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>


Comments (106)
  1. yardman says:

    Please guys fix this problem. I did a fresh install last night and went 2 WU and install everything. Now i get Restricted content from My premium channels.

    I only have a few protected files in WMP, with where stored on a second hard drive on my system.

    This needs to be fix now.

  2. MikeA says:

    Wow…what an amazing waste of effort and resources seems to go towards protecting the Hollywood money machine. At all levels too, like this issue where both distribution-method/device-design companies such as Microsoft have to devote time and resources to troubleshoot MCE systems that not only don’t add to the desired customer demands, but actually would be considered customers detractions. The waste continues with the the extra costs incurred by not only developers, but also by the end user. Costs incrurred backing up encrypted content or their encryption licenses. Time incurred maintaing a backup system and method to insure the ability to access their content. the grief, frustration, and disbelief that DRM methods even exist and can be so intrusive on a person’s life. A mere four years ago, you could record the first season of the Soprano’s with your VCR and not have to think twice about the show erasing itself 24 hours it recorded even though you wont be back from Easter weekend until Monday to watch it, or have it refuse to record at all because it thinks it can play on demand for you even though you want to watch it on the TV in your kitchen while wrting out some bills or have it tell you its not going to play on your parents machine when you get there, it will only play on yours and you forgot to bring your entire A/V setup with you.

  3. ed says:

    I have lost access to HBO and Starz but not Showtime since upgrading to Rollup 2. I tried the KB you sited but no change. For what it’s worth, I was also having trouble with Yahoo Music Unlimited previously (subscription files were incorrectly showing no syncronization allowed) and that KB resolved the issue.

    It’s crap like this that makes me look seriously at MythTV again.

  4. Some user says:

    I bought a mce pc because I thought I could record a movie and transfer it to my psp to watch on the bus. Was I in for a surprise. I can’t watch the movie off of my computer. I pay for the cable channels but I can’t watch the movie where I want. Not only that but the mce recording isn’t even that great a quality so I have no idea why it’s being protected. I could hook up my vcr and get the same quality. Yet that wasn’t protected. Are these people insane? Why is my life being made more difficult?

  5. Craig says:

    I bought the Microsoft MCE Keyboard because my other Microsoft Keyboard stopped working. The Keyboard requires the Rollup 1 pack to work, when I went to Windows Update it offered Rollup 2 so I took it. Then all my media stopped working, tv shows recorded on the 3 networks stopped working for example. I use System Restore to go back to a time previous to Update 2 and now my content works, but my keyboard doesnt….

    I guess the next step is to try Rollup 1 and wait for Rollup 3 <grin>.

  6. adam says:

    i can’t believe that first off, a google search revealed such little information about ‘windows media restricted content hbo’ and then i get this little blog of information. i was previously using an older computer with an ati aiw video card, and used their software which was pretty good. this new computer has an ati pcix card and came preinstalled with the windows media center software. i thought how it was a cool app, but have quickly become sick of it. then hbo stops working. then ati multimedia apps won’t recognize my tv input anymore, and i figure this all has to do w/something from windows update.

    like soemoen else said, its my video card, and my cable box, i dont want this software doing all this crap to it. if only linux had better video card support.

  7. Chris says:

    I had the same issues with trying to watch HBO/PRISM. I fixed this by reinstalling the cyberlink decoder software(after reinstalling cyberlink I was able to watch HBO/PRISM) I tried the drm steps above but that didn’t work and I was not about to reinstall my OS. Please let me know what type of decoder software you are using so we could see if we have this in common with our system. My guess is you have to install the decoder software last something in the os must be updating/overwriting this component. I am running a dell inspiron 6000 w/ windows media center 2005 rollup 2 and all the latest microsoft patches.

  8. Jim N says:

    Since Rollup 2 I haven’t been able to watch my recorded HBO series without getting the blue Protected Content screen. Fortunately, for now it only appears to happen with HBO programming. I love HBO but it’s not worth the subscription price if I can’t watch the shows when I actually have time to sit and watch. If this is going to become an issue with other programming, I would definitely have to reconsider using MCE… VCR’s cost hardly anything these days.

