Windows Video Decoder Disappears After Restore


I had to do a full system restore on my Pentium 4 3.00 ghz Windows XP computer. This supposedly restores it to its "brand new" condition before any programs were installed. However, Windows Media Center video decoder was completely deleted during the project and I do not even know what program it was. This is somewhat frustrating as I cannot play DVDs.

First, what video decoder does XP's WMC use?
Second, can I download it somewhere for free? I really do not want to pay for the codec I already paid for when I bought the computer.

I have a Sony Vaio

3.00 GHZ Pentium 4
Windows XP with service pack 3
1 gig of ram

Thanks for any help that you can offer.
9 answers Last reply
More about windows video decoder disappears restore
  1. There's VLC, a favorite of millions of people. Get it HERE

    Edit: Delete dead link... worked a minute ago..
  2. Thanks I have downloaded VLC but I find it buggy and hard to use - probably because I have not used it much. I would like to use WMC and Windows Media Player for DVDs. It is a great suggestion though and I appreciate your response.

    Come on you XP whiz kids someone out there must have an answer :-). What decoder does XP WMC and WMP use?
  3. I see Microsoft themselves will send you to go buy a decoder.


  4. Yeah I did check that and all I can say is that MS customer service sucks. I already paid for the decoder and it irks me to buy it again. Unfortunately, unless someone else has a better idea, that may be my only option :(. Thanks again for another helpful suggestion. It is kind of a matter of principle to me that I shouldn't have to buy the same software twice.
  5. Hey I checked out your link - thank you very much. I am going to try one of the free codecs at the site. Hopefully they really are free. I'll let you know how it comes out.
  6. Hey I downloaded the k-lite codec package but WMP would not play nice with them. I tried to modify the plug-ins in the tools - options - plugins folder in WMP but the error message is that some of the plug-ins were "incompatible." Very frustrating because there were about two dozen plugins loaded and I don't know which ones would possibly be compatible and which ones are not. I may just have to buy a codec bleh! I uninstalled the K-lite codec package because I do not know how to make it compatible with WMP.
  7. How do you make ffdshow compatible with windows media center and windows media center
  8. XP never was supplied with a DVD decoder. If your computer "used" to play DVD's it is because it had a 3rd party decoder in it.
    Most of the free decoders work best with the Media Player Classic.

    I use PowerDVD and have no complaints.
    It isn't that something needs to be compatible with Media Center, it must work well with the player you are going to use.

    If you have a ton of programs running resident and not enough memory to feed the masses, no player is going to work well.
  9. Thanks for your comment. I have a gig of memory and very little else going on with the computer (on purpose) because I realize it has limits. Therefore I am fairly sure that memory is not the problem.

    I have a Sony Vaio that came preloaded with some kind of decoder because it did play dvds before I had to do the system restore. That is what is so frustrating - the system restore did not restore the dvd to function at all.

    I am hoping to get WMC and WMP up and running because I have a remote control that came with the computer that works very well with WMC. Also, even though is is XP and not Windows 7, the media center is a very clean interface similar to Windows 7 media center.

    I have two main goals:

    1. to get DVD function in WMP and WMC
    2. Hopefully to get TV function out of the GTX Nvidia FX 5200 card. I am not sure that it is capable of tuning digital stations. i am not sure if the hardware in the chip can decode the new digital signal

    Until the new 2600K chip comes out, this will be my only computer and so I would like to make it as nice as possible without rebuilding it.

    Thanks for your help
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