Help with Aura 1 Codec

posted in Video Codecs
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I have been trying for 5 years to find someone who has a copy of the AURA AuraVision - Aura 1 Video Codec - YUV 411. As I have several hours of clips of my daughter before she died encoded in this format.

It would be a great new years present if anyone could share the codec or knows of an application that can play videos the have been encoded in aura1.

Any advice would be great...
Mark reply


i’ve been trying to find some way to play these files as well.

i found some installers which have the correct file i think.
but it doesnt work for me.

it looks like they are all for windows95
and will not work on newer versions. contains:
11672 10-16-96 14:20 avcodec.dr_
1622 10-16-96 14:17 DYNAMAX.INF

dynamax.inf contains:
44760 06-14-95 23:18 LTIVIDEO/AVCODEC.DR_
also contains:
AVCODEC.DR_ -- [60.5 KB -- 19 Apr 1996]

tell me if any of them works for you. reply


I have tried all the above, which are win95 installs and even after manually moving and registering the DLL’s for XP the aura codec is not listed in the codecs list.

What appears to be up is the win95 setup wants to update the driver details to windows.ini and system.ini but I’m pretty sure XP expects this to be in the registry?

I know you can manually add a codec if you have an .inf file but of course these win95 setups don’t have inf files.

Does anyone know of a way to update the XP drivers part of the registry for video codecs manually when you only have the video codec .drv file from a windows 95 setup disk?
How to write the details of an inf file?

Help! reply


unfortunately, i get errors when loading the dlls (after manually entering them in mplayer)

it says 'not a valid windows image' which usually means its only for win95 :(

your best bet may be to create a win95 virtual iso (vmware or virtualpc) and install / convert it there.

has some video instructions for getting win95 in virtualpc up. if its too complicated, i might be able to convert your videos for you. reply



I’ve worked on finding this codec a few years back and I wasn’t sure whether the solution I found really worked because I didn’t have samples to test, so I tucked it away. It took me a while to find the files again.
And yes, the codec is 16-bit only, so you would need Windows 95 or 98 for it to work (maybe Windows Millenium Edition too, not sure). Installing it on a pure 32-bit OS (Windows NT 4, 2000, XP, Vista) wouldn’t work, even if you made the correct registry changes.

Great research up there, compn. I’ll have to check out those files sometime.
The version I found was from here
(Grab the first one: When you unzip it you’ll get three files. The SETUP112.EXE file, when run, will install TrueView Capture, and the codec files. The one bundled with this package is named avcod524.drv and is dated from 1997 with file version 3.50. It handles the fourcc’s AURA and AUR2 (and I420 as well).

Like previous poster suggested, the way to load it would be to install inside of Microsoft Virtual PC (freeware BTW). Hopefully you have a copy of Windows 95 or 98 lying around somewhere. If you need help with setting up VPC just get back to the thread. Here’s a quick start:
Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 (requires Windows XP SP2 or higher; does not support Windows 95 as a guest OS if you plan on using Virtual Machine Additions (98 or higher for VM additions to work))
Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1 (requires Windows 2000 SP4 or higher)
A couple of extra notes if you use Virtual PC: if you install Windows 95 or Windows 98 First Edition as a guest OS, and you try to play a video inside the guest OS, you’ll get a hang. It’s a GDI bug I think (or whatever it was - I can’t remember). The cure is to install DirectX 8.0a and DCOM95 (install for DCOM’s a bit peculiar: you run it once to extract, then you have to find DCom95.Exe and run it to install) for Windows 95, and DirectX 9.0c (August 2006) for Windows 98. Windows 98 Second Edition doesn’t seem to be affected by that bug.
Once you’re done with that, get VirtualDub into your guest OS and use it to convert your files to a more portable format (I suggest uncompressed, for now at least) (Note: if you use Windows 95, you’ll have to get VirtualDub 1.6.19 or earlier). Then put the uncompressed AVI back to your desktop and convert it using whatever you want (VirtualDub again if you want) using a more modern codec (which might not have been available in the guest OS).

My testing in VPC (using Windows 95) seems to show the files do work [edit]report themselves as installed fine (see more below)[end edit]. If you need to make the conversions, I can [try to] convert the vids for you too. Or I can upload a VPC image (much bigger) if you need it (that way you don’t have to go through the process of installing Windows 9x, you can just start Windows 9x straight away from Virtual PC and do your conversion). reply


the youtube video also has a link to a premade win95 vpc...
i havent gotten around to testing yet.

here are some sample AURA files: AURA / 0x41525541, 160x120 AURA / 0x41525541, 320x240 AURA / 0x41525541, 160x120 AURA / 0x41525541, 160x120 AURA / 0x41525541, 240x180

thanks for the confirmation anonymous.
too bad there are no 32bit codecs for it.

maybe the ffmpeg team will reverse engineer it. reply


I tried some of the samples you posted in Windows 95B in Virtual PC 2007, compn.
This is using the installation file I found (SETUP112.EXE).
yamasaki.avi seems to be the only one that works perfectly.
SOUVIDEO.AVI is truncated, so it won’t play in Windows Media Player, but it plays fine in VirtualDub.
As for the others, I can only see a portion of the video. Imagine a vertical line about 1/8th of the way from the left of the frame. To the left of it, the image is fine, but to the right of it everything is black.

