Questionable video codecs; how do I get rid of them and what ones do I need?
June 17, 2006 6:56 AM   Subscribe

I have installed a questionable codec pack. Now video doesn't work correctly and I can't burn DVDs. How do I remove the codecs that I installed and what codecs should I be using?

I installed "Ace Mega Codecs Pack (Every Video Codec You Will Ever Need)" against my better judgment (alcohol was involved) and now I can't seem to burn DVDs. Also Windows Media Player doesn't want to play any of the movies that I have saying that I don't have the right codec installed when I've played them before on this machine.

So, how do I get these dang'd codecs off my machine without removing the basic ones that I need.

Where do I get the basic ones if I do end up removing them in this process?

Is there a comprehensive list of what I do and do not need based upon my current needs? I just want to be able to burn edit and burn movies to DVD.
posted by Botunda to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
System Restore might work.

Then again, it might do nothing at all, or break everything horribly. is a pretty good source for video stuff that works.
posted by flabdablet at 7:03 AM on June 17, 2006

This program will tell you which codecs you require for any given video file and where to download them.
posted by fire&wings at 8:02 AM on June 17, 2006

Relax, most likely the programs that now seem broken are just a bit confused. Chances are good that the codecs they were using have been removed, renamed or replaced with an unexpected version. This isn't too much of a problem, but happens because many "mega/ultra" type codec packs often take a shotgun approach to installing codecs. Instead of taking inventory of what's already installed and offering you chances to pick and choose codecs to replace or freshly install, some packs simply blast what you've got and replace them (you didn't just blindly click "next" during the install, did you?). Also, some packs are much better than others (KL mega codec pack, for instance).

In addition to the problems your codec install created, you probably ended up with a number of good codecs you didn't have before. This is good. Don't despair.

In general, to rectify the problem you can reinstall the applications that seem to be affected. Reinstalling these applications typically also reinstalls the codec they were using - while leaving the other codecs you've added alone. Of course, if they don't - simply email the support team of the applications and ask for the names and verisons of the codecs used by their product, where you can get installable packages for them, and where the program expects the codecs to be (some have special instructions, most don't). Good luck!
posted by terpia at 10:05 AM on June 17, 2006

Like I said, alcohol was involved when I was installing them so yeah, I just let the shotgun approach fly.

But I have taken comfort in your words.
(you didn't just blindly click "next" during the install, did you?).
@Fire&Wings - Thanks! I think that is exactly what I need!
posted by Botunda at 11:29 AM on June 17, 2006

I use Defiler Pack and it's been recommended before.
posted by borkencode at 11:53 AM on June 17, 2006

I started using ZoomPlayer not because I like tinkering, but because inMatrix provides excellent up-to-date info on codecs and configuration(I also don't like VLC's interface nearly as much). Their Media set-up guide is pretty comprehensive in my experience. At the end is a blurb on how to wipe all your previous codecs for a clean start. I've done this before and the instructions are reliable.
posted by a_green_man at 12:42 PM on June 17, 2006

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