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Windows Media Player can't find compatible decoder

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 17, 2010 1:55:40 AM

I am trying to watch a dvd movie and get this error message:

"Windows Media Player cannot find a compatible DVD decoder on this machine"

I have run windows updates (both Microsoft and Win Media Player) with no luck. Don't know what else to do. Anyone have any tips?

Thanks very much!
January 17, 2010 7:58:25 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Download THIS, are codecs for your Windows Media Player. Another advice is that not use WMP, download and use THIS, is media player classic but IMO is better that WMP
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January 18, 2010 12:10:54 AM

if i download ffdshow, will i have to do anything special to get win media player to work or will it just automatically be fixed?
thanks very much!
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January 18, 2010 4:15:56 AM

try to use some convert software

How flexible it is ...

It will help you deal with all the problem about incompatible case that you may facing at any time.
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January 18, 2010 11:38:17 AM

No, just install the ffdshow and this install automaticaly the necessary files for play the DVD. Maybe the installation process ask you for some configuration about speakers.

P.D. Sorry for my bad english, isn't my native language.
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January 28, 2010 10:48:59 PM

no, ffdshow did not work for me. i cannot get windows media to play dvd's buy using it. i have found a substitution though:

VLC Media player from: www.videolan.org/vlc

a very nice media player that works well for me.
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January 28, 2010 11:24:33 PM

one other thing I wanted to add is that i search hi and low for a mp2 (dvd) decoder and even went on microsoft's website. they directed me to websights that charge for this (cost around $15). I have 2 pc's i recently reinstalled xp home os on and got the same missing dvd decoder message on both of them. so it appears to be something new that one must pay to get the proper decoder to play dvd's on windows media player.
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Best solution

January 29, 2010 12:02:58 AM

VLC is a very good program. It's capable of playing most all media.
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January 29, 2010 12:25:21 AM

seems to be a good program. although the very next day after i installed it i turned on my pc and played a dvd and could see it but no sound. after restarting pc the dvd played with sound just find. don't know why this happened. i hope this doesn't happen a lot.
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January 29, 2010 12:29:49 AM

There could be a few different reasons for it. If it happens more often, try reinstalling VLC.
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January 29, 2010 1:29:09 AM

yes indeed. as i am a big proponet of Event Viewer in the Administrative tools, i could check that to see what happened. But installations can get corrupted and reinstalling VLC is certainly an option. Thanks!
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January 29, 2010 2:32:46 AM

Yep, event viewer can be a big help.

Good luck
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January 29, 2010 6:00:39 AM

farmerings said:
try to use some convert software

How flexible it is ...

It will help you deal with all the problem about incompatible case that you may facing at any time.


I agree with you. You can convert your file into WMV format. Get a video converter here.
http://www.downloadvideos-convert.com/
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February 4, 2010 11:11:33 PM

aford10 said:
VLC is a very good program. It's capable of playing most all media.


hi, i am to pick a best answer and i would like to choose yours. i just don't know how. can u tell me how?
thanks!
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February 4, 2010 11:12:07 PM

Best answer selected by ckmckee.
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February 4, 2010 11:25:26 PM

ckmckee said:
hi, i am to pick a best answer and i would like to choose yours. i just don't know how. can u tell me how?
thanks!


Looks like you figured it out.

Thanks for the vote.
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February 16, 2012 4:11:00 AM

Check out compatible DVD decoder for full info on this topic...apparently since windows 7 has the codecs this problem no longer occurs
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June 10, 2012 12:01:41 PM

ckmckee said:
no, ffdshow did not work for me. i cannot get windows media to play dvd's buy using it. i have found a substitution though:

VLC Media player from: www.videolan.org/vlc

a very nice media player that works well for me.


Thanks for the reminder about vlc. I used it on another machine because it could play videos that even a fully-functional Windows Media Player was having trouble with. More recently I had the common problem with missing sound codecs in WMP on a newer machine. You reminded me about VLC and it's working like a charm.
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