What can I do if I upgrade to Windows XP SP2 and Windows Movie Maker 2.1 is not installed successfully?

[EDIT - 06/28/05: Added information of extra folder location in Step 6 below]


Well first of all you should check to see whether Windows Movie Maker 2.1 is properly installed.

To determine this we need to do the following:

·         Go to the folder where Windows Movie Maker is normally installed

·         Check to see if the Movie Maker program files are there

·         Make sure that the program files have the correct version number


To do this, perform the following steps.

1.      Click Start, and then click My Computer.

2.      In My Computer, navigate to the following folder <SystemDrive>:\Program Files\Movie Maker, where SystemDrive is the drive letter on which the Windows XP operating system is installed.

3.      To display the version number of the files in this folder, click the View menu and then select Tiles. You should see the following files and they should all show the version 2.1.4026.0:

·         moviemk.exe

·         Wmm2ae.dll

·         Wmm2eres.dll

·         Wmm2ext.dll

·         Wmm2filt.dll

·         Wmm2fxa.dll

·         Wmm2fxb.dll

·         Wmm2res2.dll

·         Wmm2res.dll


Here’s what it looks likes on my machine.



If any of the files above are missing or do not have the file version number 2.1.4026.0, then Movie Maker is not properly installed on your system.

If everything thing is OK then just double-click moviemk.exe and it should launch.


If you have a problem, what do you do next?

Well the easiest thing to try first is to reinstall Windows XP SP2. You can download Windows XP SP2 and manually install it from the following location.



After reinstalling Windows XP SP2, Windows Movie Maker 2.1 should hopefully be installed correctly. If you still have problems, you can then try to manually install the Windows Movie Maker system files.


To manually install Windows Movie Maker 2.1 system files

1.      If you’re like me then you probably haven’t made a backup of your data files in a while, so here’s a friendly reminder to do just that.

2.      After doing a backup, use System Restore to create a restore point.

A restore point will let you restore your computer to this point if you encounter problems or if reinstalling Windows Movie Maker 2.1 system files is not successful.

To create a restore point

1.      Click Start, and then click Help and Support.

2.      One of the options that should appear is “Undo changes to your computer with System Restore”. Click this link.

3.      Select Create a restore point, click Next, type a name for the restore point, and then click Create.

4.      Restart Microsoft Windows XP.

5.      Before the Windows XP startup screen appears, press F8, select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.

6.      Open My Computer, and then go to and open the folder <SystemDrive>:\Windows\System32\dllcache.

Note: Normally you can’t see the dllcache folder as it is hidden but if you type it into the Address bar and click Enter it should appear.

[EDIT: On some systems you may find these files in <SystemDrive:>\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\]

7.      Hold down CTRL, and select the following files:

·         moviemk.exe

·         Wmm2ae.dll

·         Wmm2eres.dll

·         Wmm2ext.dll

·         Wmm2filt.dll

·         Wmm2fxa.dll

·         Wmm2fxb.dll

·         Wmm2res2.dll

·         Wmm2res.dll

8.      On the Edit menu, click Copy.

9.      Go to the folder <SystemDrive>:\Program Files\Movie Maker.

10.  On the Edit menu, click Paste.

11.  In the Confirm File Replace dialog box, click Yes to All to paste the current Windows Movie Maker 2.1 system files into this location.

12.  Restart Microsoft Windows XP.


To manually register the Windows Movie Maker 2.1 system files

13.  Open My Computer, and open the folder <SystemDrive>:\Program Files\Movie Maker.

14.  On the File menu, point to New, and then click Shortcut.

15.  To create a shortcut to the Registry Server, in the Create Shortcut Wizard, click Browse, click <SystemDrive>:\Windows\System32\Regsvr32.exe, and then click OK.

16.  Click Next, type a name for this shortcut, and then click Finish.

17.  Hold down the CTRL key, and then click the following files:

·         Wmm2ae.dll

·         Wmm2ext.dll

·         Wmm2filt.dll

·         Wmm2fxa.dll

·         Wmm2fxb.dll

18.  Click and drag the files to the shortcut to the Registry Server.

19.  Each time the RegSvr32 dialog box appears, click OK.


To register the Windows Movie Maker executable file

1.      Click Start, click Run, and then type cmd to open a Command Prompt Window.

At the command prompt, type cd <SystemDrive>:\Program Files\Movie Maker, and then press ENTER.

For example, if the Windows XP operating system was installed on your C: drive, you would type the following:

cd C:\Program Files\Movie Maker

2.      To register the Windows Movie Maker executable file, type moviemk.exe /regserver, and then press ENTER.

If the Windows Movie Maker executable file is registered correctly, you will receive no feedback and the <SystemDrive>:\Program Files\Movie Maker command prompt will still appear.

If the file is not registered correctly, an error message will appear or Windows Movie Maker will start.

