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Crashes and Hangs


Hangs/crashes/lockups/audio issues, especially when they occur during project editing, can usually be resolved or worked around.

This page is about MM2.0 and MM2.1 running on XP. The issues are such that much or most of it also applies to MM2.6 and MM6 in Vista. Although generally not applicable to Windows Live Movie Maker (WLMM) in Vista or Windows 7 it might help with issues when using classic versions of Movie Maker on Windows 7 systems.

Bright Hub

A total system crash, like turning off the computer with a switch, probably isn't a Movie Maker issue. It's more likely something like an overheated CPU.

Check this article at Bright Hub... If Your Computer… Especially a Laptop… Shuts Down In an Instant...


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A good first step is to check your computer for codecs found to clash with Movie Maker, and take steps to separate them.

About 30 codecs have been involved in crashes and hangs. They are listed in alphabetical order below. Almost all of them end with a file name extension of .ax. Compare the files on your system that end with .ax to those on the list. Most users have one or two. Having 6 or more is unusual.

If you find any of them, you can use the compatibility feature of MM2.1 to separate it from Movie Maker. If you are using MM2.0, rename the .ax file to something else so Movie Maker doesn't see it.

  • Lowering the computer's hardware acceleration setting.

    You can easily and quickly check that these work-arounds will resolve your problems, and continue using Movie Maker without restarting or rebooting.

    Use the Windows XP 'Event Viewer' to help assess problems... to get to it, use the Start button > right-click on My Computer > Manage > System Tools > Event Viewer > Application. Scroll through the log and check anything with a red Error icon. Double click on the line item to read about the problem. When checking the event log, don't stop on Warnings or items of Information. Go right to the Errors.

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    Movie Maker 2 and Codecs used by Other Software

    Be careful not to go down the path of trying to resolve crashing and hanging issues by doing what is suggested here... if you are trying to import or use a source file that doesn't work in Movie Maker... maybe it can't work. A video clip with an .avi extension might be a DV-AVI file that should work... or an Xvid encoded one that doesn't. A file with an .mpg extension could be an MPEG-1 that should work fine, or an MPEG-2 that doesn't.

    If the files should be working, this is the right problem solving page to be checking... turning off a codec that is interfering might be appropriate.

    Thumbnail

    It seems that over 95% of the time that Movie Maker 2 suddenly crashes, freezes or otherwise completely stops working, it's because of a hardware acceleration issue or a clash with a codec. 

    • The number one codec issue today is with divxaf.ax and it's so common an issue that, if you have that file on your computer, it's a good place to start. 

    • If that doesn't resolve it, try the hardware acceleration setting change.

    • After that, search for the other known problem codecs. Rename all of the problem ones you find (the record so far is 7 of them).

    Don't be over-zealous in your corrective actions. Setting the hardware acceleration too low could cause your computer to run slowly and renaming all the codecs on your computer could result in problems in other areas.

    Limit the acceleration setting change to the third notch and return it to full if it doesn't help.

    Although developed for MM2 and MM2.1 in XP, you can use the info to help resolve similar Movie Maker issues in Vista and Windows 7.

    It may be more of a need to get an additional codec rather than turning one off... or doing a conversion to make a file that will work from one that won't. If that's the case, then the Importing Source Files section of this site is the better place to be.

    If you don't know enough about the file types you are using, or how to assess them to determine what codec is used or needed, seek help on ways to check them before going into your computer and changing codecs or other files.

    The subject of codecs... getting more or turning existing ones off... is a complex one. If trying to understand them makes your head spin, you've got lots of company.


    Conflicts with the divxaf.ax codec is the single biggest reason for MM2 crashing. Start with that one. Your system doesn't come with that codec, so if you don't find it look for the others.

    If you're running MM2.1, see the Setup > MM2.1 page and the info about the new compatibility tab feature for managing filters. It might have no itmes in it, or a bunch like my HP Laptop... there's a picture of the my laptop's list down below in the list of problem codecs. Finding it in the list and unchecking results in the same thing as finding it and renaming if you're using MM2.0.

