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We use our Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit PC as a Media PC.

If it matters, it is the Asus EB1501. A little slow, but it works.

In an effort to get .MKV files to play, I installed Shark007's codec pack. The .MKV files play now.

I got my hands on a few good .AVI files yesterday, and we were going to watch those. Microsoft shows >> HERE << that .AVI files are supported, so my guess is something in Shark007's pack changed something that was working before.

I really hate having to constantly fight these codecs, especially on something that is supposed to be a HTPC where the mouse and keyboard are never touched and Media Center is running 100% of the time.

Does anyone know of a good solution?

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You should list the specs of the AVI file. It will help narrow down the factors. Shark's Settign panel has an analyze a file button on the Save Settings page. – surfasb Dec 23 '11 at 20:21

I recommend to use K-Lite Codec Pack. It has it's own classy player and a lot of codecs.
Plus it's free.

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Seems like I used K-Lite a while back and had good results with it. Let me give it another go. – jp2code Dec 23 '11 at 18:10
    
No, that did not work. Media Player Classic, which K-Lite installed, is able to play the AVI files so I know they are OK. Media Center and Media Player can not play these files. – jp2code Dec 23 '11 at 18:39
    
@jp2code That's odd. I was able to play some formats without video but with sound. I will try for my self K-Lite Codec Pack. – Little Helper Dec 23 '11 at 19:00
1  
@jp2code I need to play *.MKV file too :D – Little Helper Dec 23 '11 at 19:06
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@jp2code Well I have downloaded and installed the K-Lite codec pack and it seems to work fine on my Windows XP – Little Helper Dec 23 '11 at 19:12
up vote 0 down vote accepted

My only solution was to reformat and reinstall Windows.

The second time around, all I installed was the HAL media splitter. It is old, but only one component. It has been installed and running since about a week after posting this question, and has had no major problems. (All audio isn't great, but it works)

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Update: I have been running the Haali Media Splitter only now for over two (2) years. There are very few files that it consistently will not play in Windows 7 Media Center (less than 1 in 1000), and these could be due to corrupt headers in the downloads. So, in my opinion, this HAL media splitter is all anyone really needs. – jp2code Mar 21 '14 at 20:20

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