How to perform common troubleshooting steps for Windows Media Player 11

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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


This article describes various methods that you can use to troubleshoot Microsoft Windows Media Player 11. This article discusses issues that you may experience when you run Windows Media Player 11, when you transcode media, or when you play back video. This articles also discusses potential licensing issues.

Windows Media Player architecture is not significantly changed in version 11. The changes in this Windows Media Player update are related to user interface improvements and to support for additional online media store features. Therefore, general troubleshooting strategies that are used for Microsoft Windows Media Player 10 also apply to Windows Media Player 11.

More Information

There is no license backup

Windows Media Player 11 does not provide an option to make a backup of licenses for protected media. External content providers must provide methods to do the following:
  • Back up and restore licenses in their media programs
  • Update the license for existing content
If you have copied, or "ripped", audio content from a CD and the Copy protect music option was enabled, you can no longer restore licenses if a problem occurs with the digital rights management (DRM) store on the computer. Therefore, if you have such content and the licenses are invalidated, you must re-copy the content from the original source CD. For example, the licenses are invalidated after a clean installation of Windows or after you move the content to a different computer.

You cannot transcode DRM-protected media

In some cases, Windows Media Player 11 cannot transcode DRM-protected media to fit on a portable media device.


DRM-protected files cannot be converted into any other format or even re-encoded in the same format by using a different bit rate. This is true even if you obtain a license from the content provider to copy the file.

This behavior also applies to music that has been copied from an audio CD into Windows Media Audio (WMA) by enabling the Copy protect music option.


DRM-protected Windows Media Audio and DRM-protected Windows Media Video cannot currently be transcoded. To work around this limitation, use one of the following methods.
Method 1: Disable the Copy Protect Music option, and then re-copy content
  1. Right-click the Windows Media Player toolbar, point to Tools, and then click Options.
  2. Click the Rip Music tab.
  3. Click to clear the Copy protect music check box.
  4. Re-copy your music.
Method 2: Disable transcoding
You can disable transcoding for a device if the device supports playback of media files in the original state. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the Windows Media Player toolbar, point to Tools, and then click Options.
  2. Click the Devices tab.
  3. Select a device, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Quality tab, and then click to clear the Convert music, pictures, videos, and TV shows as required check box.
Method 3: Disable the Copy protect music option, and then burn and re-copy content
You can burn content to an audio CD and then re-copy that audio CD to non-protected Windows Media Audio files or to MP3 files. To do this, you must have the rights to burn some DRM-protected music to an audio CD. As soon you have burned and copied the media, it will be in a state where Windows Media Player can transcode the media for your device.

Note When you burn content to an audio CD and then re-copy the content back to a Windows Media Audio file or to a MP3 file, you may reduce the quality of the audio compared to the original source file. This is especially true when you burn content at a lower bit rate.

For more information about DRM-protected audio or video, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

307689 "Digital Rights Restriction" error message when you attempt to convert licensed audio files

307692 Error message when you attempt to convert a licensed file: The file cannot be converted because of a digital rights restriction

303271 Windows Media Player does not transcode DRM files to your portable device

You cannot play back DRM-protected media or obtain new licenses

You cannot play back DRM-protected media files by using Windows Media Player 11 or obtain new licenses for content. Additionally, you may receive one of the following error messages:
The licenses for your media files are corrupted. (Error code 0xC00D2754)

Windows Media Player 11 cannot play the file because the associated license is either corrupted or not valid. (Error code 0xC00D11D6)

The license to play the packaged media is invalid

C00D277F - Secure storage protection error. Restore your licenses from a previous backup and try again

C00D277F - Secure storage protection error. Restore your licenses from a previous backup and try again


The DRM store on the computer is not valid or is damaged in some way. Potential causes for this problem include the following:
  • The processor was changed.
  • The motherboard was changed.
  • A BIOS setting was changed that affected hardware. (For example, you disabled hyperthreading.)
  • You moved the hard disk on which music was first downloaded from one computer to another.
  • An application, such as the RegClean utility, changed DRM settings in a way that caused corruption.
  • You performed a clean installation of the operating system.
This issue occurs because DRM systems, such as Windows Product Activation, maintain an internal hardware ID. This ID is based on the hardware configuration that existed when Windows was installed or when Windows Media Player 11 was installed. If you change the processor or other devices, the hardware ID in the DRM system does not match the new computer configuration. In this case, DRM determines that a user has tried to move protected content to another computer. This behavior can also occur if DRM detects that the DRM-protected storage in the registry has been changed to protect the integrity of the DRM licenses.


To reset the DRM store, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Windows Media Player 11.
  2. Find the DRM folder on the hard disk. By default, this folder is %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM in Microsoft Windows XP.
  3. Delete the contents of the folder.
  4. Visit the following Microsoft Web site:
  5. Follow the instructions on the Web site to update the security component of Windows Media Player 11. This procedure should enable you to obtain new licenses for media. You should also be able to reset licenses for purchased content so that you can play that content on a computer.

