written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/22/2010
Here are some ways to troubleshoot the issue if Windows Movie Maker keeps crashing when opening.
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Crash and Burn
Since Windows Movie Maker is a much more simplified version of the non-linear video editing model that has been brought into homes from the film industry with programs like Final Cut Pro, you can hope to bypass some of the problems that tend to occur with these large software packages. Unfortunately, Windows Movie Maker still needs to reference outside media files in your project and has all of the pitfalls that most Windows-based programs do. One of the more common problems that occurs here is that Windows Movie Maker crashes when opening, not allowing you to work at all on your project. Here are a few different ways to try to troubleshoot the issue if Windows Movie Maker crashes when opening.
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There are a set of basic files that can be working to corrupt your non-linear video editing system and causing Windows Movie Maker to crash when opening. If you find that Windows Movie Maker crashes when opening consistently then you should try to identify the following two files:
From here you will want to open up Windows Movie Maker almost immediately, and you may want to try from its base file found at c:\program files\movie maker\moviemk.exe. This can be the simplest way to troubleshoot a repeated crash, but if it continues directly after you delete these two files then it is a much more engrained issue.
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WinDVD has been mentioned repeatedly as a possible cause of Windows Movie Maker crashing when opening, which has not always been determined to be causal or not. If you simply uninstall WinDVD you may find that the problem has been fixed, and try not to reinstall the software at all.
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The Windows 7 update has been connected with so many problems that they are hard to identify, and this is one of the main issues around Windows Movie Maker. Uninstalling Windows 7 and returning to Windows 6 should be the last on the list of items to try, but if you found that Windows Movie Maker started crashing when opening after the update, this is likely going to be your main cause and may not get fully repaired until updates come along to patch it.
Windows Movie Maker will allow you to build on their modest collection of video effects and video transitions by installing others, but it really cannot handle too many. If you are still running Windows XP and you have tried to install more than 100 video effects and transitions then you will find that Windows Movie Maker crashes immediately when opening, without even a chance to modify your project. To troubleshoot this you simply have to uninstall some of your video effects and transitions so as to meet the limit that has been set by the system.