    If you're still on MM2.0 find the file and rename it (I suggest naming it divxaf.ax_ so you can easily rename it back if you need to later), and then test MM2. You don't need to reboot MM2 or anything to test it. If that's not it, then go down this full page, finding and renaming the problem ones. And if that still doesn't resolve your issue, go to the fuller Problem Solving... Checklist page.

    MM2 looks at the registered codecs when it opens an audio or video file, checking for the most appropriate one to use. It goes down a list of 'registered' codecs in sequence from first to last (not the sequence in the lists shown here). When it thinks one will work, it tries it - and, if it's a poor choice - you get a lockup. It's not like it is using two different codecs at the same time.

    One complexity is that the codecs themselves indicate to Movie Maker which one of them is the right choice, and if the wrong one thinks too highly of itself and butts in line, then things can lock up before Movie Maker 2 has a chance to use an appropriate one.

    The figures shown here are the installed video and audio codecs on my older Toshiba laptop. I could do all Movie Maker functions with it... and watch TV, burn CDs and DVDs, etc. And mostly without issues. Yes, it had codecs for Movie Maker 2 to play and use Divx and MPEG2 source files (but I tend to play it safe and save such files as new DV-AVI or WMV source files first, just to avoid any surprise mid-project issue).

    Video Codecs

    The lists are from the GSpot utility (see Setup Movie Maker... Other Software for a link). The figure above shows the installed video codecs and the figure below the audio codecs.

    You can see from the figures that most of the installed codecs are not .ax files, yet the problem codec list below only has .ax ones (I don't know what, if anything, that means). I show the lists from my laptop simply to give you something to compare to, not that it's a good list to have or use. Computers vary from one to the other. The lists on my other computers, including my HP laptop which replaced the Toshiba, are different.

    Audio Codecs


    The Problem Codecs:

    Users of Movie Maker 2 find by experience which codecs are involved in problems. Check your computer for these .ax files, rename them to something like *.ax_ (for example rename divxaf.ax to divxaf.ax_) and then see if MM2 works OK. Renaming the files should be considered a temporary measure to determine which codec(s) Movie Maker has problems with.

    The longer term resolution is to uncheck the line item in the MM2.1 or later Tools > Options > Compatibility list to keep the codec from being used by Movie Maker, or 'unregister' the codec to use Movie Maker 2 and 're-register' it when you want to use the other software. The compatibility list is better as it removes it from use by Movie Maker without stopping other software that uses it.

    Here's how to find and rename an .ax file on your computer: First be sure you can see 'hidden' folders and files: open My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View tab > Files and Folders > Hidden files and folders > check 'Show hidden files and folders' > OK, (2) staying in My Computer > Search > All files and folders > enter .ax in the first entry field and run the search, (3) check your list against the problem codecs listed on this page > rename one by right clicking on the file in your list and choose the rename option.

    If you run MM2.1 or MM6 and have the compatibility list, instead of renaming the file, correlate it to the line item in the list, and uncheck it.

    This figure is meant to show the changing codec lists as you add and remove softwae to a system. The long list is my XP MCE laptop after 2+ years of adding software. The short list of 15 codecs is my 6 month old Vista Home Basic laptop.... and the squeaky clean list is a desktop running a fresh installation of Vista Ultimate. Movie Maker is working fine on all three.

    Movie Maker Compatibility Tab

    Here are the known problem codecs...

    ac3audio.ax - initially reported via email on 12/04/03. The symptom was MM2 shutting down when he had 2 or more songs on the timeline and he tried to split one of them. With only one file on the timeline, MM2 worked great. His file was in the Windows\System32 folder. I did a Google search and noted that some game-players had problems with the file. > A post on 11/22/03 said "I think I've found out what was wrong. I had this files used for playing ac3 sound:- ac3audio.ax, and it was corrupted or incompatable. With this removed WMM is much more stable."

    AC3filter.ax - newsgroup post of 8/8/06. Plays fine on RealPlayer, and also on mplayer2. I finally got the .avi saved file to play by disabling AC3filter.ax.

