Windows Movie Maker CD project failed burn?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader John L. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I recently used Windows Movie Maker to create a video compilation. When I was finished editing the project, I clicked the 'send to CD' button, which then launched a Movie Maker Wizard. The wizard took me step by step and explained how to convert my project into a Windows Media Audio/Video file and ultimately burn it to CD. I chose to burn the file to CD-R so that I could play it in my DVD player; however, near the end of the burn, Windows Media Maker reported that the project "did not save successfully". After I clicked OK, I was able to access the 'failed' movie disc via My Computer and play the video; yet, when I put the disc into my DVD player, it won't recognize the disc. What could possibly be causing this error? Could it be that Service Pack 2 messed up my computer? "

My response:

OK -- first things first: you need to find out why the CD didn't burn successfully. Even though you were able to play part of the video on your PC, you will most likely experience a 'quirk' when viewing the video at some point. After you successfully burn a CD, you can then try and play it in your DVD player (more on that further down the page).

If I had to guess why the burn failed, I would suggest one of the following:

  • The video file was too large to burn to CD. This is not likely, since Movie Maker probably checks the compilation size before burning it to CD.
  • There is a bug in Movie Maker and caused the burn to fail. This is very probable.
  • Your CD recorder isn't compatible with movie maker. This is not likely, as most CD burning applications will report burner compatibility problems well before you're even allowed to burn the CD; thus, a compatibility problem should not cause the record to fail near the end of a burn, unless there's a bug in the application.
  • The CD media isn't compatible with your burner or there is a flaw in the CD media. This is very probable; inspect the media for imperfections and / or try another media brand.
  • You have a file system error on your hard drive and it has caused the burn to fail. This is highly likely, as data is read from the hard drive to the CD; if data is corrupt, this will cause a burn to fail. To check for file system errors: go to My Computer, right click C drive, select Properties; go to Tools tab, and then choose "scan for errors"; choose File System Errors and apply.
  • There is a hardware error with your CD burner. Try burning another disc using another CD burning application to see if you can replicate the error message.
  • RE: I can play the CD in the computer but not on the DVD player. What can be wrong?

    If the CD reported not being burnt successfully, then you should not expect to be able to play it in your DVD player. Also note that some CD media types / brands (especially CD-Rewriteable) may not be compatible with your DVD player. But most importantly, Windows Media Audio / Video is most likely not supported by your DVD player.

    RE: Converting Windows Media Video (.WMV) to another Format

    To see if your DVD player will play .WMV files, you will need to consult your DVD manual. Most DVDs can play mpeg-1 or mpeg-2 video, which happen to be the standards used for Video CD or Super Video CD format.

    If you want to use Movie Maker to create your compilations but then burn them into VCD or SVCD format, you can use Movie Shrink and Burn to convert your .WMV files into another format. It's been a while since I used Windows Movie maker, but as far as I know, it does not export to VCD and SVCD standards. Based on my previous experience, searching for a .WMV converter is next to impossible -- which is why Ashampoo Shrink and Burn is such a versatile program.

    RE: Could XP Service Pack 2 caused Movie Maker to fail?

    This is possible, especially if:

    a) you've just upgraded to Service Pack 2, and

    b) you installed Service Pack 2 over top of your current Windows installation (I.E.: you did not install Service Pack 2 onto a fresh install of Windows).

    As I've stated in the newsletter before: strange things can happen to your PC if you apply Service Pack 2 to an existing Windows installation and *if* your Windows Registry has been compromised. A 'messed up' registry isn't always obvious and can be the result of installing / removing programs, a Spyware attack (even if "removed" from your registry), a virus attack, and many other possibilities. Hint: even if a program has been removed from your system, it may not have been removed properly from the Registry.

    If you suspect this to be the case and have exhausted all other suggestions (above), your best bet would be to backup your important files, format your hard drive, reinstall Windows XP, and then apply Service Pack 2 to your system (or create a slipstream CD and have SP2 + XP installed at the same time).

    My Service Pack 2 install guide covers all of this, including: backup, format, install XP + apply SP2 / install slipstream, file restoration, and much, much more.

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