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Article ID: 160170 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 3.1

This article was previously published under Q160170

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When you play a video clip, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • The system may stop responding (hang).
  • The video may flash.
  • Distortion is observed in the video playback area.
  • The video may just show a blank window, a white window, or a black window, even though the sound plays correctly.
  • Some systems may experience hesitation problems with the video, where it continually starts and stops instead of playing smoothly.
  • Videos only play in the large or expanded mode. The normal mode videos do not play.


Windows Video Compression is not installed, or may not be installed properly on your system.


If you have just finished installing your multimedia program, try restarting Windows and then try to play videos. If it still fails, follow these steps to verify that Windows Video Compression is installed properly:

Removing and Reinstalling Video Compression

  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. Click the Windows Setup tab.
  4. In the Components area, scroll to and click Multimedia.
  5. Click Details.
  6. If the Video Compression option is selected, it may not be installed properly, and needs to be removed. Follow these steps:

    1. Clear the check box for this option, and then click OK.
    2. Click OK again to complete the removal.
    3. Repeat steps 2-5 to return to the Video Compression option in Add/Remove Programs.
  7. Make sure the Video Compression box contains a check mark.
  8. Click OK, then click OK again. Follow the on-screen instructions.

  • Microsoft Bookshelf 96-97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Cinemania 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 97 Deluxe Edition
  • Microsoft Encarta World Atlas 97
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
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Retired KB ArticleRetired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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