I tried using the file you found in I extracted avcodec.drv and av2codec.drv by typing these commands:
The expand seems correct, because under properties, the DRV files give consistent info (AuraVision 1 Compressor, AuraVision 2 Compressor). They’re version 2.1 and by AuraVision Corp.
I put them in the c:\windows\system folder
Then in the windows folder, I opened system.ini and added these two lines under the [drivers] section
but I couldn’t get any of the videos to play back. They don’t list under the list of codecs in VirtualDub either. I’m guessing I’m missing an intermediate file somewhere.

I’ll try expanding some more of the files, and some of the other links and report back. reply



Whoa! It works! I dunno which part did, but it does. Maybe if someone can find out which files are the crucial ones and which one are extraneous it’ll cut out a lot of work. [edit]I spent a while deleting files one at the time and trying to play the videos to see which ones it depends on - cut it down from 8 files to 3.[end edit]

Here’s the procedure.

Get this file:, and unzip it.
Don’t bother running setup in Windows 95. These programs are smart and won’t install their stuff if they don’t detect their hardware.
Note: contains version of avcodec.drv

Instead, expand them on your host OS first (Windows 2000, XP, whatever). Use the command-line for that.
Click start, (all) programs, accessories, command prompt. You’ll be at your home directory. If you extracted the file to a folder named dynamax95 on your desktop, type
cd desktop
cd dynamax95

Then type this sequence of commands:
expand avwin.dl_ avwin.dll
expand hal.dl_ hal.dll
expand avcodec.dr_ avcodec.drv

Then copy the newly created files:

to the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder in Windows 95

Then in C:\WINDOWS, open SYSTEM.INI and add the following line:
under [drivers]

And thanks and full credit to compn for digging up

P.S: Funny how version works perfect but version 3.50 is buggy. reply


i find listdlls and filemon are the two quickest programs to find out which dlls are being loaded.

both are freeware at

good work anonymous! i have a few other codecs which i think only work in win95 that i’ll have to test. reply


OK, this time, working with Windows 98 SE, I did a little more testing. (Results should hold for 95 still.)

In post #7, I mentioned how the files from didn’t work (version 2.1 of the codec). It’s because I was missing one file: avwin.dll. Once you extract it, it works.
To summarize the steps:
expand avwin.dl_ avwin.dll
expand avcodec.dr_ avcodec.drv
expand av2codec.dr_ av2codec.drv
Copy them to c:\windows\system
Then modify system.ini in c:\windows. Under the [drivers] section add

The neat thing with this is I was able to produce samples for the AURA 1 codec using VirtualDub. Unfortunately attempts with AURA 2 caused crashes.

Trying version 3.5 (from on Windows 98 SE still has the bug (black video except for vertical column 1/8th of frame width on the left). reply


Hey toobtoob, I finished making a Windows 95 Virtual Hard Disk image. It’s got everything loaded: AURA and other codecs, video converters (VirtualDub 1.6.19, Microsoft Video for Windows 1.1, TMPGEnc, QuickTime Pro 5). Just say the word and I’ll upload it. It’s 100 MB. You can download it then I’ll show you how to use it with Microsoft Virtual PC to convert your AURA videos. reply


I mentioned earlier how I wasn’t able to produce AURA2 videos using VirtualDub and version 2.1 of the codec.

I just tried now using Microsoft Video for Windows 1.1 and it works. reply


Wow, have just returned to this thread and what a response! Thanks to compn and anonymous.. for all your efforts.

Shame it’s not possible to get the codec to run in XP without converting it after installing virtualpc and win95 or 98 OS.

I only have access to my own laptop where space is becoming a big issue and I’m pretty sure I wont have space to install another operating system.
I assume that I would have to install win95/98 in it’s entirety?

So does anyone know if it’s possible to have windows95/98 installed on a usb hard drive without loosing the contents of what’s already on the external (NTFS formatted)usb hard drive?

The other options would be if someone would kindly convert the vids for me. There are 3 short vids that I would really like to see which total 23Mb. And save in .wmv format perhaps?

Many thanks for all the testing so far..

Mark reply


Nonono, you don’t have to format anything. Virtual PC uses a virtual hard drive. It’s just a file on your disk with extension .vhd that acts like a hard drive (to Virtual PC at least). And it’s smart too, because it’s dynamically expanding (only uses as much space as used by the files on the virtual drive at the moment).

Here, I uploaded it for you:
[link removed - no longer needed]
It’s a 100MB zip and it’s about 300MB when expanded.

How to use it:
Well, download the file first. Then unzip it to some folder you created. Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1:
Install it. Then start it. Click start, (all) programs, Microsoft Virtual PC. The first time you run it, you’ll probably get a wizard. If not, you can invoke it by clicking new. Click next, and click 'add an existing virtual machine'. Then browse to where you extracted the files, and pick WIN95B.vmc.
It’ll open the settings for the Virtual Machine. By default I put 128MB of memory. If you’re short on memory, click on memory in the left tab, and set it to lower (maybe 64 or 32). If you have a multicore processor, go down to where it says 'hardware virtualization' and check the box (it’ll improve performance). Then click OK. It’ll take a second or two to refresh. Then click start and it should start Windows 95.
I set the resolution to 1024x768 and 32-bits. If the screen is too big for you, right click on the Windows 95 desktop and pick properties. Then on the settings tab, set it to a lower resolution (640x480 or 800x600) - try to keep it at 32 bits though. Change the settings without rebooting.

Now I have installed a bunch of codecs for most of your needs (DivX 5, Indeo 5, Xvid, Windows Media Video 9 VCM, I.263, and of course AuraVision 1 and 2). I also installed a few video editors: Microsoft Video for Windows 1.1, QuickTime Pro 5, VirtualDub 1.6.19, and TMPGEnc Free Edition. It’s a lot, but it should give you plenty of choices for conversion.
There’s two ways to get files from your PC (XP) to the virtual machine (95) and back. The first is drag and drop. Just drag and drop a file from your desktop onto the Windows 95 desktop. On my end it works sometimes, and on a few occasions it doesn’t. For that reason I recommend the other way. You’ll notice at the bottom left of the Virtual PC window, there’s a bunch of tiny icons: small hard drive, small CD, small floppy, small folder, etc. Right click on the small folder and pick shared folder settings. Then click on share folder, and pick the folder where you stored your videos at. The shared folder will be visible in Windows 95’s my computer as the Z: drive.
Just to be safe: COPY the files from the shared folder to your Windows 95 desktop before doing any work on them. That way you have your originals still on your XP hard drive in case you do anything wrong.
Once you have the copies on your Windows 95 desktop, just double-click them and they should play.
To export them: go to your Windows 95 start menu, and pick either VirtualDub or Microsoft Video for Windows 1.1/VidEdit. If you use VirtualDub, click file, save as avi, and type a name, and save it to your desktop (C:\WINDOWS\DESKTOP in Windows 95). Your file will be exported as an uncompressed AVI. Then just drag and drop that uncompressed AVI to your XP desktop, or copy it back to the Z: drive. If you use VidEdit, click file, save as, click on compression options and make sure something OTHER than auravision is selected (preferrably full frames uncompressed). For target pick custom. Click details and uncheck pad frames for CD-ROM playback. If the codec has advanced settings, click on configure. Then click OK. Finally pick an output (remember VidEdit was an old program, so 8 characters for filename is max), and save it to C:\WINDOWS\DESKTOP.
Once you get your file back to XP, you can recompress it using a more modern codec (Xvid, DivX, whatever). I suggested saving as uncompressed in the virtual machine because in there, everything is slow (processor-wise) so it’s best to do your actual compressing in XP. reply


Great work anonymous, how long will the virtual machine image be available at megaupload? Reason being I connect to web using mobile broadband and I won’t be in an area that has 3G till next tuesday and to try and download 100Mb using 2G would be a joke!

Great instructions btw, it looks pretty straight forward so I will let you know how it goes when I get the first vid re-coded.

I really appreciate all the effort you have gone too, Big Thanks!
Mark reply


According to their FAQ, the file will stay up for 21 days after the last download, so you should have time.
On a side note, I’m very surprised they didn’t give me a killcode when the upload finished (rapidshare gives killcodes, which are URL’s with special codes to delete files you uploaded when you don’t need them anymore). reply


All converted and back in XP, working!!! Thanks anonymous for the enormous effort you went to to create the 95 virtual machine image and codecs etc.

One more thing [off topic], as you seem to be a bit of an expert with MS VirtualPC.

I’d thought Id have a go at creating my own virtual machine as it appear to be quite a simple process. But all though I can crated the vm, when I tried to boot from the CD with an original ms OS CD, despite the CD spinning up, the message insert bootable CD or ISO image keeps repeating. It’s correctly pointed at the CD and I’ve even tried changing the CD to the primary controller as per help but with the same results, any ideas?

I’ve also tried the menu option CTRL-Alt-DEl but this has the same effect.

I’ve tried it with original win95, 98 and 98SE OS disks.

I do not have a floppy drive so is my only option to make a ISO image from the CD?

If I let the CD autorun in XP the OS install screen appears okay.

thanks again
Mark reply


The Windows 95 and 98 CD’s were not bootable, unlike the Windows NT 4, 2000, and XP CD’s. Well, some Windows 98 CD’s but I’m still wondering how to tell which ones were and which ones were not. Normally those old CD’s came with a bootable floppy, and you booted from the floppy and it would pass control to the CD-ROM.
You may be able to create one using the steps from here
Not 100% positive it will work though.
The other way is to go here grab an image and build the floppy from it.

If you don’t have a floppy drive, there’s another way. This is where having an already working Virtual Machine is handy. Start Microsoft Virtual PC, but don’t start Windows 95 yet. Instead, click it and click settings. Click on hard disk 2 or hard disk 3 on the left. Click on the Virtual Disk Wizard. Then follow the steps to create a new disk -> floppy disk. Now boot into Windows 95. Drag and drop the program to create the floppy image you downloaded from, make sure you click floppy and select capture floppy image, then run the image builder and you should be set to go.

Just a few commands if you’re lost:
When you boot from the floppy, the way to navigate folders is by the cd command. To change drive you use colons. And to run commands, you just type them.
For example - say you booted from floppy A: and your CD-ROM drivers loaded drive D: as the CD-ROM drive and the Windows 98 installation folder was D:\WIN98, you’d type
(the /p j is actually to enable ACPI in Windows 98 first edition - not sure if it’s necessary in Virtual PC, but I type it out of habit)

P.S: You may need to partition and format your (virtual) hard drive prior to running setup - or setup does it by itself not sure. If you need to do it manually, type fdisk follow the menus, reboot, and type format c:. reply


Super Cool...

Have just made my first virtual Machine (win98 se) using the virtual floppy advice you posted, thanks. A bit disconcerting to type: FORMAT C: but once you get over the implications of that it was fine.

One thing for anyone else doing this for the first time, remember to un capture the floppy before the first request to reboot towards the end of the OS install.

Can’t believe I’ve never heard of virtualPC before now. Beats having a dual boot system by far.

Big thanks to Anonymous for all your help...
Mark reply


Thanks for these instructions. Is this diff out of date? When I try to apply, the first diff fails:--- cniofgure+++ cniofgure@@ -2441,6 +2441,7 @@ SLIB_EXTRA_CMD='-lib.exe /machine:$(LIBTARGET) /def:$$(@:$(SLIBSUF)=.def) /out:$(SUBDIR)$(SLIBNAME_WITH_MAJOR:$(SLIBSUF)=.lib)' SLIB_INSTALL_EXTRA_CMD='-install -m 644 $(SUBDIR)$(SLIBNAME_WITH_MAJOR:$(SLIBSUF)=.lib) "$(SHLIBDIR)/$(SLIBNAME:$(SLIBSUF)=.lib)"; \ install -m 644 $(SUBDIR)$(SLIBNAME_WITH_MAJOR:$(SLIBSUF)=.lib) "$(SHLIBDIR)/$(SLIBNAME_WITH_MAJOR:$(SLIBSUF)=.lib)"; \+ install -m 644 $(SUBDIR)$(SLIBNAME_WITH_MAJOR:$(SLIBSUF)=.def) "$(SHLIBDIR)/$(SLIBNAME_WITH_MAJOR:$(SLIBSUF)=.def)"; \ install -d "$(LIBDIR)"; \ install -m 644 $(SUBDIR)lib$(SLIBNAME:$(SLIBSUF)=.dll.a) "$(LIBDIR)/lib$(SLIBNAME:$(SLIBSUF)=.dll.a)"' SLIB_UNINSTALL_EXTRA_CMD='rm -f "$(SHLIBDIR)/$(SLIBNAME:$(SLIBSUF)=.lib)"'Despite this, I am able to create some .dll files as above using make, make install. However, install doesn’t move the dlls to the mingw32/install folder. I did this manually. Do you think this is wrong? Sample error messages during the make:Creating library file: libavutil/libavutil.dll.alib.exe /machine:i386 /def:libavutil/avutil-51.def /out:libavutil/avutil.libmake: lib.exe: Command not foundmake: [libavutil/avutil-51.dll] Error 127 (ignored)LDlibavcodec/avcodec-53.dll and lots and lots of warnings.I am building this on a 64 bit machine, not sure if that makes a difference. reply


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