  9. Bill says:

    Sorry man, this didn’t work. I want my HBO back.

    I’m dumping MCE and switching to MediaPortal. Better program and my box will be back on my AD.

  10. adam says:

    from what i’ve read (googled) it sounds like wmce went from an automatic decoder (like automatically disabled the ability to record hbo and watch it another television) to a ‘wait-and-see’ decoder.

    in other words, they put the responsibility on the networks to place some code in their broadcasts to label it as restrictive (i guess…). and if this is true, then some of the problem could be how hbo and wmce interpret this behavior, which is why this above fix of deleting and reinstalling codecs doesn’t work. couldn’t they just release some hbo codecs.

  11. Jimmy says:

    I upgraded to Rollup 2 and had the same problem… after 30 seconds or so, when viewing HBO or other premium channels on MCE, I would get content restricted blue screen.

    However, I ran the Windows Updates again and noticed there were POST ROLLUP 2 fixes, and applied them and the problem was solved.

    So if you’re still getting this problem, you may want to run Windows Update again and see if it fixes the problem for you as well.

  12. LCC says:

    Is this going to get fixed? I am really frustrated, I have tried everything here and still get the error.

  13. Hi LCC – we are still working on a fix for this content protection issue and hope to have it ready very soon. I’m sorry for the hassles here…

  14. Aaron Newton says:

    Are you kidding me? You posted this IN OCTOBER. It’s christmas! I’m PAYING for HBO and I can’t watch it? How do you think you’re going to sell this product to the mass audience with things like this happening?

    I can deal with the notion that this kind of bug could happen in an update. MS and other business have gotten us used to the notion that updates that contain bug fixes and feature enhancements usually just contain more bugs.

    But the fact that you haven’t released a fix for it yet is whacked. There should have been a fix within a few days. I hadn’t gone looking for answers on this for several weeks, telling myself that if I lowered my expectations thinking you’d fix it by the end of the year that maybe I wouldn’t be disappointed.

    Big surprise. Guess what, my new years resolution is to install all the alternatives to MCE and see which ones let me watch HBO.

    It’s bullshit like this that makes me want to give bit-torrent a shot. Why bother getting my TV legally when it doesn’t even work because Microsoft can’t get it’s act together.


  15. Scott Shilala says:

    I hate to have to agree with a rant, and I may have made Aaron’s statement in a more tactful manner, but you’ve got to admit he’s right on target.

    When can we expect a fix?

  16. Droid says:

    I have been messing around with this garbage for 2 weeks now. Bad enough I couldnt listen to music from Napster which I pay a monthly fee to… I tried all the reintalling and finally got my music to work now I cant watch anything from HBO or other movies from channels like FAM, etc.. Great during the christmas holidays… Sorry Kids, Microsoft doesnt want you to view any of these shows…. Yes Yes I know we pay for them are completely legal, MS has decided its not what they want us to watch. Thank god I still own SAGE TV.

  17. Chad says:

    Just reinstall your decoder after the Rollup 2 install and it will correct your issue.

  18. Hi Droid – I’m very sorry for the hassle this is causing you and your family. We are still working on a fix for this issue and it has unfortunately been taking longer than anticipated. In the meantime, can you try the steps at and see if they help restore your ability to watch HBO and use Napster?

  19. LCC says:

    Does this mean I will get a reimbursement check from Microsoft in the mail for my premium channels? 🙂

  20. Ken says:

    You have to be kidding, go through all those steps copying and restoring just to watch content we paid for. This ia a mess.

