New Year's Resolutions
the new year on a positive note, how about learning a bit more about what's on your computer
competing for its energies and your attention?
are many posts by those who say they resolved Movie Maker issues by cleaning up adware and spyware.
Maybe they did.
there are more and more people with computers bogging down with adware and spyware, to the point
they can no longer run the apps they used to, or can't run them as well.
explore that a bit... along with a possibly related item, the registration of Movie Maker DLLs.
... before getting into them,
a couple notes about
things going on...
been kind of quiet for the holidays... I'm waiting for a few people to get back to work next
week or so... to take the next steps on a few co-operative projects.
gives me some time to work on my current video-related priority, writing the chapter for the
new book about the world of Virtual Dub.
Adware and Spyware
and spyware have become more of an issue than computer viruses for many people... certainly
more prevalent... and just as serious in terms of performance issues.
a 6 step process to remove the adware/spyware on your computer, using free utilities in addition
to the usual virus protection software. The steps that should be done in sequence.
Ad-Aware from Lavasoft (free for personal use) at
it... the default location is C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-aware 6
starting it, have it check for updates (link in the lower-right). It's like a virus protection
app, needing the most current list of what's out there, a list it calls the reference file.
'Scan now', going with the default to perform a smart in-depth system-scan. I just ran it on
my laptop and checked its log. It reported:
running processes (the Task Manager is reporting 51). Ad-aware provides more info than Task
Manager does about each, including the path to the file. The figure below includes a sample
line item from the Ad-aware log.
tracking cookies... many of which I know about and want to keep. Ad-aware lets you choose which
ones to keep or quarantine.
right mouse click and choose 'Select all objects' to quickly put check marks in all of them.
Then let it quarantine whatever it finds, sometimes hundreds of items. Or review them individually
and decide which to quarantine. If you do them all and later miss something, you can take it
out of quarantine. I left the 31 tracking cookies it reported and quarantined nothing on this
- My laptop recently came back from the shop with a new hard drive, so it hasn't had a chance
to accumulate as much adware and spyware as my desktop... running it now on my desktop shows
230 new objects (68 registry keys, 5 registry values, 156 files and 1 folder). I let Ad-aware
quarantine them all, then repeated the scan to see if anything came back automatically... nothing
Spybot Search and Destroy
Spybot Search and Destroy from
it... the default location is C:\Program Files\Spybot - Search & Destroy
to Ad-aware, update it's reference file first by clicking on Search for Updates.
select 'Check for problems'. Spybot takes a good bit longer to run then Ad-aware.
what it reported on my laptop.
security holes in Internet Explorer
everything as is for this run... on my laptop I'm seeing what these apps report, and fixing
nothing. The computer is my main work machine and I don't trust anything to take over.
Desktop check -
Spybot says there are 65 problems on my desktop.
I'll give it the OK to fix them all.
it fixed 58 of them but 7 couldn't be fixed, perhaps because they were in use. It asked for
permission to run during startup after I rebooted. I gave it the OK, did the reboot and let
it go to work. It fixed one more, but not the remaining 6. Reboot again for another pass...
desktop I'm letting them fix anything they think is a problem. My desktop isn't as critical
to me as my laptop if they are over-zealous in their fixing. And my desktop has had some problems
in recent months that I don't understand... maybe spyware/adware. One of the problems is that
Spybot takes forever to update itself... to the point that I have to shut it down abnormally.
is needed, just run it.
Many of the items shown by HijackThis are needed for your normal activities.
best to use the 'Save log' option at the lower left and email the text in the log to someone
who can review the entries and advise you about which ones need resolution.
Web Search is something so hard to remove that this specialty software was developed.
haven't seen it noted in the first few steps, you don't need to use CWShredder. I don't see
it on either my laptop or desktop.
if you do come across it, you'll need this specialized utility to remove it.
No installation is needed, just run it.
This ends the 4 steps to find and eliminate overly intrusive spyware and adware.
