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Videos (Youtube or any other sites, video players) won't play on internet browsers

Hi there,

As the title states, I cannot get any videos to play on internet browsers (Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox). You can hear the audio playing, but the video itself is either a black screen or it has a jumpy/chopping looking image (as if the video was stuck there and replays this constantly until the video is over).

Some background information: this is an "old" Dell from 2009 that worked perfectly until I recently gave it to someone about one year ago. They didn't have internet for the past year so there were no Windows updates done (even Windows gets stuck on updating, even when the computer is left on overnight). They recently got internet (using wireless USB device) again and Firefox first started to give them a XPCOM issue. I uninstalled/resinstalled Firefox and have not received that error yet.

The computer will play videos that are saved on the hard drive (had a movie to test) and it had no problems with audio/video. It seems to be strictly related to internet browsers. When I last checked, the internet was 3Mbps for Download/Upload. I don't know if that is too low these days to stream (it never seemed to be an issue before).

Is it best if I reformat the hard drive or even buy a new one at this point?

I realize now that I typed this out the computer is experiencing a few problems, but it all seems centered either through software or internet. I was hoping to get to advice on what might be the best thing to do. Thanks in advance.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. New browsers use hardware acceleration for many tasks, so you might try with the hardware acceleration feature both on and off and see if things improve.

    On the other hand, since nothing is pointing to a hardware issue, I would personally just wipe the permanent storage and reinstall Windows.

    While the 3Mbps downstream internet doesn't make for the best experience when streaming video, it will certainly work, unless you're trying to play high def content.
  2. How do I enable hardware acceleration?

    This will be the third or fourth time I've wiped the hard drive. Do you think it's best I just buy a new one at this point?
  3. Best answer
    Nothing wrong with wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. Just back up anything you need to keep, first, of course. You mentioned that somebody else had the computer for a year. It really only takes somebody 5 - 10 minutes to cause a major ruckus on a computer to the point where the best thing for it is a fresh Windows installation. You can get a new computer (or hard drive, if that's really what you meant) if you want to, or you can reuse the one you have now. Unless you have a hardware problem, or it's no longer able to perform the tasks you need it to, there's nothing wrong with getting it going again.

    Steps to change hardware acceleration are different for each browser, so follow the correct link for the browser you're changing it in:

    Internet Explorer

    Mozilla Firefox

    Google Chrome
  4. Thanks bigpinkdragon286. It solved my Firefox problem on the computer and now videos can be watched normally. :-)
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