    Note You must contact any third-party stores from which you purchased music to reset the licenses for that music. If you have copied CDs to protected Windows Media Audio files, those CDs must be copied again.
    891664 The Windows Media Digital Rights Management system may not work if your computer hardware changes

You receive an "An internal application error has occurred" error message

Several Windows interface elements are blank. Additionally, Windows Media Player 11 returns an “An internal application error has occurred” error message or does not start.


This issue may occur if the component registration for the Jscript.dll file or for the VBScript.dll file has become damaged. This issue may also occur if the files have been unregistered.


To resolve this issue, reregister the Jscript.dll and Vbscript.dll files. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regsvr32 jscript.dll, and then click OK.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regsvr32 vbscript.dll, and then click OK.

    Note In Microsoft Windows Vista, these commands must be run from an elevated command prompt. For more information about the elevated command prompt in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Video playback issues

When you play back a video file in Windows Media Player 11, you may experience one of the following symptoms:
  • The video stutters or becomes choppy.
  • The video and audio are not synchronized.
Possible causes for this behavior include the following issues:
  • Insufficient system resources
  • Network resource issues
  • Software configuration issues

Insufficient system resources

The insufficient system resource could be the processor, the video card, or the hard disk.
A computer processor may not be powerful enough to process high-definition video at a fast enough rate to make sure that the playback is smooth and that the audio remains synchronized. Before you upgrade the processor to solve this problem, you may want to try one of the following methods:
  • Upgrade the video card.
  • If you are using a processor that can run at a slower speed for power management reasons, determine whether the same problem occurs when you run the computer on AC power.
Video card
Some video cards support offloading the video rendering process to the video card. Offloading the video rendering process reduces the load on the processor. Additionally, offloading video rendering enables the computer to play much higher resolution video and to play video that has a much higher bit rate. This improvement is possible because the rendering occurs in hardware.

Video cards that can offload the video rendering process include the following:
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6 series and later versions
  • ATI Xxxx series, X1xxx series, and later versions
If a video card can offload video rendering, but video playback is still choppy, you must confirm that offloading is occurring. Offloading is supported by DirectX by using the DXVA feature. If DXVA is disabled, offloading does not occur, and the processor is forced to render the video.

Other troubleshooting options include the following:
  • Upgrade the video card drivers.
  • Many video codecs have a “Use Hardware Acceleration” option. If that is the case for the format that you are playing, make sure that this option is enabled. Both the ATI Catalyst and the NVIDIA Forceware driver package include this option.
Hard disk
Most hard disks can send video data from the hard disk to the processor in a timely manner for smooth playback to occur. However, this process requires that the hard disk is maintained correctly and that the hard disk is not being used by another application.

If you have video playback issues, verify the following:
  • The hard disk where the media is stored is correctly defragmented.
  • The hard disk has been recently checked for errors by using the CHKDSK utility.
  • No other process is stressing the hard disk when you are playing back video. The hard disk indicates usage if the drive activity light is active when the video is paused. If this light shows constant activity, you must determine what process is using the hard disk and whether the process is something you can delay or end. Processes that may stress the hard disk include the following:
    • Large file copies
    • The indexer for Windows Search
    • The automated defragmentation process

Network resource issues

If the video that is experiencing the playback is being streamed over a network, the available network bandwidth may be insufficient to stream the video in real time. To quickly determine whether network bandwidth is an issue, play back the file after you copy it to the local computer. If the file plays back without problems, network bandwidth was probably insufficient.

When you use wireless networking, determine whether the wireless connection is contributing to the playback issue. If the wireless connection is contributing to the playback issue, consider the following:
  • 802.11b networks do not work well for video streaming because of low bandwidth.
  • 802.11g networks provide higher bandwidth than 802.11b networks.
  • Both 802.11b and 802.11g networks are prone to interference from other household electronics.
  • 802.11a networks provide higher bandwidth and are less prone to interference from other household electronics than 802.11b or 802.11g networks.
These recommendations are especially important when you try to stream high-definition content over the network.

Software configuration issues

Software configuration issues may also contribute to video playback problems. For example, these problems may be caused by a codec issue or by Windows Media Player 11 configuration options that do not work with particular hardware or driver combinations.
If you have performances issues and if the video that you are playing is using a third-party codec, try the following:
  • Issues that occur with one file
    If the playback issue is occurring only with one particular file or with one particular file type, contact the vendor of the codec to see whether there is an update for that codec. If an updated codec does not resolve the issue, we recommend that you contact the original content provider.
  • Issues that occur with one codec
    If the playback issue is occurring only with video from one particular content provider or was created by using one particular software package, contact the software vendor or the content provider for more information. We recommend this step especially if other files that were created by using the same codec have no playback issues,
Windows Media Player configuration
Windows Media Player 11 provides several options that you can use to configure the performance settings for video and DVD playback. These settings are on the Performance tab in the Windows Media Player 11 options.

More Information

For more information, see the Windows Media Player 11 Help .chm file. By default, the Windows Media Player 11 .chm file is located in the %windir%\Help folder.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.


Article ID: 918218 - Last Review: Apr 12, 2013 - Revision: 1