This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you try to play a video file in Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, you may receive the following error message:
CANNOT PLAY VIDEO
Media Center cannot find the specified file. Be sure the path is typed correctly. If it is, the file does not exist at the specified location, or the computer where the file is stored is offline.
You receive this error message even though the path is typed correctly, the file exists at the specified location, and the computer where the file is stored in not offline.
This error message may be misleading or incorrect. Media Center may be unable to play the file because the correct codec is not installed, or because the file is corrupted. The error message may also appear when the file type of the video file is unsupported.
In Media Center, a video file that has an unsupported file type appears in My Videos if Windows has registered the file type as a video file. However, instead of correctly displaying a message explaining why the file cannot be played, Media Center may incorrectly display the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.
To work around this problem, use either of the following methods:
Verify that the correct codec is installed for the video file that you are trying to play. You may have to contact the content distributor or the codec developer to obtain the correct codec. For more information about how to verify, install, and troubleshoot 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
842183 You receive an "Invalid File Format" error message in Windows Media Player
191533 Media Player cannot play .avi file using Indeo 4.x codec
221831 Err Msg: Unable to download the appropriate decompressor
Verify that the video file that you are trying to play is not corrupted. To do this, you may have to obtain another copy of the file.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
A codec is software or hardware that compresses and decompresses digital media such as audio files, video files, and image files. When a codec is used, a media file may not use as much disk space or as much network bandwidth. The same codec must be used to compress and to decompress the file.
Media Center Technical Support
Because Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition was included with your hardware device or system, the hardware manufacturer provides technical support and assistance for this software. Your manufacturer may have customized the installation with unique components such as specific device drivers and optional settings to maximize the performance of that manufacturer's hardware. If you require technical help with Windows XP Media Center Edition, contact your manufacturer directly because the manufacturer is best qualified to support the software that the manufacturer has installed on the hardware.