Aaron Stebner's WebLog

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Content protection errors in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005

Content protection errors in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005

I have heard of several folks running into issues playing protected content (such as purchased songs/movies, or HBO television shows) after installing Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005.  As I described here, Update Rollup 2 installs an updated Digital Rights Management (DRM) redistributable package.  We are still investigating reports of content protection problems in order to identify root causes and provide fixes.  In the meantime, I wanted to offer some suggestions.

First, I highly encourage you to backup your licenses for protected content prior to installing Update Rollup 2.  You can do the following to backup licenses:

  1. Open Windows Media Player
  2. On the Tools menu, select Manage Licenses
  3. (optional) To change the backup location, click Change and then select a location where you want to store backup copies of your licenses
  4. Click Back Up Now

Note - there are some license issuers that will not allow you to store backup copies of their license files, so this backup process may not back up all licenses on your system.

Second, if you have already installed Update Rollup 2 without backing up licenses, and you are now unable to play protected content there is a knowledge base article that describes how to reset the DRM system on your computer.  There is one step that should be added to that article that is not there currently - before deleting the Windows Media DRM folder, you need to close any programs that might be holding files in that folder in use.  Specifically, make sure to close Media Player and Media Center, and run the command net stop ehRecvr to stop the Media Center Recording service immediately prior to trying to delete that folder.

Resetting DRM restores the ability to play protected content in most cases.  However, if you use these steps to reset the DRM system and do not have backup copies of your licenses, you will lose the ability to play any previously acquired protected content.  If you have content that you do not want to lose, I would encourage you to wait until we can identify and post a fix.  If you are not concerned about any previous content, I encourage you to try out the steps in the KB article - they are semi-complicated, but I have used them in the past and had some success.

There is a new hotfix available as of 4/14/2006 that is designed to fix protected content playback issues in Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005.  Please try out this hotfix if you have DRM/protected content playback issues in Update Rollup 2.

<update date="11/4/2005"> Added an additional step for the knowledge base article - stopping any processes that may have DRM files in use </update>

<update date="4/15/2006"> Added a link to a new DRM hotfix that is now available in case people find and read some of my older blog posts in an attempt to fix this type of issue </update>


  • Follow up of above - One can't change the display option t\from multiple monitors to default monitor on this system - it just defaults back to multiple monitors. I have also upgraded to latest NVIDIA driver downloaded from Dell, but still not fixed.

    Chad posted "Just reinstall your decoder after the Rollup 2 install and it will correct your issue."

    What decoder/software specificly is he referring to?
    I assume a formal fix from Microsoft is not out.
  • Hey Steve,

    I have the same problem with a new Dell XPS (As you can see from my posts above). As far as the decoder, There is an application from Microsoft that will check you decoder. Check the January 2006 archives at the top left of this page. Look for the post:

    "Decoder checkup utility for troubleshooting Media Center TV playback problems"

    My XPS uses a decoder that came with Cyberlink Power DVD. I'm at work and I don't remember the name. The utility says that it is compatible. I reinstalled the decoder off the CD that came with the PC and it did not fix my problem. I also got the latest upgrades from manufacturer. Again, no help.

    I certainly hope that the content problem is not related to dual monitors or home wirelss networks. I have both. Funny thing is that I could watch HBO for a few hours while I was setting up my system. I had an error when playing with graphics modes and for a time I was not contected to my router or the internet. I don't know exactly when or what caused the restricted content message to start showing up.

    I have spent many, many hours trying to fix this problem. Let me know if you find a solution. I will do the same.

  • For those of us who have tried to reset DMR without correction of the HBO viwing problem, would it help to uninstall and then re-install rollup update 2. What does Microsoft say about this problem.

  • Ok I now understand the decoder thing. I used the decoder checkup utility and my system is also using Cyberlink's decoder, CLVSD.ax ver. and it is marked as MCE compatible and it is the only decoder installed. I don't think this has anything to do with the HBO viewing problem since Todd Lee reinstalled and this did not help. Everything else plays fine live or recorded, even Showtime channels. This must be something in how MCE in Rollup 2 interprets some data in the HBO signal. This might be a recording limitation or burning limitation but I can't imagine we arenot supposed to be able to watch HBO live with MCE. This is frustrating and I would like to know how to get Microsoft to respond to these questions about HBO restricted content and how MCE is supposed to function.
  • Steve - It is a little frustrating. For years I told my wife that I wanted to have the PC be the center of our entertainment center - "That's the future". We lived with a 1987 19" Sears television from my college days until this Christmas.

