Problem playing video on ANY video player

March 27, 2011 at 18:23:52
Specs: Windows 7, 2.3 GHz, 4gigs ram
Hi every one. I have had this problem with my computer for several months: Whenever I play video, the computer (an HP G71 with Windows 7) behaves like it has a huge memory leak. It does this when I play video on any player (youtube, windows media player, VLC player). It starts after I play video from 1 to 5 minutes. It starts by getting somewhat jerky, and the audio gets these weird intermittent "clicks". If I stop the video then, the problem goes away and the computer works fine. But if I let it keep playing, then the video plays at about 1 frame every 10 seconds, and the whole computer (not just the program playing the video) becomes unresponsive. (It doesn't crash; it just gets to where it interprets commands verrrry slowly.)

If I let it go to where the computer becomes unresponsive, when I restart, it often still has "remnants" of the problem after restart. After a few restarts, the computer is back to normal...

I've tried rolling back the audio drivers, and I also reinstalled the video drivers.

Here are the results: I rolled the audio driver to a more primitive driver, and that helped a little, but didn't come near to solving the problem (and it made the audio sound like crap).

I installed Microsoft's "Silverlight" at one point. Before I had done this, Windows Media Player couldn't play audio without the "memory leak" issue, but after I installed it, media player can play audio without any trouble. It still can't play video.

And most importantly, I reinstalled the video card drivers for my laptop, and the video worked GREAT for a while. Probably an hour (I tested it on youtube and windows media player). But then the problem started again, and it went back to where it can only play for about 5 minutes before getting the memory leak problem.

Any help is GREEEAAAATLY appreciated. Even simple suggestions on what MIGHT be wrong.

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March 30, 2011 at 01:49:08
You refer to a "memory leak" problem. What makes you think you have a memory leak? Memory leaks occur when you close a program and it fails to release all the memory that was previously allocated to it. If you, indeed, had a problem with memory leak, you'd see the whole computer slowing down, not just choppy video playback.

More likely, you have too much running in the background, slowing down the computer. Open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, and count how many processes are running. My computer has 19, and five of those are related to my anti-virus. You can't expect good performance from a bogged-down computer.

Are you talking about online videos, or does it happen with videos that are on the hard drive? Online videos can give jerky playback (stopping and starting) of both audio and video (a buffering issue). The problem is more noticeable when you have a slow internet connection, but can be also be caused by a heavy load (too many users) on the servers (where the video is being hosted).

Please let us know if you found someone's advice to be helpful.

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March 30, 2011 at 08:32:41

Thanks for the reply.

-When the problem starts, it does indeed slow down the whole computer. In fact, it slows down so much that every thing runs incredily slow, every thing runs slow from programs to even the right click menu.

-I don't have too many programs running: I try to keep that to a minimum just out of habit.

-It's a problem that affects all videos on all video players, so I know it's not just an "online video buffering" problem.

This problem all starting happening when I downloaded a video (Ernie Els golf instruction) and tried to play it on Windows Media Player. It got all choppy all the sudden, and the whole computer slowed down, and I immeiately suspected I had a virus. I did multiple scans with multiple utilities and didn't find anything. I've done these scans multiple times, each time with updated definitions, and they always come up clean.

I'm convinced it must be something with the drivers because of the "better performance at least for a while" when I upated the driver for my video card, but I don't know much about that type of thing, which is why I'm here.

Again, any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks again!

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March 31, 2011 at 12:39:57
Thanks for coming back with more information. Now that we've eliminated background processes and buffering as the problems, let's try to pin down the actual cause.

Has this always been a problem, or did it start doing it recently?

Have you tried the DirectX diagnostics (Start>Run, type DXDIAG, click OK)?

What video chipset do you have in the laptop?

Try rolling back the video card driver (do this from device manager) to the original one. Windows Automatic Updates may be updating the driver (Never accept any hardware drivers from Microsoft, they are often as buggy as heck). You might need to change Automatic Updates settings to a more interactive selection, otherwise it could keep happening. If you want an updated driver, download it from the laptop manufacturers website.

When you play a video, try opening Task Manager, and on the processes tab, take note of which process is using the most CPU cycles, and which has the most memory usage. This might provide a hint as to whether or not it's a software problem, and what program/process is the offender.

You could try going into the video card settings, looking for the Hardware Acceleration slider. Try lowering the acceleration. Try the same for the audio hardware acceleration.

Download Memtest, burn to a CD (should be bootable), boot from it and run a full set of tests. With luck, this'll rule out any physical memory (RAM) problems.

Have you scanned for viruses/spyware/trojans? I doubt this is your problem, but if we can eliminate it early, it's one less suspect to be looking at.

Does it make any difference if you change the video size (50% or 25%)?

Please let us know if you found someone's advice to be helpful.

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