    ArcTSSpl.ax - reported on the XP newsgroup on 8/5/07... mpgsplitter filter, ArcSoft MPEG Codec from Arcsoft, Inc., file version 2.4.2.20.... the system event log showed the file had been involved in numerous Movie Maker crashes recently.

    avisplitter.ax - reported by an email on 12/2/05 - "...my main problem. Since rename have got a movie burnt to CD --"

    cevideo.ax - reported by email on 2/20/05 with this comment - "... if you try to import or add a large 100MB+ file to the storyboard, it hangs."

    claud.ax - MPEG codec re-distributed by PowerDVD - check Cyberlink for a patch that resolves this - PDVDxp4_Patch_2417.exe - this is an audio decoder

    Cyberlink

    claudiocd.ax - initially reported on 2/28/03 - PowerDirector 1.1 - not yet conclusive.

    claudfx.ax - initially reported on 11/4/03 via email

    clmp3wrap.ax - initially reported on 2/28/03 - PowerDirector 1.1 - not yet conclusive.

    clvsd.ax - MPEG codec re-distributed by PowerDVD - maybe the Cyberlink patch resolves this one too

    cmaudio.ax - from C-Media Inc. (sound card, or audio chip) - KB article Q317358 (written when Movie Maker version one was being used) covers problems when you are using an Out-of-Date version of the C-Media Cmaudio.ax Driver. Movie Maker... may unexpectedly quit while you are importing, previewing or publishing source content that uses the driver, and you may receive the following error message: Moviemk.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

    divxaf.ax - 'Digital Anti-Freeze' - part of the Nimo Codec package - causes crashes when trying to preview or play transitions and effects

    divxdec.ax - first reported by email on 12/11/07... from a user experiencing crashes with Movie Maker 2.0 (Just exited, no error report, nothing). This occured whenever I scrolled along the timeline or attempted to play the timeline.... when I renamed the extension Movie Maker works fine (I hope! Haven't tested EVERYTHING yet). I no longer experience crashes when moving the timeline or playing it.

    DivXG400.ax - first reported problem with it was on 3/31/03 from Jean-Marc

    DVDAudio.ax - first reported problem with it was on 7/31/04 via email.... the user had to rename it along with Divxaf.ax and mpeg2Parser.ax

    ffdshow.ax - the first reported problem with it, resolved by renaming, was in a 1/15/05 email. A 3/1/05 post at windowsmoviemakers.net said "In.... (MM2.1)...Tools menu, check Options, then Compatability tab and there I was able to turn off the video filter ffdshow.ax. I downloaded a ffdshow.exe a few weeks ago...to view cdr's in windows media... maybe that's why I've started having problems..."

    I have a link on the Setup MM2 in XP > Other Software page to a July 2007 version of ffdshow... I use it on Vista with the ffdshow video decoder checked but the audio decoder unchecked in the Compatibility list.

    (Oct 07 Support Space) A user of Motion JPEG files (avi file extension) from a Canon PowerShot camera could import clips into MM2.1 on XP and MM2.6 on Vista, but when trying to import into MM6 on Vista, Movie Maker would crash. We resolved it by uninstalling the ffdshow codec pack on Vista and downloading/installing the July 2007 version.

    the Haali Media Splitter was reported to me by email on 4/30/07... as one that shows up in the compatibility list... and when unchecked resolved the user's crashing issues.

    iac25_32.ax - 5/17/08 forum post... "... installed by Replay AV (streaming video capture). I went to the Replay AV directory where it was installed and renamed it and BINGO!! I can now publish in MM....

    iviaudio.ax - ships with WinDVD (effects MP3 files over 160kbps - chipmunk sounds, clipping sounds; MM2 can crash when saving movies made with Divx encoded video clips) - installed in a couple folders - also found in InterVideo and GraphEdit folders - this is an audio decoder - the latest version of WinDVD (apparantly version 5, because the file with version 4 results in problems) resolves this issue:

    WinDVD

    iviaudioncss.ax (InterVideo NonCSS Video Decoder) - 9/11/04 - PapaJohn - When I have an MPG file on the Audio/Music track of the timeline, and try to save it as a WMA file.... ripping the audio track from the MPG file, Movie Maker 2.1 will crash about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time it won't crash. All crashes point to this codec, but if I remove it from the picture using the new option in 2.1, it won't even attempt to save the audio file. Even after the crash message, it often continues to finish the saving process and the WMA file is fine, as long as I don't press any buttons on the crash window.

