Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

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>

 

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