Please work through the video troubleshooting guide.
In particular, check out the part about disabling hardware acceleration. Does the problem go away?
No. That's one of the first things I tried.
Yeah, registry cleaners can definitely leave the machine in a bad state. Microsoft has a lot to say about them, all of which basically comes down to "don't".
I'm definitely not aware of a widespread issue where we're taking down machines.
We don't have direct access to the hardware, so it's pretty difficult to take the whole machine down ourselves. What's much more likely, is that we're calling into an intermediary Windows API in a totally reasonable way, but in the context of your system, it tickles the thing that ultimately brings the system down.
In most cases, this is usually a case of ticking a video driver bug. The driver *does* have direct hardware access, and can definitely bring the whole machine down. This is why I was asking about disabling hardware acceleration.
In your case, it sounds like Windows might not be in a great state. Instead of a driver issue, it might be a privileged system call (windows kernel, etc.), which ultimately leads to the crash. A scenario where a privileged system call gets some garbage (or nonexistent) registry data and then operates on it would be a pretty reasonable guess.
Analyzing the crash dump and tracking it back to some discrete action that you could take to "fix" the issue would be far more painful and time consuming than doing a clean install, and would likely have a much, much lower chance of success. It sounds like you've already explored the reasonable things.
I really don't want to have to do a clean install, so I'm not sure where to go from here. I did remember one other thing I've tried, which is going into safe mode(with networking) and playing a non-HTML5 video. Same result. Thanks for trying to help. I guess I'll just wait until either someone comes along who knows what the issue might be, or until I figure this out myself.
Have you tried sanity checking the hard disk? It's relatively low on my list of good ideas, but it easy, and you might get lucky.
Check your hard disk for errors - Windows 7:
After sanity-checking the disk, try system file checker:
I think I have tried that in the past, but I will try it again and see what happens.
Sorry, I forgot to reply back. I tried both of those things, but unfortunately had no luck.
At this point, if it's actually crashing, I really need a crash dump to tell you what's going on. Your symptoms are super weird, and I'm out of good guesses. I'm pretty sure it's crashing below us, but I need concrete data to give you a real answer.
Please see the following guide on how to report a crash or error: