Wednesday, May 02, 2012

How to fix error 80004003 in Windows Live Movie Maker

Error 80004003
A number of people have been reporting corruption issues (error 80004003) when trying to reopen a Windows Live Movie Maker project. It happens after a person has made changes to a WLMM project then he/she tries to reopen the project. WLMM displays an error (80004003) saying that it is unable to open the file.

Sorry, Movie Maker can't open this project file. The file might not be compatible with Windows Live Movie Maker or be corrupted.

If you are willing to wait, Microsoft will fix a corrupted file for you and if you aren't very technically savvy, that's what I would suggest.  Completely follow the instructions at that link, especially the last step where you submit a private request for support on this issue.

This post is for anyone that wants to know what is happening behind the scenes, or that wants to try to fix the problem on their own.  It requires some PC knowledge.

The first step is to make a copy of the file so you aren't working with the original. You do this by copying the file in Windows Explorer then pasting it back into the same folder with a new name.  You'll want to use the copy, not the original. Right-click on the copy of the project file and choose 'Open With' and pick the Notepad application.  The file is text in the form of XML tags.  It's just a hierarchical mark-up similar to HTML.

Scroll to the bottom of the file to find a <BoundPlaceHolders> section. It says that the "Text" section has an extentID of 4. Looking just above that you should see a section that starts with <ExtentSelector ExtentID="4" which lists all the added titles and captions by number. Make a note of all these because you'll need them later.  You might want to select and print just this section, or paste that list into another window so you can refer back to it.

Now search further up for each section starting with <TitleClip. Ignore any sections that have a complete section between the <Effects> and </Effects> tags. Eventually you'll hit a few that just have <Effects/> (an empty Effects section).

Check if that ExtentID is in the list of ExtentIDs in the Text section from before (the ones you made a note of). If it isn't you can ignore this, but if you find that it has an empty Effects section *and* it is listed in that block of text ExtentIDs, that's a problem.

The quickest fix is to then go to the ExtentIDs section and remove that problem ExtentID.  It will remove that one problem caption and that will usually fix it, so you might be able to stop here. However, you should check all <TitleClip sections to be sure. After removing any problem ExtentIDs, you can save the file.

You should now be able to open the project in Movie Maker just like before. You may need to recheck your captions and add back any that were removed, but at least you won't have a completely corrupted project.

As a final step, I'd recommend downloading the latest version of Movie Maker to avoid corruption in the future.  That won't fix broken projects, but at least it will stop you from having this problem going forward.

It's really not all that magical and can be done easily, if you are careful and only work in a copy.

Edit: Since posting this, I've seen other corruptions unrelated to the captions. The newest corruption will still let you open the project, but you'll see nothing in the storyboard project area. Whenever I have encountered this, the cause was a VideoClip that had a start point after the ending point. You can fix this by setting the start point back to zero for any clips that are set incorrectly. Again, always work in a copy, not the original.

48 comments:

  1. I have a suggestion for your next add-on to try to make available to us. The rumble effect. Makes it seem as if the video is shaking by zooming in just enough not to cause any unwanted black space, then quickly moves the video randomly. It would be similar to the video effects used for when an explosion goes off.

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    1. While off topic of this post, I appreciate the feedback. I don't usually take requests for effects or transitions, so I can't give any guarantees on whether this may or may not happen. In the meantime, check the pinned post of WMM6 custom add-ons. I'd take a look at 'Earthquake' and 'PIP Bass, Bump and Wobble'

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  2. hiii. i tried this stuff but i guess its beyond me. i can't really wait for the windos ppl to fix it up coz its a video for my friend who's leaving for US this week. can you plz fix it for me?
    https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=C0C4EB5AF27B496D!185

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  3. I can't guarantee that this (fixed file) will fix all the problems, but at least you should be able to open it. It looks like several of the captions at the end were lost, perhaps. Also, I'm not sure if the project settings are correct.

    But you still might want to try asking Microsoft for support to see if they can recover more.

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    1. omg! YES! i could open it. thankyouuuu so muchhh! ur my saviour! thankssss :)

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  4. Hello, I'm writing from Barcelona, Spain. I have a "error 80004003" and I followed your instructions to fix it but I don't know why it doesn't work. Of course I've contacted the help center from Microsoft but no answer yet. Another thing is that I have the Windows Movie Maker version 15.4.3555.0308. I have 3 projects to give to a NGO for a non profit event and I really need to fix it. Can you help me please???
    Kind regards, Damaris. (damarisbun@yahoo.com)

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    1. Don't worry, you'll get a response from Microsoft. They will fix your file within 24-48 hours.