  21. Dustin Taylor says:

    Maybe this will help shed some light on the issue. I used to have a standard DirecTV receiver with an S-video connection to the Media Center, and everything worked fine – even with Update Rollup 2. As soon as I had the new DirecTV HD receiver installed (with the exact same video/audio hookups to the Media Center), I started having the HBO restricted content problem (with live TV, I believe recorded shows still worked). I performed the fix that involves deleting the DRM directory and now HBO will play. Reinstalling the DVD decoder did not fix it. The ehrecvr.exe service did need to be stopped, and I ended up deleting the entire DRM directory (not just the files inside).

    This may or may not be relevant as well. Even though HBO will play now, the live feed is choppy. This is due to a spike in CPU usage by the ehrecvr.exe process resulting in 100% CPU usage. Interestingly enough, recorded shows from the same HBO channel playback with no choppiness. Not everyone may be experiencing this, because I am running MCE on an underpowered system, but it did work fine beforehand.

    Could this be due to the HD signal? Maybe, but it seems odd since the data is still running over the exact same S-video connection (which isn’t even HD capable). On a side note, I sure wish there was an MCE supported tuner that had inputs that supported an HD signal (component, DVI, or HDMI).

    Hope this helps you guys.

  22. Jay says:

    thanks for the scoop Aaron. This worked like a charm for me. My HBO is back up and running. Thanks for the blog.

  23. Todd says:

    New Dell XPS600 arrived yesterday. Everything worked great for about 6 hours until I was playing with video settings. After that I have the restricted content message on HBO and none of the videos shipped on the PC worked anymore in media player. Tried all the fixes I could find but nothing has helped so far.

    I have no idea what to do next. Any help appreciated.

  24. Chris says:

    My issue was with HBO too. I killed the ehRecvr service and reset the DRM folder as described in the article. All good. Thanks Aaron.

  25. Todd says:

    I did the same thing but unfortunately it did not help. Something happened when I changed to SLI graphics mode and an error occured. When I rebooted HBO was gone.

    I’ll keep looking.


  26. Hi Todd – Normally, deleting the contents of the DRM folder (C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDRM) will resolve this issue. You need to make sure that there is not any process running that has any of those files in use so that you can fully delete the folder and not leave any files behind.

    If that still doesn’t work for you, can you try the steps listed at to gather the error code and let me know what it is so I can try to ask around and see if there are other suggestions to try here?

  27. Todd Lee says:

    Aaron – Thanks for the reply.

    I followed the steps, including the net stop ehrecvr command. All of the DRM files were deleted – even the DRM folder. I was able to download and play the file in windows media player 10 and in windows media center with no errors. Still, when I try to view HBO I get the restricted content error after about 15 seconds.

    Thanks for the help. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.

  28. Chris says:

    Todd, You mentioned that things went south when you changed to SLI mode. Try turning SLI off and using just one video card. I suspect that MCE thinks you are attempting to pump out that HBO signal to multiple monitors – which is a no-no i believe. Sort of the same situation as if you were attempting to view HBO on a MCE extender. You may need to reset the DRM folder after doing this as well. Just a thought.

  29. jtlee_97 says:

    Chris – thanks for the input.

    SLI mode only supports one monitor so I haven’t been using it. My HBO problems definitly started after I enabled it the first time. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not. I have tried to reset the DRM files several times in normal graphics mode with no success. I have no problems with protected wma files, only with HBO (my only premium channel).

    I have the GeForce 6800 video card. From what I can tell it is basically two PCI video cards that work together in SLI mode supporting one monitor.

    From the nvidia site …

    "An NVIDIA SLI system includes a PCI Express motherboard that supports two physical connectors that are capable of having two NVIDIA-based PCI Express graphics cards plugged into them. Joined by the NVIDIA SLI connector, the two graphics cards power one monitor"

    Maybe someone else may know if this could be a problem and if the change to SLI mode alters something that media center needs for content protection.

    Thanks again,


  30. sbondell says:

    I have a new Dell 9300 Inspiron notebook which came with Media Center Rollup 2 and Windows Media Player 10. I cannot watch/view live TV from any HBO channel without getting the blue screen restricted content message after 15-30 secs or so. Showtime channels all are fine. My TV signal is from Comcast with a digital cable box, which I have attached to the Dell Angel single external tuner via component Audio and Video cables. Video card is GeForce 6800. Notebook is connected to a home wireless network.