3.      To close the Command Prompt Window, type exit, and then press ENTER:

After manually copying the Windows Movie Maker 2.1 system files, verify that the correct version of Microsoft DirectX—DirectX 9.0c—is installed on your computer.

To verify that the correct version of Microsoft DirectX is installed on your computer

1.      Click Start, click Run, and then type dxdiag to open the Microsoft DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

2.      On the System tab, in the System Information area, verify that the DirectX Version is DirectX 9.0c.

3.      Click Exit to close the Microsoft DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

If DirectX 9.0c is not installed on your computer, download and then install it on your computer. You can download Microsoft DirectX 9.0c from the Microsoft Download Center.

Phew! That was fun. After all that, try to start Movie Maker and if all things are well it should start. If you have any problems, please feel free to send me a message by posting a comment here, or clicking the Contact option on the left.

Comments (16)
  1. Nektar says:

    What I do not understand is why you have removed Movie Maker from the download center. Previously you could download Movie Maker 2.0 from the download center or from the Windows Media website. If Movie Maker 2.1 was also available for download it would have solved many issue. Why should I have to download a 270 SP2 file in order to get Movie Maker? And do not tell me Movie Maker is like Internet Explorer and is so integrated with the operating system.

  2. Dean Rowe says:

    One of the reasons we pulled MovieMaker 2.0 from the Microsoft download site was that you could run into problems if you tried to install MovieMaker 2.0 when you already had MovieMaker 2.1 installed with SP2. As the MovieMaker 2.0 setup was written before SP2 existed it doesn’t know to not try to overwrite 2.1.

    The other main reason is that MovieMaker uses various system components especially the Windows Media SDK and Direct Show. It would have been a lot more work to test it with the various different combinations of all the components on an SP1 system. As we want to make sure we release something that has gone through a lot of testing and we feel is reliable, we focused testing on SP2.

    I know this isn’t ideal for everyone but if you ever look at the MovieMaker newsgroups there are still other sites that offer MovieMaker 2.0 for download for those folks that have a reason not to upgrade to SP2.

  3. Larry says:

    Having same problem as above. I checked all of the files and All EXEPT "moviemk" show the new version but that file still shows 2.0 Any Ideas?


  4. Dean Rowe says:

    If you right click the MovieMk.exe file in explorer, select Properties, and click the version tab, what does it say for file version?



  5. typhoon says:

    I am in charge a a small computer editing lab at out schools tv studio and we use Movie Maker 2.1, Premie 6.5, Videowave 4,5, Imovie (On mac os 10.2.8) and Final cut pro. I was wondering though, why does Movie maker rarley get updated. Version 1 came out way back in Windows ME days then 1.1 came out a while later then 2.0 in Jan of 04 and 2.1 in Nov 04. My quesion is why is there a full year gap between 2.0 and 2.1? Why cant you guys just release verions every couple of months. I mean from 2.0 to 2.1 there were like no new transitions, no new effects no new nothing except for codec control and Gpedit. It seems like if almost a year goes by there should be a pretty good amount of new material.

    I do like that the program is real time editing though.

  6. Dean Rowe says:

    I’m glad you like the fact that we do everything in realtime. There are a lot of factors which go into when we make a release of Movie Maker. First of all we want to make sure that we release a high quality version of MovieMaker that has gone through thorough testing. There is a lot of work our test team does, to make this happen, including testing MovieMaker when some of the components we use change. So although I don’t think you’ll ever see us release something every two months (I don’t think most people would want updates that frequently anyway), hopefully we can get more consistent updates out in the future.

  7. Ron says:

    Thanks for this page, I checked that all files were the correct ones. But I did find remenant

    older version dll and help manual in another

    folder, so the overwrite could not be too clean. Every time I open WMM2.1, a pop-up appears and says program will have to close.

    But if you leave the pop-up there, you can import and view ect, but soon as you drag something down to the time line it freezes?


  8. Dean Rowe says:

    If it crashes then if you can send me the bucket number of the crash I can try to find out what’s going on.

    To get the crash bucket number:

    1. Use Movie Maker to generate the crash. When you are prompted, click

    the button to send the data to Microsoft.

    2. Immediately after sending the data, go to "Control Panel" |

    "Administrative tools" | "Event viewer".

    3. In Event viewer, choose the "Application" node of the tree on the


    4. Sort the data by "Date", and scroll to the most recent


    5. Look for entries where the "Type" is "error" and have red "X"

    icons. Double click on them to "open" them.

    6. One of the last (most recent) red entries should be for MovieMaker

    and have a "bucket number" in the description field

  9. R Hawkins says:

    Movie maker stopping saving the movie to hard disk at 99% with 10 seconds left.

  10. Dean Rowe says:

    If you’ve checked that you have the right version of all the DLL’s then the next step I would take is to see if you can turn off any of the filters in the compatibility tab. See this blog entry for further details.


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