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I'm not sure if the mkv file is corrupted, but when it is opened with VLC player, VLC loads up and displays nothing. Can't even close VLC after that. And also, VLC is running with 50% of the CPU. I have to use End Process to kill it.

How do I know if the file is corrupted? How do I solve this?

info from mediainfo

Format : Matroska 
File size : 69.4 MiB 
Duration : 21mn 48s 
Overall bit rate : 445 Kbps 
Encoded date : UTC 2009-11-20 18:33:49 
Writing application : mkvmerge v2.9.7 ('Tenderness') built on Jul 1 2009 18:43:35 
Writing library : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1 

ID : 1 
Format : AVC 
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec 
Format profile : High@L3.1 
Format settings, CABAC : Yes 
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames 
Format settings, GOP : N=1 
Duration : 21mn 48s 
Width : 640 pixels 
Height : 352 pixels 
Display aspect ratio : 16:9 
Frame rate : 23.976 fps 
Color space : YUV 
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0 
Bit depth : 8 bits 
Scan type : Progressive 

ID : 2 
Format : AAC 
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec 
Format profile : HE-AAC / LC 
Codec ID : A_AAC 
Duration : 21mn 48s 
Channel(s) : 2 channels 
Channel positions : Front: L R 
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz / 24.0 KHz 
Compression mode : Lossy 
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Can you use MediaInfo and show us what it says about the file? –  slhck Jun 25 '11 at 14:52
@slhck sure, downloading MediaInfo :) update soon.. thx –  Phelios Jun 25 '11 at 14:56
Looks fine to me. Are you running the latest VLC? Are there any other MKV files in the same directory as suggested by the VLC FAQ? Have you been able to play other MKVs before? You could install K-Lite Codecs and see if it works with another player. –  slhck Jun 25 '11 at 15:08
yes, there are other MKV files that I can play... Just updated the VLC.. Installed K-Lite codec and now it's playing... thanks for your help @slhck!! –  Phelios Jun 25 '11 at 15:14

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

A file not playing might be due to wrong information in the file itself. Looking at the content with MediaInfo might reveal some issues.

There might be a common problem with other MKV files in the same directory. If you've tried the steps in the VLC FAQ and it still doesn't work, it might be a codec issue.

You should also try to install the K-Lite Codecs. They add support for many file types and video codecs to Windows.

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K-Lite works!! :) –  Phelios Jun 25 '11 at 16:00
it's good to know this. Last time I test, VLC is the most lightweight one it works pretty fine on my aunt's computer which is quite old. The others didn't work. –  nXqd Jul 4 '12 at 20:44

Try this in VLC main menu:

Tools -> Preferences -> (click on "All" in the lower left corner) -> Input/Codecs -> Demuxers -> Matroska

Uncheck the option Preload directory. This may cause problems if there are bad mkv files in the same directory in which the file you're trying to open is.

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Go to %appdata%\vlc and delete any files from this folder (just files not folders underneath this).

This will reset all the settings and hopefully fix the problem.

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From VideoLAN official website, we learn that MKV is really one of VLC Player supported video formats. Since MKV is a container format which can contain many tracks with different audio and video compression formats, many people are stuck with "VLC stuttering or choppy when playing HD MKV", "Can't hear the sound of MKV files at all" or "VLC just load MKV file all the time".

How to Make VLC Play MKV or HD MKV Well?

VLC Player No Sound Solution: Solution 1, Unmute your VLC Player; Solution 2, select Tools > Preferences menu to open Preferences dialog, select Audio on the left, and confirm Enable audio is checked. Then Click Output module drop-down button and try a different default.

MKV or HD MKV Skipping Solution: Select Tools > Preferences menu to open Preferences dialog, then select All at the bottom of the dialog, and then select Input/Codecs on the left. On the right of the dialog, in Advanced group, set the value of File caching to 1000.

MKV or HD MKV Choppy Solution: Try to disable hardware decoding. Go to Tools > Preferences menu, select Input/Codecs > Video codecs > FFmpeg. And then set the value of Hardware decoding to Disable in Decoding group.

A Universal Solution: Install appropriate codec pack. There are various free codec packs online which will allow us to decode and play MKV files. The disadvantage of this approach is that you have to download a lot of codecs but if you are only trying to play one type of video file. Another shortcoming is these codecs not always work well.

If all above solutions are not fit you or can't solve your issue, in this case, we highly recommend an ultimate and commonly used method to solve "VLC not playing MKV files" - convert MKV to VLC Player more compatible formats.

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