    ksproxy.ax (don't rename this one unless you have specific problems with it and want to have it refreshed - it's in the list of 'trusted filters' in version 2.1) - WDM Streaming ActiveMovie Proxy (Direct Show filter) in the Windows/System32 folder (version 5.3.2600.2180 on my HP laptop - size of 130,048, dated 8/4/04) - 8/25/03 - Reece - (I did delete the KSPROXY one but it reappeared). > 10/18/03 - When trying to write to DV-Tape, it starts and at about 70% I get this message - Faulting application moviemk.exe, version 2.0.3312.0, faulting module ksproxy.ax, version 5.3.0.900, fault address 0x0000379e. MM2 crashes.

    l3codecx.ax (this one is also in the list of 'trusted filters' in version 2.1 - rename it with appropriate caution) - MPEG Layer-3 audio Decoder - initially reported on 3/6/03 as follows - "I had an mp3 that I loaded into Movie Maker 2 and it didn't play the audio. If I moved the slider bar around, it would play. However, when I created the movie file for export onto DVD, the music didn't play for that mp3 file. I renamed my l3codecx.ax file and it worked. But now, I can't play movies in full screen in Movie Maker 2. Small trade off."

    lmpgad.ax - initial report by email on 2/18/04 - looks like it was installed with Sonic's MyDVD, in the Ligos Decoders folder.

    mediaxw.dll - initial report by post of 10/17/04 - Symptom: when i click on a clip on the storyboard, MM2.1 crash with error pointing to "mediaxw.dll & moviemk.exe" - Solution: Menu Tools/Options/Compatibility/ ... UNselect corresponding filter(s) ; eg the filter "mediaxw.dll" in my case - Explanation: I've recently installed audio ogg Vorbis decoder; it seems that this king of decoder / filter interracts with MM2.1 and makes it crash.

    mmswitch.ax - from the SLD codec pack (version 1.5 of the SLD codec pack with mmswitch.ax 0.9.7.0, seems OK... need confirmation of other versions that result in the problem). > 6/4/07 post on the Vista newsgroup reported it crashing with it on, and resolved when the codec was uninstalled.

    mpeg2parser.ax - first reported by email on 8/15/03 - debugging moviemk.exe on the Microsoft development environment on visual .NET determined that, with divxaf.ax and mpeg2parser.ax installed, the problem was with mpeg2parser.ax from the Nimo codec pack.

    NeResize.ax - reported by email on 3/25/07 - installed as part of Nero - in the Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Dsfilter folder

    NevDec.ax - reported by email on 1/6/04 - installed (he thinks) as part of the Nero burning package - in the Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\Dsfilter folder

    nevideo.ax - Vista newsgroup post of 2/16/08 - every time I try to use movie maker (Vista) to publish my movie as an avi file, Movie Maker stops responding (locks up & greys out) > removed it and that did fix my problem!! It came from my dvd burner that i purchased a while ago.

    subtitds.ax - installed by SLD Codec pack - in System32 folder

    th264dec.ax - reported by email on 4/1/07 - installs with "TwinhanDTV ATSC D+A" tuner card

    wtwmplug.ax - apparently associated with Wild Tangent games

    It's best to first rename all of those you have from the above list, in case MM2 clashes with more than one. If MM2 works OK after renaming them, you might rename them back, one at a time, until you determine which one(s) are clashing. Then think about how to continue to use MM2 and the other software that uses the .ax file(s). You can leave the files on your computer and use MM2 or the other software, but not both at the same time.

    If you find that renaming a different .ax file than these resolves your problem, please let us know by posting on microsoft.public.windows.moviemaker or sending an email.


    Registering and Unregistering a Codec

    This section is for those who have sufficient computer skills and feel comfortable with things like codecs. Others should ask a friend for help. Doing the wrong thing to a codec could result in computer problems.