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  5. Error 80004003 on Windows Live Movie Maker Version 15.4.3555.0308: An Alternate Fix

    I recently experienced error 80004003. After Microsoft told me they couldn't fix the corruption when I was literally 10 seconds away from clicking [Save Movie], I began looking for other ways to fix my project. I tried what this page said and opened the project as wordpad only to find a blank wordpad starring me in the face.
    If fixing you corrupted project proves difficult, here is another way to fix it on Windows Live Movie Maker (worked for me.) Also heed this page and make a copy of the project before attempting to fix a corruption (with any method) in case things go badly.

    1)Select [Open Project]
    2)Right-click on the corrupted file.
    3)Select [Properties]
    4)Select [Previous Versions]
    5)Select the most recent version before the corruption.
    6) By selecting [Open], [Copy], or [Restore], you should have a non-corrupted, albeit possibly unfinished version of your project to work with.

    Please not that I've only tried [Restore] so I'm not sure if the other 2 options work. I've never experienced this error on earlier WMM's, but I see no reason this shouldn't work as well.

    Just for fun: The project I was making was 12 minutes in length. By restoring a previous version, I lost 30 seconds and 1 caption (far better than starting over.)

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  6. I also had the some issue with a project that I was working on. What I did was scan through my project and looked for the tags listed in my I simply removed then entire entry starting with

    2. Goto the section ExtentID's and remove the entry line that you found the error in.

    Good to Go ...

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Certainly removing the offending caption works too. I left the option of trying to fix the caption, but you can always just recreate it in WLMM.

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  7. https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=3A5BE31E0C5D5501!107&authkey=!AIoZdNt2xLKAEwU

    i really need this fixed and skydrive isnt fixing it fast it enough. can you fix it? Its for a school project and i need to give it to my teacher as soon as possible

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    1. That project file opens fine in Movie Maker. There isn't any problem with it. However, you need to make sure you have all the same source files. It looks like the project file is referencing video files and/or pictures on a network drive. Are you trying to edit a movie that you started at school? You can't just transfer a project file (.wlmp) and make it work. You need all the associated video and photos. It would be like trying to bake a cake with just a recipe and no ingredients.

      If you have the source files, but they are somewhere else on your hard disk, you can double-click on a yellow triangle and Find the actual location of the file. Otherwise you'll need to edit the project on the same computer where you started it.

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  8. Hi, i've post a question on the microsoft community forum.

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-pictures/wlmm-problems-hopeless/4e79cc3d-fd9e-48b4-8278-adb6e0dc8694

    My problem is not difficult to explain; i was using win essentials 2011 wlmm, i was looking for more edit effects, so downloaded essentials 2012. Continued working on the file, when ready to render it in HD the trouble started. Found out a lot of people have this problem with the 2012 version. So... I've reïnstalled the 2011 version, but... it wouldn't open the files anymore. Although it has the same extension; .wlmp
    the response on the forum sad it is not backworths compatible.
    The answer i got, is not very helpfull. Is there a better option?
    Thanks

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    1. This is slightly off topic, but I'll answer anyway. Yes, the project file format gets updated when you save in Movie Maker 2012. Internally, if you open the .wlmp in Notepad, you'll see that the project number changes from 65538 to 65540. I've not tried this, but see if you can simply change the number back to the earlier number and then open it in WLMM 2011.

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    2. thanks, but that didn't work. Guess ive got to start all over again. thanks anyway

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    3. Sorry to hear that. I guess the format is too different to work with a simple version change. I hope Microsoft finds a good fix for the issues people are having with MM2012.

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  9. This post is for those that want to try to fix a corrupted file themselves. If you aren't comfortable with doing that, please request support from Microsoft directly rather than asking me. I'm now providing the information or the link, but I can't fix files directly anymore.

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  10. Dear Blaine,

    Thank you. You save my day. Previously, your explanation was just too alien to me. But somne how I manage to understand, and problem solve. And all my hardwork remain intact. Thank you again and happy new year.

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  11. I got the same problm, and i am not tech savvy can u please fix it for me
    here is the link of my skydrive
    https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=A290BA8B9F796E45!149

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Please submit a request to Microsoft to have your file fixed. I'm no longer able to fix each file that is sent to me. You can either do it yourself following the steps above, or use the link provided to submit your file for repair.

