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No Picture In Windows Media Player!

This is a real  touchy-feely problem which will have you cursing the name Bill Gates once the night is through, although this one is not really Bill's fault.

By the way, before we start.......if by chance you have installed Windows Media Player 11, you may have already noticed how it ships with the option enabled to "delete all files from your computer which are deleted from the library". This of course is tremendously helpful because if you happen to delete music files from your library, as you will certainly do from time to time,  they will also be deleted by default from your computer! So you had better untick that option before we start, otherwise you won't have any files left on your computer to play, and you certainly will be cursing 'Uncle Bill' before the night is through.


First verify and tick the relevant options in Windows Media Player (WMP) for playing back DVDs, not forgetting to tick the box to use DirectDraw in the options tab. Check relevant settings in the DVD and Performance tabs. Still no picture from your DVD drive or files? Let's go, the Game is Afoot, Watson! Deal with the following solutions in progression to see which one applies. Test each solution before moving on to the next.

1. You will need the MPEG-2 codec to play DVDs in Windows Media Player, which is not included with the player.  If you have purchased and downloaded the XPack combo from Corel or some other MPEG-2 codec supplier, all well and good, but the K-light pack is free and does as good a job.

2. Run dxdiag (Start / Run / dxdiag ) and check to see on the display tab whether DirectDraw Acceleration is enabled (you need that to create the required video overlay in Windows Media Player). If it is disabled you need to enable it, but the button may be greyed out, and therein lies the problem. Display Memory may also be shown as n/a, instead of the usual 64.MB or memory associated with your Graphics Card, but Microsoft states that this may not be a problem as the available memory may not be shown if the memory is already in use.

3. The solution to enabling the DirectDraw button is elementary (we hope). These might work for you. After each step, verify whether the DirectDraw Acceleration button has become enabled in DXDiag (above),and if it has not , move on to the next step.

4) Right click on the desktop and untick all entries under the Appearance Tab /effects.

5) Control Panel System Devices /Hardware /Display. If your monitor is shown as "Default Monitor" upgrade the driver so that the monitor appears as "Plug and Play" monitor. You can do this by specifying that you will select the device and driver locations. Alternatively, you may wish to install the correct driver for your monitor.

6) Uninstall the XPack or other purchased MPEG-2 combo from Add /Remove Progams, and install the K-Light pack from the link above (or keep your existing MPEG-2 codecs if you wish to use them)

7) Other people have reported that Netmeeting should be disabled if you have this running, but items a - c above should cure the problem of the greyed out DirectDrawn Acceleration button in DXDiag, as this needs to be 'enabled' for you to watch DVDs using WMP.

8) Finally, disable any video hook driver that was installed with other software, such as those that are designed to capture the monitor screen or send a view of the monitor screen over the internet to another location. These drivers seem to conflict with DirectDraw to prevent it functioning.

Let us know if these suggestions work for you!


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