Thursday, September 23, 2010

FIX - Windows Media Player Crashes Immediately on Open

This is a fix for one of the causes of Media Player consistently crashing with the message, “Windows Media Player has stopped working."


Scenario

When you open Media Player, it immediately crashes with the message, “Windows Media Player has stopped working." It doesn’t matter how you launch Media Player. For example you can double-click on a media file or you can go directly to the program via the Windows Start menu.

This can happen on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and probably other Windows OS’s. It does not seem to matter if the OS is 32bit or 64bit.

This can happen with Windows Media Player 11, 12, and probably other versions.


More Info

When you look in the Windows Application Log, you will see an error entry like the following:

Problem Event Name:APPCRASH
Application Name:wmpnetwk.exe
Application Version:12.0.7600.16385
Application Timestamp:0x4a5bd03d
Fault Module Name:Indiv01_64.key
Fault Module Version:11.0.6000.6324
Fault Module Timestamp:0x47e5eaf4

OR

Problem Event Name:APPCRASH
Application Name:wmplayer.exe
Application Version:12.0.7600.16415
Application Timestamp:4a98ae4b
Fault Module Name:Indiv01.key
Fault Module Version:11.0.6000.7000
Fault Module Timestamp:46ded559


Cause

The Indiv01.key file is related to Digital Rights Management (DRM). If the DRM cache becomes corrupt, you will not be able to load Windows Media Player.

In my case I think this happened because I upgraded my CPU when I was still using Windows Vista. Any kind of hardware change is supposed to cause Media Player to complain about licenses but I got a crash instead.

DRM is tied to your hardware to prevent you from distributing a database containing valid licenses. When you rip a protected CD, a license is created to allow the songs to be played on the current computer only. More accurately, each publisher specifies the limits to how their copy protected media can be used and DRM is how it is enforced.


Solution

Note: Reinstalling Media Player won’t fix this specific issue.

Clearing the DRM cache will allow Media Player to start and Media Player will create a new cache. The downside to this easy fix is that you will have to reacquire all your licenses. Some of your existing media will play and others will tell you that you don’t have a valid license. In the case of media that you ripped to the computer, just re-rip it. For media that you bought on-line and then downloaded, you will have to go back to the source and hope they have a process for this.

If you happened to back up your licenses using “Manage Licenses” within Media Player, then you can restore them after you clear the cache. Unfortunately, some media publishers do not allow their licenses to be backed up.


Steps

  1. Find the DRM cache.
    This is a hidden directory usually located at the following path.

    Windows 7:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DRM\Cache

    Windows Vista:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DRM

    Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM

  2. Move all the files to a backup directory (or delete them if you are daring).

  3. Start Windows Media Player.

 

Done

Please leave a comment if you found this post useful


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This really solved my problem with WMP 11 on Windows XP sp3, thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Hi,

What can I do if the folder titled DRM isn't listed in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows ?

Evan A Barr said...

What is your OS?

Anonymous said...

WinXP SP3, WMP9.
2011-09-30.
Moved all content from DRM to /newfolder/
(all files there appear old to me)
did not work.
nick

Chad said...

Wow... I have been dealing with that for a YEAR... Love you... Thank you so much... It worked GREAT !!!!!!!!

Ellen Solomon said...

Thank you! In my case, thanks to your explanation, I found a different solution - disconnect an mp3 player that was hooked up via USB.

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