The vast majority of the problems reported with movies and PowerPoint can be linked to one of the following:
The presentation and the movie were moved from the original folder and the link between them broken.
The machine in use has a corrupt or outdated copy of DirectX.
The multimedia settings on the machine are incorrect.
The movies won't display on a projection screen.
CODEC compatibility problems
Happens all the time. You go to show the presentation and find the links are broken. One of the files was moved and you didn't notice, or the files weren't in the same folder before you linked them.
Guess what? If you don't want to do all the re-creation of the links beforehand, there are two automated solutions.
FixLinksPro, from Steve Rindsberg The demo version is free. The demo won't fix the movie links, only tell which links are broken. The full product will actually fix the links.
PowerLink , from Sonia Coleman and Aladat The demo version is free. PowerLink checks all links within a presentation, fixes broken ones, moves the files to a new folder and tells which links it fixed. The program runs free for two presentations then costs to register.
To fix the links by hand, copy each file to the directory with the presentation, delete the old link, create the new link and reset any animations.
DirectX is one of the pickiest pieces of software I have ever used. Because it relies on common Windows components to work, it breaks when any other program breaks one of those components . In addition, Microsoft frequently puts out new versions of DirectX. So what can you do?
Regularly check the DirectX site for newer versions. If I even suspect there is a problem with running my movies, I download the latest version.
DirectX home page:
DirectX download page:
Much like the problems other programs cause for DirectX, other programs on a computer can affect the multimedia settings.
The most common problem is some other media player has taken over for or corrupted mplay32.exe, the MCI player PowerPoint uses. The best way to find out if this is what is happening is to search for mplay32.exe and see if it has been changed more recently than the other files in its folder. If so, you probably want to restore it to a real copy by bringing it back in from backup.
Another common cause is conflicts with RealPlayer software. If using any kind of multimedia in PowerPoint, do not install RealPlayer, if avoidable. RealPlayer and PowerPoint do not get along well.
This problem often occurs on laptops due to their video capacity. Some laptops do not have the computing power to allow movies to be displayed in more than one place at a time. Things may need to be set up so the presentation is only showing on the projection screen and not on the laptop display.
Another fix is to go to the display settings and look for the ability to change which monitor is in use, either Primary or Secondary monitor. The appearance of the controls are dependent on the drivers installed for the monitor, so everyone's can be different.
If monitors are switched via the display properties, the audience can watch the movies on the projection screen while you are running the presentation and you will see an empty black box on the laptop screen.
You have used the PowerPoint multiple monitor setup to have the presentation run on the secondary screen. You run the presentation for the audience and it works great. Now, you go back to your desk and bring the presentation up to do some more work with it. It works fine until test it. You hit play and the presentation disappears.
What happened was that you forgot to change the presentation back to be viewed from the primary monitor instead of the secondary. Escape out of the presentation, go back to the multiple monitor setup and change to Primary. When you run the presentation again, it will show on your screen.