    Personally I have two of the problem codecs that I sometimes want to use to run the software they came with. I made two batch files for each, one to run when I want to register the codec, and the other to run to unregister it. I have the batch files in the folders that the problem .ax file are in. To illustrate, here's the content of the batch files used to register and unregister iviaudio.ax:

    Register.bat has one line that reads - regsvr32 iviaudio.ax /s

    The corresponding Unregister.bat has one line that reads - regsvr32 iviaudio.ax /s /u

    One person I heard from has gone further, using a single batch file to unregister the problem codecs, startup Movie Maker 2, and then re-register the codecs when MM2 closes. By linking the desktop shortcut for Movie Maker to the batch file, the whole process happens in the background and without effort. If you have the computer skills to do this... fine. If you don't, turn to your closest friend with the DOS skills to set it up for you.

    To see if you are effectively 'unregistering' the problem one(s), check with the GSpot utility. If you need a copy, see the link in the Setup... Software page.


    Make a Tweak - here's what one poster did (I'd like to hear from others who try it)

    9/3/03 - I'm very excited today because I got MM2 working! I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but its been working for an hour, which is way longer than its ever worked before.

    I applied a tweak from www.tweakxp.com

    Basically its some NVIDIA/XP tweak that fixed my crashing/lockup problems. Now I can generate WMV videos without trying 10 times. I was also able to backout all the other changes that I made (disabling AX files, turning down hardware acceleration). Before this fix I was only able to output AVI files.

    So far so good! This may help a few of you out there since NVIDIA chipsets are so common.


    Put Movie Maker in Isolation - if you don't want to wrestle with codecs, maybe do what this poster did - put MM2 into isolation so it won't run into issues with other items or software:

    8/1/03 - I tried all of the workarounds, but never could get MM2 working. My problems were the same as everybody else's, MM2 was shutting down the moment you hit a transition or effect panel. In the end I used Partition Magic, created a new install of Win XP, which I will use for video editing only. I have not installed any other software in this partition, through fear of a conflict, and I am happy to report it is working fine. DX9 and latest ATI Radeon drivers have also been installed without a glitch. It's a lot of hassle, but for those who have had no luck in getting MM2 working, it could be a good option. Don't forget, with Parition Magic, you create the new partition without losing any existing data. Hope this helps.


    Manage Your Codecs - 11/28/03 - Can any one tell me, how to tell what CODECS are installed on my machine? I know which CODECS are the ones I have installed. But where is the list of ALL CODECS installed. > Download & install ZoomPlayer (a free media player). Click on the Options button (icon with a check mark). Select Manual Filters in the column on the left. Click on Registered Filter Manager in the center panel. Not only will this show you all the CODECs that are installed/registered on your PC, it provides you with the ability to unregister them, or change their merit values. > Digger - Here are a few of the codec utilities that I either use myself, or have used at some point. All have strengths and weaknesses, but, short of spending some really big bucks for a commercial utility, should give you some good info:

    GSpot: Codec Information Appliance... http://www.headbands.com/gspot/

    Analogx: ACM Properties... http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/program/acmprop.htm

    DXMan...: http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/audio/dxman.htm

    > You do not need any special mega-buck set of tools or any tools that are "free" All you need do is......... Click Start > Control Panel > System > Hardware tab > Device Manager button > expand Sound Video and Game Controllers and right before your eyes will be the complete list of both Audio and Video codecs. Double-click on one > Properties tab

    From those windows you can remove, change settings where allowed and change the order they are inspected by for example movie maker (you change the order by changing the priority). Special software is not required.

    > There can be MANY more codecs installed on a PC than the few that show up in the device manager. If you were to try ZoomPlayer or GraphEdit (a "free" Microsoft product), you would see what I mean. What I see listed in device manager are "compressor" codecs only. There were no "decoders", which are the types of codecs that have been known to cause problems importing certain media formats into Movie Maker.

    Other Comments

    8/30/04 e-mail: I was getting the runtime error crash whenever I tried to import a DV-AVI file that I captured with MM2. I renamed the codecs as you requested on your web page, but that did not fix the problem. When I searched for *.ax I noticed many codecs that were leftovers in programs that I had deleted. There were some for Pinnacle and Pixela. I deleted all of these codecs and the file imported correctly.

