How can I prevent video files restarting when entering screensaver in Media Center?

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If I am watching a video file, press stop then wait for the screensaver to kick in, the video file will restart from where it was stopped but the screen will remain blank, i.e. the audio will be playing – annoying.

Although I’m not sure when this started, it has been happening for a while (certainly longer than any system restore points I have) so I’m presuming some update caused this.

Is there anything I can do to stop this, short of a full OS reinstall?

Fully updated Vista Home Premium SP2 with GeForce 7650GS running current WHQL driver.

Edit: Here’s a timeline of what happens:

  • Playing video normally
  • Press stop. Video & audio stop, play menu appears on screen
    [screensaver delay]
  • Screensaver kicks in, video resumes playing automatically but ‘behind’ screensaver

Edit 2: This doesn’t happen with recorded TV, only with playback of other video files.


Is your cursor a non-standard one ?
If yes, try setting it to a normal and simple cursor.

Also, make sure that your system is fully patched (also for optional updates).
And turn off the Media Center screensaver.


The following Microsoft Support article may pertain to the problem:
When you use full-screen mode to watch video in Windows Media Center, the screen saver may start on a Windows Vista-based computer

The workaround is :

  • In Power Options enable the Don’t require a password setting
  • In Screen Saver clear the On resume, display logon screen check box

The article Screensaver of doom offers a 3rd one:

  • Turn off Fast User Switching


Some more ideas:

  • Open Windows Media Player and select
    menu Tools -> Options.
    Check “Allow
    screen saver during playback” under
    the Player tab.
  • Don’t use a screen saver.
    Use instead Control Panel -> Power Options to turn off the monitor and/or sleep.


Since you say that this doesn’t happen with recorded TV, this can be a codec problem.

If you have installed any codecs, singly or in packs, you might try uninstalling and installing another one.

I personally prefer the K-Lite Codec Pack, which also has one of the best installers.


A utility for listing all codecs on the computer is NirSoft’s InstalledCodec :

InstalledCodec is a small utility
displays the list of all Codec drivers
and DirectShow filters currently
installed on your system. For each
component the following information is
displayed: Display Name, Type,
Disabled Status, Installed/Modified
Time, Description, Company Name,
Filename, and more…
It allows
you to easily disable or enable any
Codec/DirectShow component or export
the list into text/xml/html file.

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