On the Install/Uninstall tab, click Microsoft Windows Media Player in the list of installed programs, and then click Add/Remove.
  4. When you are prompted to confirm the removal, click Yes.
Note This procedure for removing and reinstalling Windows Media Player works only if you are using the latest version of the player. This option is not available in Microsoft Windows XP. To download the latest version of Windows Media Player, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/
If the problem still occurs, go to Step 4.

Step 4: Install the latest version of Microsoft DirectX

For additional information about troubleshooting and installing DirectX, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
179113 How to download and install DirectX
157730 How to determine the version of DirectX using the DirectX diagnostic tool
If the problem still occurs after you install the latest version of Microsoft DirectX, go to Step 5.

Step 5: Verify that you are using the correct codec

Verify that you are using the correct codec for the media file that you are trying to play.

For additional information about verifying, installing, and troubleshooting audio codecs, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142731 How to install and remove codecs and MCI devices in Windows
141801 Troubleshooting audio and video codecs in Windows 95/98
191533 Media Player cannot play .avi file using Indeo 4.x codec
221831 Err Msg: Unable to download the appropriate decompressor
If you are using the correct codec, go to Step 6.

Step 6: Modify the registry

Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

Verify that the following registry key and its associated values exist:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{DA4E3DA0-D07D-11d0-BD50- 00A0C911CE86}\Instance\{083863F1-70DE-11d0-BD40-00A0C911CE86}
Note This registry key is one path. It has been wrapped for readability.

This key should have the following value name and value data information:
CLSID = {083863F1-70DE-11d0-BD40-00A0C911CE86}
FriendlyName = DirectShow Filters
Merit (DWORD value) = 00600000
If this key does not exist, you must create it. To create the key, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{DA4E3DA0-D07D-11d0-BD50-00A0C911CE86}\Instance
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  4. Type {083863F1-70DE-11d0-BD40-00A0C911CE86}, and then press ENTER.
  5. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.
  6. Type CLSID, and then press ENTER.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  8. Type {083863F1-70DE-11d0-BD40-00A0C911CE86}, and then click OK.
  9. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.
  10. Type FriendlyName, and then press ENTER.
  11. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  12. Type DirectShow Filters, and then click OK.
  13. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  14. Type Merit, and then press ENTER.
  15. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  16. Type 600000, and then click OK.
For additional information about Windows Media Player Invalid File Format Error Message , click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
234019 Windows Media Player Invalid File Format error message

Properties

Article ID: 842183 - Last Review: October 26, 2007 - Revision: 2.7
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 8.01
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 8.01
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.0
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 6.4
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 6.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 6.0
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