A tricky EVR bug was caught up: input pin may falsely report disconnected state


An application which builds a DirectShow graph unexpectedly started failing with VFW_E_NOT_CONNECTED (0x80040209) error code.


The problem takes place during DirectShow graph building, yet in stopped state. Specific call which appeared to be giving out the error in first place appears to be EVR input pin’s IPin::ConnectionMediaType, and the problem is also specific to Enhanced video Renderer (Windows 7, but not necessarily only this version).


The problem does not appear to be persistent. On the contrary, it is taking place for just a few milliseconds after pin connection. After the problem is gone, it does not seem to ever come up again unless the filter graph is built again from the beginning.

EVR pin connection is always reporting success, so the following error code stating VFW_E_NOT_CONNECTED “The operation cannot be performed because the pins are not connected.” goes against documented behavior, and is thus a bug.

Depending on time between pin connection and media type polling, the call can reach EVR:

  • before it starts showing the problem – stage A
  • at the time the call fails – stage B
  • after the failure time interval, when the call is successful from then on – stage C

Thus, the problem is limited to specific use cases:

  • the application should care about media type on EVR input
  • unexpected failure takes place when the call reaches in stage B
  • also found: the clipping window for the EVR has to belong to a non-primary monitor

If an application keep polling for media type in a loop, the result may be about the following:

UINT nStageA = 0, nStageB = 0, nStageC = 0;
// [...]
for(; ; )
    AM_MEDIA_TYPE MediaType;
    ZeroMemory(&MediaType, sizeof MediaType);
    const HRESULT nConnectionMediaTypeResult = pInputPin->ConnectionMediaType(&MediaType);
        } else
    } else
        ATLASSERT(nConnectionMediaTypeResult == VFW_E_NOT_CONNECTED);
// [...]
CString sMessage;
sMessage.Format(_T("Bingo!\r\n\r\n") _T("nStageA %d, nStageB %d - 0x%08x, nStageC %d\n"), nStageA, nStageB, nResult, nStageC);
AtlMessageBox(m_hWnd, (LPCTSTR) sMessage, _T("Result"), MB_ICONERROR);


An obvious straightforward workaround is to follow EVR connection with a wait for Stage B to pass, or timeout – whichever takes place first.

Also, vote for the bug on Microsoft Connect.

More Details

Video renderer filter are notorious for re-agreeing media type and being fretful as for memory allocators and media types (for a good reason though!). So it makes sense to suggest that the problem takes place when the filter is doing something related, such as it starts background activity immediately after connection in order to discover upstream peer capabilities.

In order to possibly get details on this, it is possible to raise an exception as soon as Stage B is detected and take a look at thread states using a debugger. Indeed, on of the background threads is engaged in EVR reconnection activity:

Yes it does the reconnection, but nevertheless it is expected to do the things undercover and transparently, it still allows a failure on the outer API.

     evr.dll!GetSourceRectFromMediaType() + 0x37 bytes    
     evr.dll!CEVRInputPin::CheckMediaType() + 0x81 bytes    
     evr.dll!CBasePin::ReceiveConnection() + 0x61 bytes    
     evr.dll!CEVRInputPin::ReceiveConnection() + 0x1fc2d bytes    
     quartz.dll!CBasePin::AttemptConnection() - 0x21 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CBasePin::TryMediaTypes() + 0x60 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CBasePin::AgreeMediaType() + 0x54 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CBasePin::Connect() + 0x46 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CFilterGraph::ConnectDirectInternal() + 0x83 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CFilterGraph::ConnectRecursively() + 0x2c bytes    
     quartz.dll!CFilterGraph::ConnectInternal() + 0xde bytes    
     quartz.dll!CFilterGraph::Connect() + 0x17 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CFGControl::WorkerDisplayChanged() + 0xf1 bytes    
     quartz.dll!CFGControl::CGraphWindow::OnReceiveMessage() + 0x2e2a bytes    
>    quartz.dll!WndProc() + 0x3e bytes    
     user32.dll!_InternalCallWinProc@20() + 0x23 bytes    
     user32.dll!_UserCallWinProcCheckWow@32() + 0xb7 bytes    
     user32.dll!_DispatchMessageWorker@8() + 0xed bytes    
     user32.dll!_DispatchMessageW@4() + 0xf bytes    
     quartz.dll!ObjectThread() + 0x65 bytes

A test Visual C++ .NET 2010 application is available from SVN. The code requires a media file, and refers to 352×288 I420.avi, which is included into ZIP file attached to MS Connect Feedback.

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