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Sleepy
30-09-2005, 08:02 PM
Hi my friends having problems playing movies on his computer, i've had a look at it and can't figure it out. Its a Pentium 3 733MHz, 256RAM, 20GB+120GB Hard Drive, Running XP Pro, 32MB Onboard Video. The movies flicker, and sound lags behind. Currently using the K-Lite Pack, tried different codecs ffdshow/xvid/vobsub but no luck, its the same for different players windows media player/winamp and VLC.

I thought it might have been the video card, but since PCI video cards are expensive. He's got a Geforce 4 Ti4200 lying around, but the motherboard hasn't got an AGP port. I've looked on trademe and picked one up for $40 (although haven't picked it up yet). Is it worth upgrading the RAM and CPU ?
to 512MB? currently have a spare 256 stick around somewhere, so would just need 1 stick ($50), and maybe a 1GHz CPU ($65)? i mean would he notice the difference?

He uses the computer for net surfing, office documents, adobe products (photoshop), macromedia (fireworks etc..), and watching movies. And can't afford to do a full upgrade, and get new motherboard/cpu/ram.

So am i correct in thiniking that the graphics card would make a big difference? And well would there be much point upgrading the RAM/CPU to make doing his work a bit faster? I mean is there much difference going from 733MHz - 1GHz, 256RAM - 512RAM.

Thanks.

Myth
30-09-2005, 08:32 PM
If you have a spare stick of RAM lying around, I would be inclined to throw that in, up the BIOS video limit to 64MB and see if that fixes the issue.
CPU may make minor difference, but RAM will make the most noticeable.

I also assume you have turned off all the frilly graphics features of XP to increase its performance on a borderline specced machine (for XP anyway)

Sleepy
30-09-2005, 08:55 PM
If you have a spare stick of RAM lying around, I would be inclined to throw that in, up the BIOS video limit to 64MB and see if that fixes the issue.
CPU may make minor difference, but RAM will make the most noticeable.

I also assume you have turned off all the frilly graphics features of XP to increase its performance on a borderline specced machine (for XP anyway)

Yeh well i didn't think of that, could use that as a temporary situation until pick up the other motherboard. Yeah well i have a 256MB stick, so would that make a difference? going from 256MB to 384MB? Yep its been set to classic windows style, with best performance options.

Freejack
30-09-2005, 09:10 PM
Is it all video files or only certain formats? Do the videos play ok to start with and get progressively worse? Try disabling absolutely everything possible (start with AV!) and make sure as little as possible is running.

I'm not sure but I'd suspect that 733MHz is a little on the low side for xvid and divx formats.

Sleepy
30-09-2005, 09:22 PM
Is it all video files or only certain formats? Do the videos play ok to start with and get progressively worse? Try disabling absolutely everything possible (start with AV!) and make sure as little as possible is running.

I'm not sure but I'd suspect that 733MHz is a little on the low side for xvid and divx formats.

Yep both avi's and mpg's didn't try wmv's although. I assume they'd be all the same, well avi's are the main ones. Nope they just start worse right from the beginning, what do you mean disable everything? he has avg, daemon tools, gmail notifier, turned them off and same result. Would spyware/adware/virus, could this cause the problem? or is it just the crap onboard?

Trev
30-09-2005, 11:29 PM
More ram at least 512mb well help. Windows XP need at least 256 to run properly. Useing the Geforce 4 4200 well help as well.

Trevor :)

Chilling_Silence
01-10-2005, 01:49 AM
You will be able to play a DVD/mp4 file with no problems on a WinXP 733Mhz with only 128MB Ram! Ive done it. While it may need quite a lot to run 'properly', it will still play video files with less.

My suggestion is that it may be the Codec pack thats making it throw in the towel. Try using VideoLAN Client (vlc) from http://www.videolan.org

While an AGP card is a nice idea, it will be money wasted, as any Graphics card will work fine on a PC of that specs. 4MB+ Onboard would do it, so the 32 you have is ample.

What other apps are running? Best suggestion is to look up "Halo Tuning tips". There was a big roar a while back on tuning your PC to make the most out of halo and many include some basic but good 'housekeeping' tips for your PC to help it run smoothly.

Regardless, ditch the codec pack, please...!

Sleepy
01-10-2005, 05:23 PM
You will be able to play a DVD/mp4 file with no problems on a WinXP 733Mhz with only 128MB Ram! Ive done it. While it may need quite a lot to run 'properly', it will still play video files with less.

My suggestion is that it may be the Codec pack thats making it throw in the towel. Try using VideoLAN Client (vlc) from http://www.videolan.org

While an AGP card is a nice idea, it will be money wasted, as any Graphics card will work fine on a PC of that specs. 4MB+ Onboard would do it, so the 32 you have is ample.

