A Little Problem Editing WMV (And solution)

Filed in Miscellaneous by on March 19, 2014

Disclaimer: Jim cannot fix your computer; Jim is sharing a solution he found to a problem that popped up on campus. If Jim’s solution does not work for your computer, Jim is probably not the right person to contact.

Hi folks,

Quick post, in case anyone out there is still suffering from a problem that cropped up last year; I ran across it on some machines here on campus just recently!

The problem pretty much goes like this:
“I’m trying to edit a wmv file but half of the screen is black”

wmvFixThe fix?
If you are up-to-date on Windows updates and are having this problem, then you (or your system administrator) needs to uninstall the update for kb2803821. It would have been installed sometime around 7/9/2013. Uninstall it, run Windows Update, and re-install it. Done!

And if you don’t see the update when you scan, you might need to click the “Check online for updates from Microsoft Update” option. Again, if all of this is locked down by policy, ask a system administrator for a hand.

So what happened there, anyways?

The difficulty arose last July when Microsoft released an update to address a vulnerability in some of the core Windows Media Player components. Pretty much all 3rd party video editing software started exhibiting this “half black screen” problem.

Microsoft actually fixed the problem later last summer with a second patch, but they somewhat confusingly re-issued the same windows update as an update. It seems that in a decent number of cases, this “update to the update” didn’t manage to get itself installed, and so the problem still pops up from time to time.

Anyways, if you’re editing wmv files (maybe time to change to another format?) and this pops up, I hope the bit above helps! If not…well, I’m not a Microsoft employee–sorry! But you can provide feedback about this issue at the kb article here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2803821

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