No video on media players!

many many videos of different formats and codecs that once played on my computer stopped working a few days ago. I get audio but no video. A few kinds of video's still work (most .wmv ones). Nothing to my knowledge has changed that could affect my computer this way.... I have the same video drivers, didn't install or uninstall or delete anything, didn't change any settings.

Media players I can't get to play these video's include:
WMP 9, WMPC, Winamp, VLC and some Chinese one I don't know the name of because I can't read Mandarin-Chinese.

All these players play the audio but not the video, of video's I'm certain have been played on this computer many times before. Only Windows media player gives me an error ("error downloading codecs"), the rest do not.

I had quite a few codecs before, including ffdshow (h261-264), XviD and many more. Since this problem occurred, I've downloaded the full kazaa codec package and installed everything from it that I didn't have and replaced what I did... and the problem persists.

Among video formats not working, one that doesn't work is .avi files created by FRAPS. Anyone know what codecs FRAPS 2.9.4 videos use?

any ideas what could have caused this or how I can fix it???
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  1. also having some trouble with loading video on sony vegas... I get a Media Offline error with my old projects and can't even get a video track from avi files.

    I've searched around the internet and found a million people with the same problem and MANY different answers (which, unfortunately, none of which have worked for me)... so I understand that could turn into a discussion in itself, so to keep things from getting too confusing it would be cool if answers to that issue could be answered here:
    if it doesn't help me with the problem of simply not being able to play videos
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