Quick Fix: Windows Movie Maker video card driver issues

Category: Tech Today

Windows Movie Maker
is great for casual video editing with support for popular video formats (including AVCHD movies from Sony NEX cameras). If you hardly work with video but need a simple competent video-editing application, Movie Maker is free for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Microsoft maintains a Windows 7 version of Windows Movie Maker 2012, which can be installed along with other existing Microsoft Live Essentials  applications. However, users might have issues due to outdated video drivers especially if the desktop or laptop has recently undergone a fresh install.




If you get an error message regarding system requirements, follow the steps below:

Note: The steps listed focus on the Lenovo Ideapad Z360 with the 1GB Nvidia Optimus video card, but the solution is similar regardless of machine brand or model.

1. In the Programs and Features window, compare the version of your Intel driver with the list on this Microsoft support page. If your driver version is older, you will have to update your Intel graphics driver.




The Lenovo Ideapad in this example requires two drivers, one from Intel and the other from Nvidia.  The original video drivers which came with the Ideapad and on the driver DVD were at least 3 years older than the driver required by Windows Movie Maker.

2. Visit your manufacturer's support site to install the updated Intel drivers. As an alternative, you can also use Windows Update to install updated Intel graphics drivers. Note that the driver from the manufacturer and the driver recommended by Windows will often not be the same version. You can choose the more updated driver if you prefer.





Note: Windows Update actually does a good job of checking for the latest Intel graphics driver for your operating system. Manufacturers such as Lenovo occasionally neglect to update the latest drivers on their support site especially if the model is pretty old - such as the Lenovo Ideapad Z360.




3. Installing updated Intel drivers is more than enough to run Windows Movie Maker. However, if you are running a Nvidia Optimus card, you may want to install the latest Nvidia drivers. You can download the updated Nvidia Optimus drivers from either the Nvidia support site or again from the manufacturer's site.

Note: When working with a Nvidia Optimus graphics chipset, always install the updated Intel drivers first before the Nvidia graphics driver or you might find yourself with a blank display on reboot. If that happens, boot into Safe Mode using F8 and uninstall the graphics drivers then reinstall them in the correct sequence.



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