    I still think media center is really cool but all this rights management stuff is something I hadn't expected.

    I'm still digging into it. I'll either get it working or (more than likely) break it all together.

  • I downloaded a trial version of Nvidia Pure Video Decoder. I used the decoder checkup utility to set it as the prefered decoder, rebooted my system and re-setup the tuner under media center. No help. 15 seconds of HBO then restricted content. I think we can rule out the decoder.

  • To add a bit more info, another website

    claimed stated that the problem was fixed by using a napster drm reset utility, which needs to be run after stopping ehrcvr. This seems to be an automated variation of the procedure described above to reset DMR. Needless to say this too did not work. Has anyone tried uninstalling then reinstalling Rollup 2.


  • The Napster utility did not work for me either. I may get brave and try unistalling rollup2.
  • like many others I've been having the same problems, not being able to view premium channels on my MCE, and frankly I'm not sure what started it (i had installed rollup2, but i think it was still working for a bit after this...)
    anyways, i just decided now to delete my DRM folder (the entire folder), before that, start-run, {type}net stop ehRecvr -enter
    Eureka! now it works!! thanks so much ppl!!
    i hav spent several hours frustrated, with sony, with microsoft, comcast cable, and none were able to help, and was not planning on reinstalling OS either....
    so try that folks, it's a VERY easy solution, and i hope it works for u
  • Hi everyone - If the DRM folder deletion does not work for you, you may want to try to uninstall and reinstall Update Rollup 2 to see if that helps. Also, you can try to install KB910393 if you haven't already. You can find that at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=295f822b-957f-408e-88ba-1510f481bf9a&displaylang=en.

    I'm very sorry for the hassles here. I'll keep updating my blog as we get more information about this issue.
  • Thanks Aaron- This is the only place I am getting any help/suggestions. The DRM reset seems to work for most people - unfortunately not for some of us. I'll give these a try tonight and post the results. I think I have the media player fix but I will check and make sure.

    One problem is that most of you are delteing the content in the DRM folder. WRONG.

    1. try to backup ur licenses using WMP tools but it didnt work for me

    2. press Start- RUN- type: "net stop ehRecvr" without the quotes

    3. Run that commnad. a black box should pop up saying media services stopped

    4. you must Delete the WHOLE DRM FOLDER all together because the files you need to delte are hidden and dont show even when u select show hidden files.

    5.IMPORTANT: often this file remains hidden even when u select to view hidden files so do the following to delte it. Start-RUN- type CMD

    6. when comand promt opens type this and hit enter Type: "RMDIR C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM" without the quotes

    7. run the hot fix for kicks if you want:

    8. restore ur licenses in WMP if u were able to back them up which u probly werent able to so just forget about it.

    9. you dont need to create the DRM folder it will create again on its own.

    10. open media center and enjoy HBO

    if you have any other questions PM me on www.thegreenbutton.com
  • The DRM reset just does not seem to work for my system. I've tried it lots of ways, including the Napster reset utility which deletes all the files. The directory is gone even after a reboot. When I plug my external USB Angel tuner in, 3 DMR files are created. Still no HBO. I believe there are others who cannot fix the problem with a DMR reset. I would like to know who elese can't correct the problem by deleting DMR.

  • I installed the hotfix:


    No help. Afterwards I did the DRM reset again. No help. I started to remove rollup2 but got a warning. It listed many, many things that might not work if I removed rollup2 so I am holding off.

  • Aaron
    Since you have suggested trying to uninstall and reinstall Rollup 2, how about advising us exactly how to best do this. Frankly I am fearfull of ending up worse off. I have seen mention of an Update to Rollup 2 called 908250. Do we need to check for this and remove it? I have seen posts talking about the need to uninstall Security Update KB904706 befor installing Rollup 2. Will this update have to be removed before an attempted uninstall of Rollup 2 or just before a reinstall? What about the new version of Tweak MCE for Rollup 2 - should it be removed first? In my desperate attempt to fix the HBO problem I tried every update/fix posted for MCE and also updated to .netFrame 2.0. This did not cause any other problems but did not fix anything. Will 2.0 affect an uninstall or reinstall? There are also updates/fixes to .netFrame 1.1. Do any of these pose a problem?
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