MPEG2 Error C00D11B1 in Windows Media Player

My three-year-old abuses to heck out of our family’s DVD collection. After he handles them a few times, they won’t play. The disks are covered in yogurt, fingerprints, apple juice and who knows what else. Anyway, the poor lasers in the players don’t stand a chance against him. I frequently have to wash the DVDs with soap and water to clean them before he can watch them. Many are also accumulating scratches and it is only a matter of time before they will be unusable.

As a result, I have decided to download as many of his favorites as I can into my computer for him to watch. This will allow us to watch a copy of the disk and reduce the abuse to which they are subjected. I also am doing this because the wife and I are considering purchasing an XBOX 360 for the kids’ big Christmas gift. With the XBOX, they can watch the movies on my computer—via the Windows Media Center—on their television. (I wired the house for computers and the eventual purchase of the XBOX last year.)

As an experiment, I ripped a few DVDs using the Roxio Easy Media software. I selected the MPEG2 format. I tried to play the resulting files with Windows Media Player and got an error.

The same file plays fine using Media Center and several other software applications in my computer. I was determined to find a solution. Media Player has never been able to play an MPEG file from any source on my Vista computer.

I started at the beginning. Did I have the proper codec to play this file format? I thought so but my research found that support for MPEG files is only partially supported natively by Microsoft. They support MPEG1 but not MPEG2. MPEG2 is the format used on DVDs and requires a third party solution. I downloaded and installed the software at a cost of about $15. As I found out later, I already had the codec and this was a waste of money.

I searched on the Roxio support forum and found a thread that seemed to hold some promise.

There were all sorts of great sounding ideas. These included codec diagnostic programs, quotes allegedly from Microsoft TechNet and purchasing new codec packages. None of these worked.
I tried the Microsoft website and found a thread on error C00D11B1.

This tread starts out poorly with a bunch of BS about Samsung software for cell phones causing this problem and then goes on to suggest changes to settings in Media Player and even registry hacks. My experience with this is that it is nonsense, not troubleshooting. However, on the fourth page of this thread you get to the payoff. Buried in the bottom one post you will find the following nugget:

Anyway, while i was typing that essay, i found a solution! I simply download that codec pack, and everything worked perfectly. It installs another media player called Windows Media Player Classic, but i checked, and the files work using the regular media player too.

The codecs on this page are free. I tried the full package and took most of the default settings. However, I kept the MPEG2 codecs that I already purchased and told the install program to replace my DIVX codecs, and on the bottom of the second screen, I checked to box to create a setpoint before installing.

As I was researching this problem, I had seen many comments that blamed newer DIVX codecs as the likely cause of the problem. Strictly speaking I know that trying two different repairs at once is not proper troubleshooting technique but by the time I got to this point in the process I wanted results and a good night’s sleep. The bottom line is that it worked.

I hope my experience will save others some heartache. Happy computing.