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.
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:
Click Start, click Run, and then type mplayer2.
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:
Click Start, click Run, and then type dxdiag.
In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, click the Display tab.
Now click Test DirectDraw.
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.
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:
In Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Options.
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:
In Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display in Category View, or double-click Display in Classic View.
On the Settings tab, move the screen resolution slider to 800 X 600.
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: