Repairing Win2K Pro’s NetMeeting

I run Windows 2000 Professional and use an Intel Deluxe PC Camera. The camera's documentation states that the default video software is Intel Video Phone. I was using NetMeeting successfully until I installed the Win2K version of Intel Create & Share software. After the installation, NetMeeting wouldn't transmit audio to other NetMeeting clients on my LAN—although I could receive their audio. I uninstalled the Create & Share software from my machine, but the problem remained. The NetMeeting audio tuning wizard worked, and I could hear myself in my headphones.

Next, I used Microsoft Directory Services to connect to another PC on my LAN to test NetMeeting. MSN Messenger popped up on the other PC and accepted my call, but I received the error message This program is needed for opening files of the type 'URL CallTo Protocol'. Location of Intel.exe:. I browsed to find intel.exe, but the file didn't exist. When I clicked Cancel, another dialog box opened that said Internet Explorer cannot open this helper application for callto (i.e., the IP address of the PC I was calling).

I used Device Manager to uninstall and reinstall the camera. Then, I started the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet and selected Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). I used the applet's Repair option to try to repair IE, but my machine still wouldn't transmit audio. I also discovered that you can't uninstall, reinstall, or otherwise repair Win2K Pro's NetMeeting.

I reviewed the Microsoft article "HOW TO: Remove and then Reinstall NetMeeting" (, which explains how to uninstall and reinstall Win2K Pro's NetMeeting 2.x but not NetMeeting 3.0. However, the article mentioned the winnt\inf\msnetmtg.inf file—which pointed me in the right direction. I suspected that I could use the msnetmtg.inf file to launch a new NetMeeting installation. I right-clicked the file and selected Install. NetMeeting 3.0 then reinstalled with no glitches. The installation process asked for a file from the Win2K Pro Service Pack 2 (SP2) update CD-ROM.

I rebooted and tried NetMeeting again. The other workstation still couldn't receive audio over the network connection. I tried a directory server connection through MSN Messenger and discovered that the intel.exe errors no longer occurred.

Next, I used the Netstat —a command to see if another process (e.g., an Intel software remnant) was using NetMeeting ports 389, 522, 1503, 1720, or 1731. I didn't detect any conflicts, either with or without NetMeeting loaded.

Finally, I took another look at the msnetmtg.inf file. I noticed several references to HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry subkeys, and I wondered whether the problem could be related to the user. I remembered that I had installed the Create & Share software while logged on with my daily user account. So, I logged off and logged back on as Administrator—voilà; the other PC was then receiving my audio.

I realized that although the reinstallation had repaired NetMeeting, I still had a registry problem with the current user. I compared the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Conferencing\Audio Control registry subkey for my daily user account with the subkey for my administrative user account and discovered that the Administrator's Direct Sound parameter was disabled. I logged on with my daily user account and cleared NetMeeting's Enable DirectSound check box. The daily user could then transmit audio. Interestingly, I didn't need to disable the Enable DirectSound option to have audio before I installed the Create & Share software.

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