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Why do I receive a "General Error" message when playing clips with RealPlayer?

Symptom

You might receive a "General Error" message when using RealPlayer if the clip you are playing is unavailable or damaged, or if you have a damaged installation of RealPlayer.

Solutions

To correct this problem, verify that the error occurs with all clips and that you have a correctly installed sound card with the proper sound drivers. It may be necessary to remove and reinstall RealPlayer.

Solution 1: Determine whether the problem is with the file or with your system.

To rule out a problem with the file itself, try playing sample sound files:

  1. Connect to the internet.
  2. Open http://service.real.com/realplayer/test/in your web browser.
  3. Click the links that match your connection speed.
    Note:
    Dial-up modem users should choose the 28 K or 56 K links.

If the sample sound files play, the problem may be with the specific file you were trying to play.

You will also receive a "General Error" message if the file you are attempting to play is on a network drive that is not connected.

Try re-recording (or re-downloading) the clip to correct this problem.

If the sample sound files do not play, the problem is most likely with the sound card drivers on your computer or your RealPlayer.

Solution 2: Update older sound card drivers.

RealPlayer is designed to take advantage of the latest advances in driver technology. Older drivers can cause unexpected errors.

If the installed driver is more than six months old, it may not be compatible with RealPlayer. Update the sound card driver on your system. Driver updates are usually available for free download from manufacturers' web sites. The drivers are usually updated every few months. After installing the drivers, restart your computer so the configuration changes take effect.

If updating your sound card drivers does not fix the problem, you may need to completely remove RealPlayer from your system. (You can reinstall it later.)

Solution 3: Remove and reinstall RealPlayer.

If the problem appears to be caused by damaged RealPlayer application files, removing and then reinstalling RealPlayer can resolve these problems.