The final two steps are prudent steps to use to supplement these.
to have an updated anit-virus app - usually Norton or MacAfee... do a full scan of your system
to delete any left-over traces of the removed adware/spyware.
system still seems too sluggish, use your Task Manager to see what processes are running.
MM2.1 DLL Registration
easy to check the installed files in the Movie Maker working folder to be sure the right ones
are there. It's a little harder to verify the DLLs are properly registered, something needed
for MM2 to work properly.
many posts indicate there may be some relationship between adware, spyware, and DLL registration,
I'm including this section in the newsletter. I don't know if agressive adware or spyware somehow
unregisters DLLs, or if MM2's DLL's somehow slip out of gear.
some testing to see what effects unregistering DLLs has on Movie Maker performance... and found
some interesting things.
the Problem Solving > MM2 Will Not Install or Run page of the site using MM2.0... reinstalling
it was a fairly easy step as there was a readily available and reasonably sized download file
to use. But with MM2.1 being part of SP2, a hefty 250+ MB download, the right answers for installation
and running issues are different.
the Setup > MM2.1 web page to add file and DLL registration issues, and I'll elaborate a bit
3 of the computers I upgraded to SP2, I see a full set of the over 2000 new files in this folder:
of them are those for Movie Maker 2.1. If you check the Movie Maker working folder and don't
see all the files after upgrading to SP2, it's an easy thing to go to this folder and copy the
For most files it's a matter of having the right
revision. But for some DLLs there's also the need to register them. Sometimes (based on posts
I read) the installation of SP2 doesn't effectively register some of the DLLs, and you need
to register them manually.
I checked each of the 11 DLLs in the working
folder (8 for MM2 and 3 for MM1) to see which ones can be manually registered and unregistered...
there are 6 of them you can toggle on and off.
To register one, use start > Run > copy/paste
one of the entries below and run it. Do them one at a time...
When a DLL is successfully registered your
feedback will look like this:
To unregister a DLL use the same line except
add an 'unregister' switch command to it as follows: regsvr32 /U
What Problems Exist if a DLL Isn't Registered?
I toggled the 6 DLLs on and off for a few days... registering and unregistering them (closing
MM2 each time so the DLLs weren't in use). I did all of them together, some of them in groups,
and each individually... checking Movie Maker to see if I could notice what was different.
Here's what I found:
wmm2filt.dll is a pretty important one. When
it isn't registered - effects and transitions don't preview in the collections, but other
things do. When previewing the timeline, video and text don't show but audio and music play.
None of the DLLs seem to effect audio.
if wmm2fxa.dll isn't registered but wmm2filt.dll
is - things in the collections preview, but previewing the timeline shows video that looks
embossed, and you can't see titles. The picture at the right shows one of the wedding scenes
during a transition when the DLL isn't registered. The embossing carries through the whole
if all 5 of the MM2 DLLs are not registered
- MM2 opens and appears to be functional, but: only 5 of the original effects appear in
the collection (Blur, Grayscale, Mirror Horizontal, Pixilate, Slow Down - Half, Speed Up
- Double) and they don't preview, transitions don't preview, clips of all kinds in your
collections will continue to preview fine, the timeline of a project looks normal but when
you preview it you hear audio and music, but don't see any pictures or video. The text wizard
appears functional but you don't see any text previews and the text clips in the project
don't preview. 3rd party and custom effects and transitions appear in the collections but
if the MM1 DLL wmmfilt.dll isn't registered,
everything in MM2 seems to work OK. And work OK in MM1 also.
Of the 6 DLLs I could toggle on and off, I found
the key to rendering a movie to either a WMV or DV-AVI file is wmm2filt.dll. If I unregister
it, I get the standard error message about not being able to save the movie for ........ any
number of reasons. The message shows up quickly after trying to start the rendering, just long
enough for Movie Maker to check to ensure wmm2filt.dll is available.
