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March 25, 2004

Mozilla ActiveX causes problem for Flash - but here's the fix

The current version of the Mozilla Windows Media ActiveX control has a quirk in its default configuration.  If you've installed it, you may find that links in Flash animations don't work anymore. 

The ActiveX control plugin lets Netscape 7.1+ or Mozilla embed the Windows Media Player 7 or 9 ActiveX control using the OBJECT tag.  (see The Windows Media ActiveX Control Not Just for Internet Explorer Anymore)  Previously, the Windows Media 6.4 plugin was the only way to use WM in browsers other than Internet Explorer.  The problem is that with ActiveX support installed, Mozilla loads the Flash ActiveX control rather than the Flash plugin.  There's a bug in the Flash ActiveX<->Mozilla connection that makes links from Flash non-functional. 

The solution: configure Mozilla's ActiveX support to work only with Windows Media - its intended purpose.  To do this:
  1. Find the activex.js file in C:\Program Files\mozilla.org\Mozilla1.6\defaults\pref
  2. Change the word true to false in the following line:
    pref("security.classID.allowByDefault", false); 
    This pref sets the default policy to allow all controls or deny them all default.
  3. add the line
    pref("capability.policy.default.ClassID.6BF52A52-394A-11d3-B153-00C04F79FAA6", "AllAccess");
Now save that file and you're done.  Windows Media 9 will still work (callbacks and all), and Flash will work as it should via the (fully-functional) plugin.  For Netscape 7.1 users, this configuration is the default, so you won't have to do anything.

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Thanks so much. I have been annoyed trying to navigate pages containing flash for some time now and appreciate this easy quick fix.

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