    I turned off ehrecvr via task manager End Process Wwas not sure how to execute the stop command you described) and deleted the files in the DMR folder. I clicked the link "To install the latest Windows Media DRM components" and also installed hotfix file: WindowsMedia10-KB910393-x86-ENU.exe.

    Still cannot watch HBO channels.

    I do no know if using task manager was sufficient but all files appeared to be deleted from DMR folder. Should the folder itself be deleted? I have also updated to the latest driver for the tuner.

    Last thought, which I have not checked out yet, is the display is set to Multiple Monitors on NVIDIA GeForce 6800. Could changing this to Default Monitor on NVIDIA 6800 help. Could MCE misinterpret HBO instruction in a multiple moniter setting?

    Any other advice



  31. sbondell says:

    Follow up of above – One can’t change the display option tfrom multiple monitors to default monitor on this system – it just defaults back to multiple monitors. I have also upgraded to latest NVIDIA driver downloaded from Dell, but still not fixed.

    Chad posted "Just reinstall your decoder after the Rollup 2 install and it will correct your issue."

    What decoder/software specificly is he referring to?

    I assume a formal fix from Microsoft is not out.



  32. Todd Lee says:

    Hey Steve,

    I have the same problem with a new Dell XPS (As you can see from my posts above). As far as the decoder, There is an application from Microsoft that will check you decoder. Check the January 2006 archives at the top left of this page. Look for the post:

    "Decoder checkup utility for troubleshooting Media Center TV playback problems"

    My XPS uses a decoder that came with Cyberlink Power DVD. I’m at work and I don’t remember the name. The utility says that it is compatible. I reinstalled the decoder off the CD that came with the PC and it did not fix my problem. I also got the latest upgrades from manufacturer. Again, no help.

    I certainly hope that the content problem is not related to dual monitors or home wirelss networks. I have both. Funny thing is that I could watch HBO for a few hours while I was setting up my system. I had an error when playing with graphics modes and for a time I was not contected to my router or the internet. I don’t know exactly when or what caused the restricted content message to start showing up.

    I have spent many, many hours trying to fix this problem. Let me know if you find a solution. I will do the same.



  33. sbondell says:

    For those of us who have tried to reset DMR without correction of the HBO viwing problem, would it help to uninstall and then re-install rollup update 2. What does Microsoft say about this problem.


  34. sbondell says:

    Ok I now understand the decoder thing. I used the decoder checkup utility and my system is also using Cyberlink’s decoder, ver. and it is marked as MCE compatible and it is the only decoder installed. I don’t think this has anything to do with the HBO viewing problem since Todd Lee reinstalled and this did not help. Everything else plays fine live or recorded, even Showtime channels. This must be something in how MCE in Rollup 2 interprets some data in the HBO signal. This might be a recording limitation or burning limitation but I can’t imagine we arenot supposed to be able to watch HBO live with MCE. This is frustrating and I would like to know how to get Microsoft to respond to these questions about HBO restricted content and how MCE is supposed to function.

  35. Todd Lee says:

    Steve – It is a little frustrating. For years I told my wife that I wanted to have the PC be the center of our entertainment center – "That’s the future". We lived with a 1987 19" Sears television from my college days until this Christmas.

    I still think media center is really cool but all this rights management stuff is something I hadn’t expected.

    I’m still digging into it. I’ll either get it working or (more than likely) break it all together.


  36. Todd Lee says:

    I downloaded a trial version of Nvidia Pure Video Decoder. I used the decoder checkup utility to set it as the prefered decoder, rebooted my system and re-setup the tuner under media center. No help. 15 seconds of HBO then restricted content. I think we can rule out the decoder.


