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Q: Window Media Player CODEC error trying to play .AVI video file ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Window Media Player CODEC error trying to play .AVI video file
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: tutnpikej-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 13 May 2004 11:21 PDT
Expires: 12 Jun 2004 11:21 PDT
Question ID: 345892
Tried to play a video in .AVI format using Windows Media Player. I am
getting the following error messages, codec is being requested, error
downloading codec. Where is WMP going to get the codec? How would I
know what codec it is looking for, and where is it looking ? Is it
possible to download the codec it is looking for ? Will I ever be able
to play this .AVI file with WMP. Is there a fix for this problem ?
Subject: Re: Window Media Player CODEC error trying to play .AVI video file
Answered By: rxrfrx-ga on 13 May 2004 11:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
When you don't have the appropriate codec for a given file, WMP will
usually try to download the codec, but this doesn't mean that WMP
actually has any ability to find the correct codec.  Usually, this
download routine fails.

If you have a file with an .avi extension and WMP won't play it,
there's a 90% chance the file is DivX.  You can get the codec at and this should allow WMP to
play your file.

If this doesn't work, go to "properties" in the file menu in WMP. 
There should be something in there that tells you what the video and
audio compressors are for the file; once you find those, simply type
the name of those compressors into google and you should find the
necessary codec in no time.

Corwin02 commented that you could side-step all of this by simply
downloading a codec pack that contains virtually every commonly used
codec.  If you watch a lot of movie files from different sources, this
could be a good way to go, but isn't necessary if you only want to
view the one file.  In fact, you may run into problems when installing
a codec pack, so this shouldn't be your first resort.

Here are some other codec packs:
Nimo's Pack
ACE Mega Pack

Request for Answer Clarification by tutnpikej-ga on 13 May 2004 12:19 PDT
Thank you for you answer. Is it OK to install all the codec you
mentioned ? Are they co-resident or will one overlay one another. How
does WMP know where these codec are on my computer to find them when I
play a video ?

Clarification of Answer by rxrfrx-ga on 13 May 2004 12:34 PDT
You should first install the DivX codec only (first link), restart
your computer, and try playing the video file again.  If that does not
work, yes, try the other packages.  They will not interfere with each
other, but you can certainly uninstall one before installing the
other, if you wish.

When you install a codec, it places some information about itself in
the Windows Registry that tells WMP (and any other multimedia
programs) what the codec is for, and where to find it.
tutnpikej-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
The answer suggested by the responder, solved my problem.

Subject: Re: Window Media Player CODEC error trying to play .AVI video file
From: corwin02-ga on 13 May 2004 11:38 PDT
Codecs for WMP are downloaded from Msofts website , however if they
are not there (usually the case) you will have to download them
manually (and the codec information is part of the header of the Avi

To head everything off at the pass your best bet is download the
complete codec pack here
Subject: Re: Window Media Player CODEC error trying to play .AVI video file
From: tlspiegel-ga on 13 May 2004 11:48 PDT
Hi tutnpikej,

Codecs and Windows Media Player 9

I have some video files I have downloaded off the net and whenever I
play them I get the error: "An operation failed due to a certification
failure" however, these files show a preview image. My thoughts are
that I have the right codec, or a codec that is similar enough to make
the preview image, but for some reason, it won't play. I tried other
players like PowerDVD XP and even renamed the files to a different
extension (like .avi to .mpg). Is there a way to get Media Player to
try more codecs if the first one fails, or a program that tells you
what codec a particular video file needs to see if it is available. Or
am I taking the wrong road, is there something else that could correct

First off you have not specified what kind of media are you trying to AVI or MPEG-4 or xVID. But I have come across simmilar
problem. The best solution will be to goto and
download/install the CODECS... also try using the DIVX player that is
available there... I believe it plays virtually all media type files.
Hopefully this should resolve the situation. Let me know how it goes... cheers.

Codecs from Microsoft here

If you got this video file from file sharing (Kazaa etc) you most
likely have a fake
and nothing will make it work because it's not an actual video file
it's just a large
file renamed to a video file extention.

I've had various problems with codec.  Downloading and installing this
resolved almost all of my problems:

Here's a previously asked question concerning your same error message
where the following answer was given:

Make sure you have all the WMP updates from the Windows Update site.

This may be a codec issue. Depending on the type of file, you'll
either want the DivX codec (which works remarkably well), or the Nimo

Nimo codec:

DivX codec:
(click the Standard DivX Codec FREE link)

FYI... the k-lite codec include all of the codecs that I'v tried, such
as DivX, Intel, etc.

Ok, thanks for all your help so far. Here is what I have:
WMP9 is fully updated
I installed the latest codec pack that MS offers
I already have installed on my system the latest divx and xvid codecs
as well as many others offered in the ACE mega codec packs
I am hesitant to install the Nimo codec pack and klite codec pack as I
have been reading that they contain many viruses and spyware
I am trying to play video of mpg, avi, asf, mpeg2

I hope that answers all questions

If it comes down to it, I will try the klite codec pack, however, is
there some program that will tell you what codec you need to play
video? that way i would only have to install those codecs that are

Don't throw in those weirdo codecs.

Identify the codec the clip was compressed with. USe AVIcodec for
this. It's free and it's a right-mouse click on the file to show info.
Great little proggy.
Thanks spiderfix, that was just what I was looking for, interestingly
enough, the program says that all the video files I cant open are
Windows Media Video V7 or V8, but I have both installed, perhaps they
are corrupted or something

Perhaps not. I would venture to say that unless you downloaded these clips from
a large commercial site then it's probably some hobbyist computer person who
didn't make the clip properly. If your looking at a black screen in WMP when the
clip plays and a error pops up right away then this is probably where you stand.

>>"An operation failed due to a certification failure"<<
>>the video files I cant open are Windows Media Video V7 or V8<<
Only hobbyists compress with WMP. Pros use specific software designed
for such a purpose. WMP is freebee WindowsXX software and the last place
a vid-person would compress a video.


Best regards,

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