    7/27/07 newsgroup post: Every time I start Windows movie maker, I get the message "Unspecified Error" and movie maker fails to start up.... the problem happens on multiple computers...

    ...I usually change the temporary folders to something I prefer with a custom name. However, Movie Maker seems to be unable to handle temporary file names with embedded spaces! That's quite odd, considering that it's a long time we did away with FAT restrictions!!

    ...Renaming the temporary folders, or overriding them using the environment variables "%TEMP%" or "%TMP%" fixes the issue... wrote a small script that would apply the fixup and start Movie Maker.

    (PapaJohn PS.... I tried changing the temp folder to one with a space, and didn't run into any problems with MM2.1, so the issue may be more complex than just the folder name with a space)


    Too Many Filters... Effects and Transitions...

    10/15/05 (Microsoft) If MovieMaker is crashing on startup then that is generally caused by having a lot of DirectShow filters on your system. Typically you can work around the problem by temporarily renaming applications that have installed DirectShow filters.

    ... You can find the list of the DirectShow filters that you have installed on your system by running the "dxdiag" program, clicking Save All Information. It will create a text file with the information...

    2/1/06 (Microsoft) There's a component in Direct Show which caches the information about the effects and transitions that are registered upon your system. Unfortunately there's a bug in that component which causes it to crash if you have a lot of transitions and effects installed. MovieMaker calls this routine on startup which is probably why you're seeing MovieMaker crash.

    Fortunately there is a workaround by doing something like the following....

    In June 2009 Microsoft released hotfix KB969395... to raise the maximum number of video transitions or video effects from 100 to 200. It provides a new version of qedit.dll for those who have the problem and are running XP SP3.

    (PapaJohn comments about this issue:

    On 1/1/07 my XP laptop shows 445 Direct Show filters listed in the dxdiag report, and I have about 1,000 video effects and transitions in my Movie Maker collections, and it's running fine...)

    On 7/14/09 I was running XP SP3 (Media Center Edition). After reading the newly released hotfix which I don't have, I put 100 pictures into a project, added a different transition between each, added the same effect to all of them, and then added extra random effects to a few dozen. Movie Maker worked and saved the movie each time. I'm continuing on without the fix.


    Hardware Acceleration

    Hardware acceleration issues are specific to certain video cards. Try changing your hardware acceleration to the number 3 position and, if that resolves MM2 problems, then your card is one with such an issue. Right click on the Desktop > Properties > Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot

    The Hardware acceleration slider goes in 6 notches from None to Full, which correspond to:

    1 - None - Disable all accelerations. Use this setting only if your computer frequently stops responding or has other severe problems.

    2 - Disable all but basic accelerations. Use this setting to correct more severe problems.

    3 - Disable all DirectDraw and Direct3D acceleration, as well as all cursor and advanced drawing accelerations. Use this setting to correct severe problems with DirectX accelerated applications.

    4 - Disable all cursor and advanced drawing accelerations. Use this setting to correct drawing problems.

    5 - Disable cursor and bitmap accelerations. Use this setting to correct problems with the mouse pointer, or to correct problems with corrupt images.

    6 - Full - All accelerations are enabled. Use this setting if you computer has no problems

    You can try updating the video card driver, but many have found that the issue is not resolved that way.

    After running months with the hardware acceleration lowered to the 3rd position on my main computer, I was able to raise it back to full by installing DirectX version 9.0a (now 9.0b), moving up from version 8.1. Version 9 is available at:

    DirectX 9


    Notes about issues resulting from lack of full acceleration:

    There is a picture-taking option icon under the monitor in MM2. If you press it when viewing a video clip, you get a JPG image of the frame, that is automatically saved to your hard drive and imported as a clip. If you have your hardware acceleration turned down, you get this note when trying to capture a frame image ".... You cannot take a picture... if your display adapter does not support hardware acceleration."

    One work-around is to move your hardware acceleration back to full before starting MM2, open it as usual and take your snapshots, close MM2, move your acceleration back down, and re-open MM2 to continue work.

