AVI or MPG doesn't work and links are "relative"


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If you are certain that your links are "relative" and they work on one system, but not another, it could be that there is a simple setting causing an internal conflict in PowerPoint and the Viewer. Try the following:

Open PowerPoint and open the presentation file from your CD. Select the slide that contains the movie. Double click on the movie. If an error message appears that says "Mmsystem 296: The file cannot be played on specified mci device, may be corrupt or not in correct format.", the following Knowledge Base article will correct the problem:

PSS ID Number: Q178307
Article last modified on 04-18-2001

The information in this article applies to:

- Microsoft PowerPoint 97 for Windows

For a Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 version of this article, see Q291898.

For a Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 version of this article, see Q212406.

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.


When you attempt to play a Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) or audio- video interleaved (AVI) video clip in Microsoft PowerPoint, you receive the following error message:

Mmsystem 296: The file cannot be played on specified mci device, may be corrupt or not in correct format.


This problem occurs because PowerPoint cannot play some AVI and MPEG files if the file is associated with ActiveMovie.


To resolve this problem, re-associate the AVI or MPEG file type with Media Player. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Select a file of the type (AVI or MPEG) for which you want to change the association.

2. Hold down SHIFT and right-click the file. Click Open With on the shortcut menu.

3. Click Mplayer in the Open With dialog box. Click to select the "Always use this program to open this type of file" check box.

4. Click OK.

ActiveMovie may have added a registry entry that re-associates files with ActiveMovie when you restart Microsoft Windows. If the entry is present, remove it. To remove the ActiveMovie startup item from the registry, follow these steps.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it. If you are running Windows NT, you should also update your Emergency Repair Disk (ERD).

1. Click Start, and then click Run. Type "regedit" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.

2. In the left pane of Registry Editor, open the following subkey (folder):


3. In the right pane, look for the following ActiveMovie entry:

Name Data
--------------------------- ---------------------
ActiveMovie File Extensions "ActMovie.exe /Check"

4. Select the entry and press DELETE.