My entire monitor flashes black for a second or so when starting any video file. It does the same thing when closing the file. It also does this when opening a folder that has video files and a thumbnail view, or when I do anything that presumably accesses the video stream inside a video file.

It happens in VLC and Windows Media Player, though it occurs to me certain video editors I have like avidemux and virtualdub don't have that issue when opening video files... It also does not happen when watching flash-based videos on web sites.

It doesn't seem to happen when Quicktime.

I went through and uninstalled any extraneous programs a week or so ago and didn't see any change.

I also updated the graphics card driver.

What can I do to troubleshoot/fix this?

  • 1
    Except for the part about folders, it sounds like an overlay issue. First try a couple of different media players to be sure (different players have different playback capabilities). Specifically try Media Player Classic, using the different video output options to see what results you get (particularly testing the software rendering vs. hardware/overlay rendering).
    – Synetech
    Feb 11, 2011 at 21:32
  • I turned off hardware rendering (aka overlay checkbox) in VLC and it stopped happening - Does that mean it's a bad video card?
    – Jane Panda
    Feb 14, 2011 at 14:39
  • Not necessarily, there’s a good chance it’s the drivers. What video card is it?
    – Synetech
    Feb 14, 2011 at 17:58
  • I did try updating them automatically using Nvidia's service, it's a GeForce 8400 GS
    – Jane Panda
    Feb 15, 2011 at 17:16

4 Answers 4


As far as I can tell, this will be down to one or two things:

If you have any codec packs, try removing them as they can be to blame.

If it still happens, try updating your graphics drivers, however, if it is not Codecs, I fear it could be a faulty graphics adapter.

  • I did actually try updating my driver, no dice there though. I'll take another look at what's installed
    – Jane Panda
    Feb 11, 2011 at 18:42

I was getting the flashing when:

  • Interacting with videos
  • making videos fullscreen and when un-fullscreening.
  • when going on the Netflix website and the video auto-plays

What fixed it for me is in Nvidia Control Panel > Adjust Desktop color settings > Content Type reported to the display (changing it from Auto select to Desktop programs).

screenshot of Nvidia control Panel


Same problem here since I upgraded to nVidia driver 267.17, and then 270.61. Had no such problem with 196.xx or something I was using before (but it had its own bugs too).

I do have a codec pack installed (K-Lite standard), but since it also happens in VLC, (which does not use DirectShow codecs), it pretty much looks like a driver-only issue.

And it's definitely overlay-related: switching to a non-overlay output video mode in MPC-HC (e.g. VMR-9) or in VLC makes it go away.

I'm running Windows XP x64 by the way.


Try to restore your system and reinstall the graphic card driver. I had the exact same problem and did it, the problem is gone, until now. I don't know what is the cause, maybe corrupted files. But depending on your case, it could work. Try to create a partition on your disk and reinstall the system there, if you don't want to reinstall your whole system and end up realizing it was not the problem. This is just a tip. In my case, i installed windows 10 pro and AMD drivers. If it doesn't work, contact the manufacturer to get warranty instructions (if you have).

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