What other apps are running? Best suggestion is to look up "Halo Tuning tips". There was a big roar a while back on tuning your PC to make the most out of halo and many include some basic but good 'housekeeping' tips for your PC to help it run smoothly.

Regardless, ditch the codec pack, please...!

Yep i did try VLC, without the klite codec pack, used fddshow,vobsub, but when i opened movies in them, they were blank? And well he already has an AGP card (GF4ti4200), so i don't know couldn't figure it out get the movies to work. Other apps running are just gmail notifier, daemon tools and avg. I mean i have a celeron 433 with winxp, and that plays movies fine, so i'm not sure what that means. Yep well i'll try the Halo Tuning tips, are they from this forum? Oh just one more question, does VLC need codecs? or does it use its own?

drcspy
01-10-2005, 06:21 PM
if you are gonna change th emobo if you are VERY lucky you wont have to repair install the xp installation............otherwise when you put the new mobo in and fire it up on the pre-existing windows installation it'll throw a big hissy fit and most likely blue screen cause of the major change in chipset /hardware etc.........

Battleneter
01-10-2005, 06:26 PM
Yep i did try VLC, without the klite codec pack, used fddshow,vobsub, but when i opened movies in them, they were blank? And well he already has an AGP card (GF4ti4200), so i don't know couldn't figure it out get the movies to work. Other apps running are just gmail notifier, daemon tools and avg. I mean i have a celeron 433 with winxp, and that plays movies fine, so i'm not sure what that means. Yep well i'll try the Halo Tuning tips, are they from this forum? Oh just one more question, does VLC need codecs? or does it use its own?


I would be nearly 100% sure its a codec problem (although the ram is worth eliminating first). Even though you are adding and removing codecs, they don't always seem to remove as indicated. Knowing others as well as myself go through similar experiences in the past, I would suggest a few things.

1. Consider a fresh Windows re-install, probably quicker than piddling around for the next 5 days, before you become annoyed enough and do it anyway..

2. Don't install any of the codec packs (nemo,K-lite etc), no no no!, at best out of date codecs and or with spyware etc.
3. Install latest versions of FFDshow,Vosub and Power DVD, this is all you need. Some say just Xvid, but I am not a fan (its up to you).


Your hardware specs are nearly identical to the Xbox which plays movies fine as you probably know. Ive played movies fine on much lower specs.

Sounds like its nukeing time!

Battleneter
01-10-2005, 06:30 PM
More ram at least 512mb well help. Windows XP need at least 256 to run properly. Useing the Geforce 4 4200 well help as well.

Trevor :)

Windows XP will generally play AVI's DVD movies fine on 256MB, depending a bit on other processes that may be running.

Although, XP is a complete pig in general on 256MB, I can't emotionally deal with that configuration.

Sleepy
01-10-2005, 08:29 PM
if you are gonna change th emobo if you are VERY lucky you wont have to repair install the xp installation............otherwise when you put the new mobo in and fire it up on the pre-existing windows installation it'll throw a big hissy fit and most likely blue screen cause of the major change in chipset /hardware etc.........

Oh damn i never thought of that, if i did a repair install, would it keep all the programmes etc.. all installed? or would i need to reinstall everything? :waughh:

drcspy
01-10-2005, 09:33 PM
NAH sometimes it'll just be a matter of starting in safe mode, which it might, then loadin in the new drivers.......however if it wont even start in safe mode then you'll need to do a repair install ........make damn sure you dont do a clean install.........a repair install will leave all your apps etc and everything alone .........

lazydog
01-10-2005, 10:52 PM
Spyware, adaware?.

For your codecs, download a trial version of Winfast DVD or Power DVD. You keep the codecs when the trial runs out so you can still play them in mediaplayer.

Rob99
02-10-2005, 12:33 AM
Your question: "help movies not playing right....hardware or software?"
The answer: hardware

Chilling_Silence
02-10-2005, 02:20 AM
We can safely say that its NOT a codec problem. VideoLAN Client uses its own codecs (Does in Linux, Im 90% sure it does in Doze also, due to the DVD playback etc).

This leaves me to think it may be an issue with the graphics drivers/settings.

I would be inclined to try another set of driver personally.

Sleepy
02-10-2005, 03:21 AM
well thanks for all your help, hopefully the motherboard/agp card would fix up the problem, even though i'd have to reinstall windows again. If not i'll try updating the drives, but its using windows xp default ones? Is that where the problem could be?

Chilling_Silence
02-10-2005, 08:31 AM
Possibly. Grab the latest from ati.com or nvidia.com and see how you go from there