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  12. Hey Blaine, you saved my ass. Thanks for the info. Oh! And my mum wants to thank you too! Good work.

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  13. Blaine, Thank you for this fix! Sure beat having to wait around for the folks at Microsoft to get to it! Your fix worked like a champ!

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  14. Hey Blaine, I see your not fixing files any longer, and I can appreciate that. Seeing as you seem to know whats going on with this problem I can believe you get bombarded with "help me" requests.

    My file suddenly wouldn't open any longer after 19 hours of working on the project. I have tried the Windows Support team, that turned out to be a muddled mess but at the end they said they couldn't repair the project, and closed my support ticket! Nice....

    I am no computer sciences major, but I am pretty determined. The problem I am having with your solution listed above is it's coming across a little Greek to me, any way you have a video of you performing such a repair on a video posting site like FaceTube or similar? I know a lot of people (including myself) learn from watching better than reading. You could restore some faith in humanity by doing this, plus the added benefit you could make some $$ from monetizing your video!

    Thanks again for being an internet compatriot, and if you feel bored and want to take a crack at my doozy of a corruption, feel free:

    http://sdrv.ms/19Q717z

    Cheers!

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    1. Your issue was a little different. It wasn't a corrupted text caption, it was a corrupted video clip. For some reason one clip was repeated twice and it had its start time after the end time.

      To fix this, create a copy of your rally.wlmp file. Right-click on the copy and choose 'Open With' and choose Notepad. Go down to the end and delete the following lines:

      <ExtentRef id="286" />
      <ExtentRef id="285" />

      Save the file and the copy should now open.

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  15. HOLY FREOLIES!!!!!

    How did you do that!!!???

    Blaine, why has Microsoft not snatched you up and paid you bags of $$$$ yet? Incredible!

    I am glad I was able to provide you with a challenge.

    Can I pay it back somehow by linking to your website from my Youtube Channel and my site? I would love to tell the world of your skillz.

    Also, do you mind if I take you blurb above and throw it at my Support Ticket to rub it in?

    So going forward I am saving my file every 30 minutes or so, but I am not just clicking "save". I am using "save as" each time and adding a date & time stamp to the file name to prevent this from happening to me again.

    It is quite sad actually. WLMM is actually a fairly good program, I find it very fast when your on a roll. But I am really seeing the bugs come out of it as I am pushing it's limits. And the fact that MS hasn't fixed this in over a year is the saddest part.

    Blaine, you are a scholar and a gentleman and I thank you!

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    1. Glad to help and feel free to pass the info on to support. As for credit, sure, a link to Blaine's Movie Maker Blog would be nice.

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  16. Hi Blaine,

    Unfortunately I am facing the same problem. I worked on this project for 48 hours and just when I was saving it for the last time, it started giving me the "windows media can't open this file". I already have submitted the request to Microsoft but no response yet. Its a birthday surprise for my husband tomorrow and I really don't understand how to fix it. I tried following your instructions above but it seems difficult to me. Can you please please please help me a little to fix this problem.? I really do appreciate that.

    Hamna

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  17. Hi Blaine, I messaged you yesterday already. I have tried your trick as discussed above and did find an error that I corrected, but the program still won't open. I also sent it via Skydrive to Microsoft, but I haven't heard back yet. I also spent several hours on the phone with tech support. I would be more than happy to pay you to fix the file for me. It is invaluable to me. Please please please help me-- I would be forever grateful.
    https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=25BBC7C9724F4FA6%21110

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    1. @JennyD, Title 279 was the problem. After removing it, the project can be opened again. Here's the file for download:
      Martha 60th Tribute (Fixed).

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  18. Blaine!! I am literally in tears right now. Thank you so, so much! Please let me know how I can compensate you for your time. You have really saved me. THANK YOU!!!!!

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    1. You could do one thing for me... I need some people to try out our annual Christmas puzzle and give some feedback on whether the instructions are clear enough, if it is fun to solve and if you are able to figure out the answer (and view the secret video). Other than that, no remuneration is necessary; hope your movie turns out as you expect and everyone enjoys it.

