You may be unable to play protected content after your computer hardware changes


The Microsoft Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) system may not work if you make changes to your computer hardware. You may not be able to play protected content. Protected content includes content such as songs that you have bought and downloaded from an online store.

You may receive the following error messages:
Error message 1
Licenses for your media files are corrupted
Error message 2
License is either corrupted or not valid
Error message 3
The license to play the packaged media is invalid.
Error message 4
C00D277F - Secure storage protection error. Restore your licenses from a previous backup and try again.


This issue occurs because the Windows Media DRM system maintains information based on the hardware configuration of the computer. If certain components are changed, Windows Media DRM may not work because it may view the change as an unauthorized attempt to move protected content to another computer.

This issue may occur if you have made one or more of the following changes to your computer hardware:
  • You recently changed hardware components, such as the CPU or the motherboard.
  • You modified any one of your computer's Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) settings that affect hardware components, such as disabling CPU hyper-threading.
  • You moved the hard disk drive from one computer to another computer.


To resolve this issue, restore your computer to the original hardware configuration or to the original BIOS settings. Restoring your computer will probably correct these issues. If you can resolve the DRM issue by restoring your hardware configuration or BIOS settings and if you plan to change hardware components in the future, follow steps 1 through 5 later in this section. If you have not made hardware changes or if restoring the hardware configuration does not correct the issue, follow steps 3 through 5.

Caution If you go directly to step 3 and you do not have a recent backup of your licenses, you may not be able to play protected files that you previously downloaded. If you experience this issue, contact the content provider to determine how to download new licenses for these files. An example of a content provider is the store where you bought the protected files.
  1. Back up your licenses. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Microsoft Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Manage Licenses in Windows Media Player 10, or click License Management in Windows Media Player 7.x through Windows Media Player 9.

      To change the backup location, click Change, and then select a location where you want to store backup copies of your licenses.
    2. Click Back Up Now.
    Note The license issuer, such as the online store where you bought the protected file, determines whether you are permitted to back up a specific license. Therefore, you may not be able to back up all your licenses. If you cannot back up the license for a particular file, you cannot restore that license after you change your hardware component. If you cannot restore a license, you cannot play the protected file.

    For more information, visit the Web site of the license issuer to determine whether they support the Backup and Restore feature of Windows Media DRM.

  2. Make the changes that you want to make to your computer hardware.
  3. Reset Windows Media DRM by deleting all the files in the Windows Media DRM folder. Note that the Windows Media DRM folder is a hidden system folder. To view hidden files and folders, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
    2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
    3. Click Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the Hide protected operating system files check box.
    The following are the typical locations of the Windows Media DRM folder, depending on your operating system version:

    • Windows Vista: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DRM
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM
    • Windows 98: C:\Windows\All Users\DRM
    • Windows Millennium Edition: C:\Windows\DRM
    If you cannot find the Windows Media DRM folder, the exact location of the folder on the computer is stored in the following registry key. Make sure that this key points to a valid path:
    Note By default, the path is displayed in binary format. To see the path in plain-text format, double-click DataPath. In the Edit Binary Value dialog box, the path is displayed in the column on the right.
  4. Individualize the Windows Media DRM system.

    To install the latest Windows Media DRM components, see the instructions on the following Microsoft Web site:
  5. Restore your licenses. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Windows Media Player, on the Tools menu, click Manage Licenses if you have Windows Media Player 10, or click License Management if you have Windows Media Player 7.x through Windows Media Player 9.
    2. Select the location of the backup copies of your licenses. If you need to, insert the floppy disk where your licenses are stored.
    3. Click Restore Now.
    Note This step requires a connection to the Internet. For questions about Windows Media Player and privacy, see the Windows Media Player privacy statement. To display the privacy statement in Windows Media Player, click View Privacy Statement on the Help menu.


This behavior is by design.