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The reason you get that blank spot where the video should be is because, technically, your computer isn’t playing that video. Your video card is.
So your computer can do more important things (such as contemplating a good reason to bring up the Blue Screen of Death), it by default delegates tasks such as processing videos and rendering 3D images to your video card. This is why newer video cards are virtually a computer unto themselves, with ram, central processors, and cooling fans. So when you ask your computer to play a video, it sets up a big blank space on your desktop and sits back to enjoy a nice brew, while in a truly Cinderella-like fashion, your video card overlays (remember that word!) a video in this blank space.
If you want to liberate your poor, downtrodden video card, the easiest way is to go into your display control panel and disable hardware acceleration. If there’s a box in the advanced properties to enable overlays (remember that word?) you should make sure that box is unchecked. This is roughly akin to telling your computer to grow up, quit being such a sluggard, and to stop getting others to do what it can do itself.
Much like an unruly teen, your computer might not like this, and it can get temperamental. If you try to render graphics, you’ll notice a pretty significant decrease in power, and you can even lock up the machine altogether if you put too much on it’s plate, say for example, rendering a video and then starting a video game that relies heavily on 3D graphics. (I won’t tell you how I learned that one.) But for just playing video, it should pick up and do it’s job well enough. At this point, since your computer is doing the work instead of pawning it off, you should be able to hit the print screen button (or use your favorite screenshot software) and you’re all set!
If you’re trying to capture video that’s playing in Windows Media Player (or as I call it, "The WiMP"), you’ll probably also need to go to the Tools menu, select options, click the performance tab and make sure that on your advanced settings that Overlay (there’s that word again!) is set to off, as WiMP has an ego only Bill Gates could love, and it will still try to delegate out this work, even if you’ve told the whole computer to shape up already.
Hopefully you’ll find that helpful. If not, I do offer a 100% money back guarantee. Just send an envelope and a check for $29.97 (the full refund processing fee) to the address listed on my website. 😀