    12/30/03 - Stuart... if I reduce the graphics card HW acceleration to notch 3 as you suggest there, I get the message that the capturing device is not available and I have to push it back to 6 to be able to use the device. I already installed the fix for DivX 9.0b PAL problem, did not help. The only mode that works is the lowest (default resolution), which is unusable for archiving. > think I have fixed this crashing problem on my system yesterday. My new PC obtained in Sept 2003 is similar spec to yours - really flash, and should edit video well. Except I have Ge4Ti4200 graphics, XP Pro. My previous PC never once crashed MM2/1 and I had grown to love MM as the best video editing software on my PC (and I have them all)... Why turn off hardware acceleration? I couldnt go with that advice, when I had such an expensive graphics card. My MM2 seemed to crash every time i used it, and most often whilst I was dragging a thumb of a clip onto the timeline. So I guessed a new way of fixing it : Control Panel... System... Advanced tab... Performance 'Settings' button... Visual Effects tab... TURN OFF Show window contents while dragging. FIXED! Great I'm happy. My suggestion to you is to leave Hardware acceleration at full speed, but turn off all or some of the visual effects. I only had to turn one off. I also hope Microsoft people take note that they have a bug in Win XP Pro. My old PC was XP Home, Ge4MX440,P3 1000Hz, and never once crashed MM2 or 1.

    3/7/03 - ookpic - I do have to switch back to play games. Games won't even start with the setting at 3. Not a problem really as no reboot is required. One thing I did notice though. If you switch slider to #3, then back to full to play a game, you may require a reboot to get away from a purple hue on Mpeg movies. May just be my setup though and only if you want to view the movie at full accel.


    Other Comments about Crashes and Hangs...

    12/23/09 email ...Zoombrowser & Windows Movie Maker crashing in Vista with avi editing. I downloaded Zoombrowser 6.3.1 which has updates for avi editing. It worked. Both Zb and WMM now work! Why I don't know !

    Corel's DVD Copy 6

    (December 08) I did a tech support session with someone who had installed Corel's DVD Copy 6 and then found his MM2.1 crashing when starting up. Most of the error info in the event viewer pointed to the Windows kernel. I found nothing wrong with his setup and uninstalling the sofware returned Movie Maker to normal.

    As a check, I downloaded and installed Corel's 30 day free trial of DVD Copy 6 and experienced the same issue with my MM2.1. Renaming all .ax and .dll files in the apps folders didn't resolve it, so I uninstalled the software.

    Voxware Audio Codecs

    (April 07) Voxware audio codecs have been involved in a number of crashing apps, including Movie Maker in Vista when trying to publish a movie.

    The suggestions in posts are about doing a registry change, which probably has the same result as renaming the codec. I don't have the codec name(s), but consider your Voxware codec(s) as being a suspect if you use the codec(s) and have crashes.

    Add Another User Account

    A number of users have added another User Account, switched to it, and found that Movie Maker doesn't crash in that one.

    Tweak Your Direct X Settings - 1/13/04 email - I had the same problem, as have many other frustrated MM2 users, with MM2 crashing with no info., no warning, randomly. None of the suggestions on your web site helped. My son and I started to muck around the 'puter and did this to cure the problem: Start > Programs > Accessories > System Information > Tools > Direct X Diagnostic Tool > More Help > Override. In the box that opens select Default. My 'puter was set to Override Value with 60 in the box. After selecting Default, I had no MM2 crashes and it ran perfectly stable. I hope this helps the innumerable users having trouble with MM2 crashing.

    (Note: I'm waiting to hear from others who find that this resolves MM2 issues. In a follow-up email about what might have changed the setting from 'Default', it appears it may have been an installation of Dazzle Fusion.)

    Error Message 'No LOC needed - Autolayout placeholder string'

    5/24/04 email - the Save Movie to computer window was odd looking and had a message 'No LOC needed - Autolayout placeholder string' and choosing Other Settings resulted in an MM2 crash. > A followup email said it was resolved by installing the Windows Media Encoder....

    10/11/06 forum thread - another instance of the error message was resolved the same way - see this 'why this Movie maker 2.0 crashes.. plz urgent' thread.

