I am trying to resolve a ridiculous issue: for the last several days, a thin black border appeared around the analog video frame in the WinTV7 application, which I use as my PVR on my desktop.

That issue is still unresolved but as I was diagnosing my machine, I came across an even more ridiculous problem: Microsoft's very own Windows Media Player (wmp) version 12 (wmp12) crashed every time I started an AVI file. Meanwhile, VLC Media Player could play back AVI files just fine.

A little bit of Googling revealed a possible solution: Uninstall the optional Windows Update KB2670838. Bad idea.

Oh, it resolved the problem to be sure, but it also downgraded my Internet Explorer to version 9. Worse yet, it proved impossible to upgrade back to version 10 afterwards, as the upgrade attempts inevitably failed with the error code 9C59 ("The identities of the manifests are identical but their contents are different"). Thank goodness for System Restore.

The actual problem is a conflict between the KB2670838 upgrade and a component in the ATI Catalyst software suite that contained my video card driver: Specifically, the component named "AMD Media Foundation Transcoders" (described by the tooltip as "Microsoft Media Foundation Hardware Decoders and Encoders for AMD platforms".) Uninstall this component and AVI files will play again in Windows Media Player.

Meanwhile, I still see a bleeping thin black frame in analog video capture. Worse yet, if I record video, it is recorded with that thin black frame. And I found no clues online whatsoever as to a possible cause. I have another, nearly identical computer on which the problem does not occur. So, I remain officially stumped.