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What to do if you receive unsupported OS message when installing Windows Media Player 11 Beta on Windows Media Center 2005

What to do if you receive unsupported OS message when installing Windows Media Player 11 Beta on Windows Media Center 2005

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As many of you have noticed, a beta version of Windows Media Player 11 was released this week.  The WMP 11 beta only allows installation on Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 but not on any previous versions of Windows XP Media Center Edition.  I have heard of a few instances where users have tried to install this WMP 11 beta on Windows XP Media Center Edition and received an error message stating that their current OS is not supported.

Unfortunately, there are some cases where 3rd party applications can change the registry value that indicates what version of Media Center is on the system, and that can cause Windows Media Player 11 setup to block installation when it shouldn't.

If you receive an unsupported OS message when installing the Windows Media Player 11 beta and you believe that you have Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 installed, you can verify whether or not you have Update Rollup 2 installed using one of these alternate methods (listed in order of preference):

  • Go to Add/Remove Programs, check the box labeled Show updates, scroll to the bottom, and verify that Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is listed
  • Launch Media Center, go to Settings | General | About Media Center | Software Version and verify that the version number is greater than or equal to 5.1.2715.2732 and that Update Rollup 2 is listed there
  • Go to %windir%\ehome and verify that the version number of ehshell.exe is greater than or equal to 5.1.2715.2732

Once you have verified that Update Rollup 2 truly is installed on your system, you can modify the registry key that WMP 11 setup uses to the detect Windows Media Center version by using the following steps:

  • Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd
  • Type reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center" /v Ident /t REG_SZ /d 4.0 /f
  • Re-run WMP 11 setup

If you're interested, here is the exact logic that WMP 11 beta setup uses to determine whether or not the version of Windows Media Center is supported is the following:

  1. Check the Ident value located in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center
  2. If Ident = 4.0, then allow installation
  3. If Ident = 3.0 or Ident = 3.1, then notify the user that they must install Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
  4. If Ident < 3.0, then notify the user that they must be running Windows XP Media Center 2005 or later

 

  • Another thing that could cause this is if the check for Media Center doesn't use the Invariant Culture flag, as some countries use "," instead of "." and the "4.0" can't be parsed as a number.

    Cheers,
    Andy
  • Hi Andy - I have not seen this Invariant Culture flag cause any versioning problems for Media Center.  The value is read from the registry as a string and not as a number (since it is a REG_SZ value).  In most of the cases I've seen where the version is reported incorrectly, the value is 2.8 when it should be 4.0.
  • Hey Aaron love your blog man. I have a question to ask might be a little off topic...How do i fix UNKNOWN ALBUM:Unknow Artist is MCE 2005....? This is driving me nuts..

    Thanks in advance.
  • Hi Yardman - There are a couple of different ways you can go about trying to fix this:

    1.  Use Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center to edit the metadata and enter song/artist information directly

    2.  Use Windows Media Player to remove the albums from your music library and then attempt to add them again and see if it downloads correct metadata this time

    3.  Find a 3rd party music metadata editor on one of the Media Center enthusiast sites such as http://www.thegreenbutton.com

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