MPEG video error causes lock-ups, sometimes automatic re-boot!

While playing certain downloaded video clips(.mpg and .avi), my PC will lock up, freeze and sometimes spontaneously restart. What I find odd about this situation is that not all videos cause the malady. I use the current version of MS's media player. ALL of my video drivers are current and are from reputable sources. I've recently had my PC serviced. My RAM is good and my video board is operating to manufacturer specs. Most of the time when my PC crashes while I'm viewing a video clip, a blue screen is displayed prompting me to press any button to go back to my desktop. When I do, Media player is no longer functional, forcing a re-boot.
 So what is it folks?
  Incorrect bios settings?
 I'm a newby when it comes to proper configuration of my motherboard and internal settings. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. No suggestion will be ignored.
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tetzyAuthor Commented:
 I'm running a P2 350 with 128 megs of SDRAM.
Patricia Siu-Lai HoCommented:
tetzy, use Dr Watson to test if your graphic is OKay for Directdraw and DirectX.

Go to Start-run, type "msinfo32" without quotation in the open box, OK to open the system information. At the Tools, drag down to select the DrWatson. An icon appear at the systray near the clock. Click it to test if any significant problems shown.

If you have installed the Win98SE and having the DirectX 6.0 or over, try to run the DirectX diagnosis at the system configuration-Tool. Run the tests for Directdraw,Direct Sound etc.

Check any findings about the source of problem.    pslh
Have you tried opening Media Player, going to View / Options / and then adjusting the Hardware Acceleration ?

You may want to adjust it back a little and see if it performs without lockups.

Your Video card also plays a vital part in video playback performance. What brand / Ram is it ?

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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
WindowsUpdate delivered a fix to DirectX version 6.0 as well as DirectX 7.0; both of which can resolve.  Then, as pslh recommended (after DirectX is updated with fixes), run the DirectX diagnostics from

start - run - msinfo32 - tools

This helped us when we had the identical problem just last week.
tetzyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input guys! Unfortunately, like I mentioned, the problem occurs only with certain downloads. I'm going to see what I can find to trigger the problem, try your suggestions, then get back to you.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Reboot your system in SAFE MODE and check for/advise any duplicates or erroneous entries.  Sometimes there are conflicts and/or duplicate entries which exist and cause conflicts not visible in normal mode, but seen in SAFE MODE.  Should that be the case, delete all occurrences in safe mode.  Advise.  
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Hi, Tetzy.  

Please tell us your progress and if you've tried these things and any pertinent results.  Windows98 has had many new updates and fixes using WindowsUpdate, in addition to what has already been posted to help.

tetzyAuthor Commented:
Sorry about the delay folks! Holidays are upon us and I've been run non-stop!
 Unfortunately, the problem is still there. I've tried ALL of your suggestions to no avail.
 Something new: I've noticed now that colder weather is present, the problem has become less prominant. Could my problem be caused by my PC overheating?
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Absolutely yes.  Especially when playing movies, which is very computer-intensive calculation activity.  On a 233Mhz box, we have two internal fans.  Also dust and build up may add to the cooling problem by lack of ventilation.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Also, a friend whose computer was overclocked had intermittent problems not only when trying to play videos, but even when running installation processes that are computer-intensive.  This segment in explanation of that.

Your computer is over-clocked. Extracting files from the Windows 95/98 cabinet files is memory intensive. If your computer is over-clocked beyond the default settings, it can contribute to decoding errors. Computers that are not over-clocked but are having a cooling problem can also experience decoding errors.

or ...
Your computer has bad or mismatched RAM or cache. For example, you are using EDO and non-EDO RAM, or you are using different RAM speeds. Even if Windows seems to be running without problems, the additional stress of extracting files and accessing the disk may contribute to decoding errors.

Your computer has Bus Mastering or Ultra DMA enabled in the BIOS and in Device Manager. The data may be moving too quickly for the system to keep up.

You are using a third-party memory manager.

There is a virus on your computer.

A plug and play device cannot be detected correctly.

Your Windows 95/98 CD-ROM or disks are damaged.

Your computer's CPU is overheating as a result of faulty CMOS settngs, a malfunctioning CPU fan, or improper heat dissipation. For example, the heat sink on the CPU is not correctly cooling the CPU.

The internal or external cache on the processor or main board is going bad. This is most noticeable when Setup has this problem during file copy phase.


This link on decoding errors may help.

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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Thank you.
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