I've been having a problem for well over a year with my media players freezing when I play movies (DVD or otherwise). I use both WMP and VLC and have installed proper codecs. A while ago, I decided to reinstall windows to resolve this and some speed issues I was having, but when I began to use XP again, the problem remained. I've also individually reinstalled VLC multiple times without any progress. I finally resolved to go into the services file and kill all unnecessary windows processes. After doing this and booting up, I was only using 60MB of RAM (out of 512). I tried playing movies again and still had the problem. The only thing I can think of is that WMP and VLC have issues with HyperThreading, which I've heard is possible with some programs.
If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
As a sidenote, this problem does not occur in any Linux distribution I've used on my comp on the same files.
Pentium 4 with HT @ 3.0 GHz
128MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9600
running Windows XP SP2 Professional