Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to convert some video files on Linux which can be played on what I assume is a default installation of Windows XP. I don't have access to the machine they will be played on, and the user who will play them doesn't have admin rights to install new codecs or media players.

I have tried .mpeg, which didn't work. I assume .wmv would be a possibility, but I'm finding it difficult to find a way to convert .mpeg to .wmv on Linux.

Are there other media formats which should be playable on a default installation of Windows XP?

share|improve this question
I think mpeg1, but not mpeg2 (DVD format etc) would work on the default XP installation. – Matthew Lock Oct 8 '09 at 1:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Microsoft has an extensive list in their knowledge-base detailing all of the codecs installed with Windows Media Player 9 & 10, the default for XP.

I would probably suggest one of the following:

  • WMV
  • Microsoft MPEG-4 (AKA VC1)
share|improve this answer
Great information, thanks. – Grundlefleck Oct 7 '09 at 19:40
note that's not "fresh install" default. XP originally came with WMP 7, i believe. i think 9 got forcibly installed with SP2 if you hadn't updated it already. – quack quixote Oct 8 '09 at 1:04
Did XP necessarily have WMP at all? The copy of Windows 7 that I got from work didn't have WMP preinstalled. – ArtOfWarfare Aug 21 '13 at 20:10

if u can't install a player or codecs u can use MPlayer (just download, un-zip, create a shortcut to mplayer and drop a video file on it or associate to that extension). This player has build-in all codecs you need and u don't need to install (so, u don't have to be an admin)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.