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  19. Hi Blaine. My name is Bente Kristin Johansen and I have the same problem as Jenny, and I have tried a lot of solution without being able to solve it. I've also uploaded to Sky Drive - sending a request, waited 24 hours, but they have not answered yet. I've done this three times now. Now I tried your solution, but I'm not able to find something wrong - so I quess I'm doing it wrong when looking in notepad. Could you please help me? I will compensate for the job, of course. My file: Kristine Sofie Valborg Karlsen is uploaded to Public Skydrive: https://skydrive.live.com/?mkt=nb-NO#cid=8175B1E462BF62BD&id=8175B1E462BF62BD%21110 and my e-mail adress is: bkri-jo@online.no ... the file si big - but I will compensate you... so please, please, please. Best regards from Bente Kristin Johansen

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    1. One of the captions had gotten corrupted. I have uploaded a fixed version of your project file:
      Fixed project file

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    2. Oh my God!!! I'm muted... speechless... I am so GRATEFUL Blaine... this project I've been working on almost 6 hours every day for 4 1/2 month... and I've tried everything suggested on the support forums and so on... nothing worked and nobody could help me... and here you are... fixing it just like that!! You are an Earth Angel... maybe you find that term strange... but You Are... THANKYOU!!! You must let me pay you. Please let me compensate you. I wish I could give you a BIG HUG... but I'm sending you one instead.Thankyou Precious Soul... whereever you are ... Thankyou ... Blessings and Light and Best Wishes to you. Thankyou.

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  20. Thank you so much for this! It worked perfectly!

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  21. Okay, Blaine, I fixed it! I'm so happy it's ridiculous.
    I'm very stubborn so after commenting here I kept trying things and touching the code and thinking if it was probably a particular line causing the problem.
    And that was the case! Turned out to be line:

    Holy Mary... Such a specific thing!
    Thanks anyway for opening my eyes to this type of fixes!! You rock!

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  22. Hello Blaine,

    here's Annika from Germany. Like the others I have a problem with my Windows Live Movie Maker File. I cannot open it anymore and the programm says it's error 800400.

    I allready contacted Microsoft twice but they did not reply, as well I tried to fix the problem with the help of your homepage but I could not solve the problem so far. I guess there's something wrong with a video file...

    Would you be so kind and have a look at my file?
    It would mean very very much to me. Right now I am staying away from home and edit videos for my friends and family to report about my stay in a foreign country. This video took me ages and I hope that it can be fixed!

    Thanks a lot so far!

    Annika

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  23. Hi Blaine,

    My name is Laura, I tried to fix my file but it didn't work. This assignment is worth 30% of my final mark and due tomorrow please, please try to fix it. I will be eternally grateful! https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=83242C94FBE0BAEE%21589
    thank you so much!

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    1. Laura, I'm sorry I didn't see your comment sooner. I've uploaded a fixed version Documentary2 (Fixed).wlmp. I hope you got an extension and this still helps. The problem was two clips had a negative duration (in point was after the end point). I took the second half of the clip. Hopefully that is correct. If not, at least you can edit it again now.

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  24. help - i need this fixed for a birthday party tomorrow :(
    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=ADE7599CF8EF3C0%21179


    please help... koullka@hotmail.com

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    1. There were a couple corrupted captions. Try this fixed file: evvie (Fixed).wlmp.

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  25. Blaine,
    Thank you so much, I thought all hope was lost and that I'd have to recreate the video from scratch to edit it.

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  26. Woohoo I fixed my file thanks to your blog! I had a problem with Movie Maker were I split a clip where everything goes white after the split. I made the mistake of saving the fit after I made split it and I try to open the file again and it won't open properly. So I went through the ExtentRef id= tags and started deleting one that weren't in sequence. It took me a little bit but I finally got it to open. Thanks dude your blog saved my 5+ hours of work! =)

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  27. Hello Blaine,

    I made caption on this short video. But it is not working after i closed it and reopened. the problem is subtitle is working just fine, but the video is not.
    Id like to ask little help please!
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mpusty8p9pyqv7j/%D0%90%D0%B3%D1%83%D1%83%20%D0%B8%D0%BB%D1%82%D0%B3%D1%8D%D0%BB.wlmp?dl=0

    Thanks much, M

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    1. That project file is not corrupted. It opens correctly and shows a storyboard/project area. First check the zoom slider in the lower right corner. You probably want to have that set all the way to the right to see as much of your video as possible. Next, make sure you still have the file on your computer. When I hover over the clip, it says it is looking for Desktop/MJ/The Greatest Speech Ever Made.mp4. Movie Maker needs that file to still be around in order to complete your project.

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    2. Correction, the video is in C:\Desktop\MJ\True Classics

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