    9/23/06 forum post - WMM crashed every time it started it and none of the tips found here solved the problem. Had been using it for some time so something had changed. Realized one of the clips imported had an illegal file name - it contained a comma and other odd characters (downloaded from the internet). Could't remove it from the collection as the program crashed before it could be deleted.

    Eventually deleted the collection database (see Managing > Collections)... MEDIATAB1.DAT file.... all the clips disappeared, including the one with the illegal name and Movie Maker then worked fine.

    Another user reported success doing this also... in a followup post of 10/18/06. You might try this, or rename the file so you can restore it if it doesn't solve the problem.


    Internet Explorer 7

    IE7 was released in late Oct 2006... posts to newsgroups and forums are fairly regular in reports of Movie Maker 2 crashing immediately after opening after the upgrade, and reverting back to IE6 resolves it. I'm not going to list all the posts, just a few of the earliest ones.

    I'll be adding the workarounds and resolutions as they emerge. My installation of IE7 on my laptop didn't effect Movie Maker or anything else.

    Crash info from event reports point to qedit.dll, but the module wasn't changed with the IE7 install... I'm still watching for other clues.

    1/27/07 newsgroup post... I finally found out how to fix it with IE7. I went to Tools > Options > unchecked the codec ffdshow

    10/30/06 - 3 newsgroup posts...

    ... updated to IE7 and found Movie Maker giving an error report now... was working OK before because I was working on a home movie.... uninstalled IE7 - still nothing - did a System restore to before I installed IE7 and it sorted it - all working again... then reinstalled IE7 and you have guesed it MOVIE MAKER DOES NOT WORK!! ... also tried it on my laptop and the same thing happens????

    I HAVE WINDOWS MEDIA CENTER 2005... GET THE SAME PROBLEM, AND IT IS CAUSED BY IE7... BEFORE INSTALL OF IE7 NO ERROR - AFTER INSTALL OF IE7 WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER 2.1 GETS A EXCEPTION ERROR SHORTLY AFTER LAUNCH... UNINSTALL IE7 AND THE ERROR IS GONE... CAN REPRODUCE THIS MICROSOFT BUG %100 OF THE TIME... OPTED TO LEAVE IE7 UNINSTALLED BECAUSE I USE WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER...

    ... had the same problem and had installed IE7. WMM wouldnt work. Tried everything and then finally after removing IE7 off the computer, WMM worked again for me. IE7 affected another one of my software programs, HP Director for my HP Printer/scanner. Now both WMM and the software for the HP Printer both work. There is some kind of bug in IE7 that affects onboard software... had downloaded IE7 from a Yahoo email link to me. Not going to download IE7 until it gets fixed.

    10/28/06 - forum post... Movie Maker started producing the error... failure with qedit.dll mentioned in the Error Report. It was working fine up until the moment I installed IE7. I tried all the remedies mentioned here to no avail. When I UNINSTALLED IE7 and REVERTED TO IE6 - all was well again !?!

    10/23/06 - forum post... Yesterday I upgraded to IE7. Prior to that movie maker has worked fine. Today it crashes no matter what. I really don't want to get rid of the IE 7 unless there are no other options > I went ahead and uninstalled IE7. Will put it back when a fix becomes available. > The error it gave was with qedit.dll. Tried renaming it and all that. It would work fine and then I got another qedit.dll and then the problem would start all over again. I did a lot of googling to find possible fixes. There were others with the same issues, but no one had a solution.

    10/21/06 newsgroup posts... from a couple early adopters of IE7 which was just released:

    I installed Explorer 7 and now my windows movie maker crashes 2 seconds after I open up the program. I get the error that says Window Movie Maker has encountered a problem and needs to close!

    I installed IE7 yesterday and Windows says it encountered a problem whenever I open MM2.1. I have an OEM version of XPpro with SP2. I can still control a camcorder and view video but if I try to drag video onto the timeline it will not accept it. When I uninstall IE7 the problems disappear.


    9/4/07 forum post... IE7 newly installed and I had installed Intervideo WinDVD Creator a year ago. Apparently with these two programs installed, along with WMM, there is some sort of compatibility problem. I uninstalled Intervideo WinDVD Creator and WMM is working again.