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Windows Live Movie Maker and Movie Maker 2.6 are the easiest to install, as they are available as downloadable packages from Microsoft. I'll cover them in page 1 of this article.
MM1, MM2.1 and MM6 are integral parts of XP or Vista operating systems. Copying them to a Windows 7 system and making them work takes some techie dexterity, more than the average user has or should attempt. Once working, users can find themselves tripping over conflicting versions if they have more than one or two. Page 2 of this article tells you how to install them but for tech support you would best lean on someone close by.
I downloaded and installed Windows Live Movie Maker and MM2.6, using default settings. For the others, I copied the Movie Maker folders, subfolders and files from my XP-MCE (Media Center Edition) and Vista Home Basic laptops. They opened and some features worked. I then registered the DLLs which shifted them into higher gears, letting me import files, make projects and save or publish movies.
I didn't experience any crashes. Starting with a clean slate in Windows 7, I ended with five installed and working versions of Windows Movie Maker. Let's go through them one at a time.
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Windows Live Movie Maker
This one is the future of Windows Movie Maker, fine for those just starting to use Windows Movie Maker and not yet having used the classic versions. It's for Vista and Windows 7, not XP. See this article and series for more info.
Those with a background of using previous versions or other video making software might find the new version woefully lacking in features.
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Windows Movie Maker 2.6
Some Vista users had issues with Movie Maker because of their graphics card. To help them, Microsoft stripped down version 2.1, the flagship latest version of Movie Maker in XP, and produced version 2.6. It's a free download from Microsoft and the installation works in Windows 7 in addition to Vista. Here's the link to get it.
Windows Live Movie Maker and MM2.6 don't conflict. Download and use both.
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Now that you're past the easy ones....
You could get by fine with WLMM and MM2.6. But if you want or need more, continue to page 2 and setup MM1, MM2.1 and MM6.
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Windows Movie Maker 1
Some users may be too young to remember this first version of Movie Maker, one without special effects and transitions. It was included in Windows Me and the first release of XP. It's possible I'm the only one still routinely using it.
It's not available as a download, but you can take a thumb drive to one of your computers with an earlier XP system, go to the Movie Maker program folder and copy these 4 files to a folder of your choice in Windows 7.
- moviemk.exe (rename it to something like moviemk1.exe so it doesn't conflict with the MM2 version file with the same name.
- 3 DLLs: wmmfilt.dll, wmmres.dll, and wmmutil.dll. Only the wmmfilt.dll needs to be registered.
It'll work but not handle video clips until you register wmmfilt.dll.
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Movie Maker 2.1
I'll skip over MM2.0 in XP and go to version MM2.1, released in 2004 and still the latest version. It's the classic XP version that supports all kinds of 3rd party and user tweaks for video effects, transitions and title overlays.
Take your thumb drive to your computer running XP SP2 or later, go to the Movie Maker program folder and copy it with its sub-folders. Then put it in a folder of your choice in Windows 7.
It'll work but as with MM1 not have all features until you register some DLLs: wmm2ae.dll, wmm2dvr.dll (if you have it), wmm2ext.dll, wmm2filt.dll, wmm2fxa.dll, and wmm2fxb.dll.
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Movie Maker 6.0
Movie Maker 6.0 is the version of Movie Maker in all versions of Vista. I copied the folder with it's sub-folders from my Vista Home Basic laptop.
For this version, you should register wmm2ae.dll, wmm2clip.dll, wmm2ext.dll, wmm2filt.dll, Pipeline.dll, and VideoMediaHandler.dll.
Copying files and registering DLLs in Windows 7 can get a bit tricky as you need admin privileges.... if you're not confident in what you're doing, seek help or don't do it.
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Where to from here?
Yes, you can have these versions of Movie Maker working in Windows 7... but will they work without conflicting with each other or other software? Will all the features really work? Some of the conflicts are due to users not knowing how the software works or not being techie enough to handle things such as registering DLLs and resolving such issues as codec conflicts as they arise. As Microsoft doesn't support the use of classic Movie Maker versions in Windows 7, any needed tech support will be from user community forums and websites... and close-by family and friends.
With the single exception of bringing Windows 7 to its knees when trying to capture analog video with a Dazzle 80 device, I have yet to experience a hang or crash with any of the versions of Movie Maker running on it.... and the overall buzz from others who are also trying them has been positive.
I'm still studying how classic versions of Movie Maker work in Windows 7, and learning about the features of Windows Live Movie Maker. The learning is never-ending.
About Photo Story 3. If you still have it and it's working in Windows 7, enjoy!! If you lost it or never had it, it's time to switch to other slide-show software. Microsoft isn't supporting it in Windows 7.
5 Versions of Windows Movie Maker Running On Windows 7
Starting with a clean slate, an operating system with no version of Windows Movie Maker included, I have 5 versions installed and running. This series explores how Movie Maker works in this operating system.