I have a very very old movie (The Thing from Another Planet) that I have saved in AVI format. It plays perfectly through Windows Media Player.

When I select it through the Pictures and Videos in Windows Media Center and play it, I get a completely black screen and nothing happens. In order to get out, I have to Ctrl-Alt-Del to get my task manager and end the task on Windows Media Center. I cannot find any error messages in the event log and no popups are coming up.

What can I do to try to find out why it won't play it?

OS: Vista x64 Home Premium


This is happening cause you have different directshow codecs for X32 and X64, media player will fire up with the x32 version when you click it from the desktop.

However, Windows Media Center runs in X64 mode only, and can not use any x32 codecs. graphstudio has an x64 edition, you could drag your avi onto it to see which codecs it uses to render the video. If a graph can not be rendered then you will need to re-prioritize or install new codecs.

Shark comes with a reasonably good x64 codec pack.

Personally, I would stay clear of X64 media centers, they are not worth the effort I still can not get quicktime streaming to work on x64.

  • Thank you! I couldn't really get GraphEdit64 to tell me which codec it was using, but it was probably because there wasn't one installed that worked for x64! Installed the x64 components of Shark and it's working perfect! – TheCodeMonk Jul 17 '09 at 2:25

Try checking out AviCodec. You run it against a movie file and it will tell you the codec that the movie is encoded in as well as where to go to get the codec for your computer. It should help you get your media player setup correctly.

  • Upvote for linking to AviCodec that actually told me which codec it was using. – TheCodeMonk Jul 17 '09 at 2:24

I'd try installing the Combined Community Codec Pack, including the Media Player Classic setup, and trying the file in both the current WMP and Classic.


I would drag the file into MediaInfo to see what codecs it uses. Then you can open it in GraphStudio to see what decoders are being used on your system for that file. All the tools, plus all the major codecs are availble in the K-Lite Codec Pack

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