Troubleshooting Audio and Video Codecs in Windows 95/98

This article was previously published under Q141801
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SUMMARY
This article lists troubleshooting steps to help you troubleshoot problemswith 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 the32-bit codecs included with Windows are installed, the file mayhave been compressed using a third-party codec that is not included withWindows. 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 abouttroubleshooting the problem. The following codecs are included withWindows:
  • 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 withWindows, you can verify that the particular codec is installed byfollowing 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 thecodec used to compress the file is installed, the codec may be disabled ordamaged. 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 toplay, 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 toreinstall 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 toplay, 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 aparticular file is not installed or is disabled, Windows uses the16-bit version of the codec if it is available. If the 32-bit version ofthe codec is installed, Windows uses this version by default. However,you may experience problems when both the 16-bit and 32-bit versions of aparticular codec are installed on your computer.

The following 16-bit audio codecs are installed by the run-time versionsof Microsoft Video for Windows, Microsoft Windows Sound System, and manyother Microsoft multimedia programs:
  • Microsoft ADPCM
  • Microsoft IMA ADPCM
  • DSP Group Truespeech Software
These 16-bit codecs appear in the [Drivers] section of the System.inifile. 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 thecodec, you should reinstall the 32-bit version using the steps describedin the "Disabled or Damaged Codecs" section of this article.

The following lines in the System.ini file correspond to the 16-bitversions of the Microsoft ADPCM, Microsoft IMA ADPCM, and DSP GroupTruespeech 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 disablethe 32-bit version of a particular codec instead of disabling the 16-bitversion. 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
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Article ID: 141801 - Last Review: 12/04/2015 12:47:45 - Revision: 2.1

Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows 95

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