Rendering works fine with wmm2filt.dll registered
and all other 5 DLLs not registered. But, how does the saved movie play if only wmm2fxa.dll
is unregistered? The timeline preview looked embossed and you couldn't see titles... would that
carry through into the rendered movie? Yes, it does... it looks kind of neat with all that embossing
- clips, transitions and all. I might use it someday for an easy to implement broad sweeping
effect on a full video. It's easier to turn off the DLL than it is to add the embossing effect
to each clip.
Does unregistering MM1's wmmfilt.dll result in
it not being able to render a movie to either WMV or DV-AVI format? Nope, it continues to render
I'm sure there are other things I missed in my
checking, but these should be enough to give you some understanding of the potential issues...
and what to do about them.
people are reporting issues with MM2.1 that are similar to the issues seen when one or more
DLL isn't registered. Some are reporting that removal of spyware and adware resolved their issues;
others find manually registering the DLLs resolves it. Are spyware, adware and MM2 DLL issues
related? I don't know, but I'm open to something being there, if not directly then indirectly.
there are many adware/spyware apps rolling out to help you manage the situation... some with
more adware/spyware in them than they resolve. I don't try them all. One of son's spent 10 years
in silicon valley doing computer desktop support for various companies.... he came back to Michigan a year ago and has been doing private computer support.
Most of his business lately is from individuals needing to cleanup their computers... bogged
down by adware and spyware. His customers are extremely satisfied with how their computers have
worked since his tune-up... so I interviewed him this week to see how he approaches them.
newsletter is the first documentation of what he does. I've tested each step on two of my computers
to validate the checklist. I started this for my personal notes, but felt the topic is important
enough to share with you.
been adding the DLL registration info to the website but I don't expect to be adding the spyware/adware
Happy New Year!!!
I look forward to comments and discussion about
this and other newsletters on the forums at:
Maker 2 -
Photo Story 2 -
Story 3 - a branch of -
Products and Services
I'm involved in many things that support the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding
more daily. Here's a list of what is available to the public. Some are free and others are
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with
its online companion on
MaximumPC's winter quarterly special - with a 7 page tutorial 'Make a Killer Home Movie
with Maker 2' - now on newsstands in the USA through March 7th.
Movie Maker 2 -
www.papajohn.org - 3 goals:
to help you solve problems, be the online companion to the Do Amazing Things book, and provide
a detailed tutorial for Photo Story 3.
PhotoStory 3 -
www.papajohn.org - see
the menu branch close to the bottom... like the Photo Story 2 site, it's more about
how it works and how to use it, not about how to resolve problems.
Online Support - Forums, Channels and Newsgroups
I'm a regular on many online forums and
newsgroups, the main ones being:
Movie Maker 2 forum at SimplyDV.com
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup at
Photo Story 2 newsgroup
Photo Story 3 newsgroup
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story newsletter. The
annual subscription is $20 and the link to subscribe is on the main page of my Movie
Maker website at:
for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):
#35 - open (I'll post to the forum as
soon as I know)
Older newsletters (more than 6 issues
ago) are archived by Rob Morris
Transition Maker 2
(TM2) - a utility for the ultimate in making personal and custom transitions for Movie
TM2 is a joint effort by Patrick Leabo,
the programmer, and myself.
I routinely beta test the
Pixelan packages and think very highly
of their people and products: Their SpiceFX packages of additional transitions and effects
for Movie Maker 2 are available at:
ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 is available at:
Other fee-based services:
you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail
it to me and I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects for you, and provide detailed instructions
to render the parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 - for details, see the
sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story 2
training and support services start
at $50 per hour - send an email to
I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.
Wedding combo website/video packages
start at $2,500 + travel expenses. See
www.jill-mark.papajohn.org or the bottom branch of my Movie Maker 2 website for
a sample of what you can expect.
About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
||John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn
online. An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and
a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users, John
received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March
2003, he started a comprehensive website about Movie Maker 2 at
He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and
provides support services - all for the community of Movie Maker
2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer database
and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored
the first book about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a
second one. You can find his advice in the
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the
Windows Movie Makers Forums.
newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information
may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides
this information "AS IS" with no warranties.
Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and
Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index