This article was previously published under Q297752
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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.
When you try to play media (either locally or from a Web site), you may need to download a codec that is not currently installed. However, when you do so, you may receive one of the following messages:
Cannot play back the video stream: no suitable decompressor could be found.
Unable to download an appropriate decompressor.
In addition, the audio portion of the media may play, but not the video, or the video portion of the media may play, but not the audio.
This issue can occur if one or more of the following conditions exist:
The codec may be damaged.
The codec may not be supported by Windows Media Player.
The connection to the codec server cannot be established.
The user that is trying to play the media does not have administrator permissions on the computer. To download and install a new codec, the user must have administrator permissions.
To resolve this issue, use the appropriate method:
Verify that the user that is trying to play the media has administrator permissions on the computer. For information about how to do so, use the User Accounts tool in Control Panel.
Verify that your computer is configured to properly download a codec.For additional information about how to download codecs automatically in Windows Media Player, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
291818 How to Download Codecs Automatically in Windows Media Player
Verify that the codec you want to use is supported by Windows Media Player.For additional information about supported codecs in Windows Media Player for Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
291948 Windows Media Player for Windows XP Supported Codecs
For additional information about how to troubleshoot codec issues if the preceding methods do not resolve the issue, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
230687 Error Message: Unable to Download an Appropriate Decompressor