  37. sbondell says:

    To add a bit more info, another website

    claimed stated that the problem was fixed by using a napster drm reset utility, which needs to be run after stopping ehrcvr. This seems to be an automated variation of the procedure described above to reset DMR. Needless to say this too did not work. Has anyone tried uninstalling then reinstalling Rollup 2.


  38. Todd Lee says:

    The Napster utility did not work for me either. I may get brave and try unistalling rollup2.

  39. Ernest says:

    like many others I’ve been having the same problems, not being able to view premium channels on my MCE, and frankly I’m not sure what started it (i had installed rollup2, but i think it was still working for a bit after this…)

    anyways, i just decided now to delete my DRM folder (the entire folder), before that, start-run, {type}net stop ehRecvr -enter

    Eureka! now it works!! thanks so much ppl!!

    i hav spent several hours frustrated, with sony, with microsoft, comcast cable, and none were able to help, and was not planning on reinstalling OS either….

    so try that folks, it’s a VERY easy solution, and i hope it works for u

  40. Hi everyone – If the DRM folder deletion does not work for you, you may want to try to uninstall and reinstall Update Rollup 2 to see if that helps. Also, you can try to install KB910393 if you haven’t already. You can find that at

    I’m very sorry for the hassles here. I’ll keep updating my blog as we get more information about this issue.

  41. Todd Lee says:

    Thanks Aaron- This is the only place I am getting any help/suggestions. The DRM reset seems to work for most people – unfortunately not for some of us. I’ll give these a try tonight and post the results. I think I have the media player fix but I will check and make sure.

  42. Boostin300zx says:


    One problem is that most of you are delteing the content in the DRM folder. WRONG.

    1. try to backup ur licenses using WMP tools but it didnt work for me

    2. press Start- RUN- type: "net stop ehRecvr" without the quotes

    3. Run that commnad. a black box should pop up saying media services stopped

    4. you must Delete the WHOLE DRM FOLDER all together because the files you need to delte are hidden and dont show even when u select show hidden files.

    5.IMPORTANT: often this file remains hidden even when u select to view hidden files so do the following to delte it. Start-RUN- type CMD

    6. when comand promt opens type this and hit enter Type: "RMDIR C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDRM" without the quotes

    7. run the hot fix for kicks if you want:

    8. restore ur licenses in WMP if u were able to back them up which u probly werent able to so just forget about it.

    9. you dont need to create the DRM folder it will create again on its own.

    10. open media center and enjoy HBO

    if you have any other questions PM me on

  43. sbondell says:

    The DRM reset just does not seem to work for my system. I’ve tried it lots of ways, including the Napster reset utility which deletes all the files. The directory is gone even after a reboot. When I plug my external USB Angel tuner in, 3 DMR files are created. Still no HBO. I believe there are others who cannot fix the problem with a DMR reset. I would like to know who elese can’t correct the problem by deleting DMR.


  44. Todd Lee says:

    I installed the hotfix:

    No help. Afterwards I did the DRM reset again. No help. I started to remove rollup2 but got a warning. It listed many, many things that might not work if I removed rollup2 so I am holding off.


  45. sbondell says:


    Since you have suggested trying to uninstall and reinstall Rollup 2, how about advising us exactly how to best do this. Frankly I am fearfull of ending up worse off. I have seen mention of an Update to Rollup 2 called 908250. Do we need to check for this and remove it? I have seen posts talking about the need to uninstall Security Update KB904706 befor installing Rollup 2. Will this update have to be removed before an attempted uninstall of Rollup 2 or just before a reinstall? What about the new version of Tweak MCE for Rollup 2 – should it be removed first? In my desperate attempt to fix the HBO problem I tried every update/fix posted for MCE and also updated to .netFrame 2.0. This did not cause any other problems but did not fix anything. Will 2.0 affect an uninstall or reinstall? There are also updates/fixes to .netFrame 1.1. Do any of these pose a problem?



  46. Hi Steve – I am working on the finishing touches for a post that describes some of these steps in more detail. I hope to have it ready later today or over the weekend, and I will post a comment here with a link to the new post when it is ready. I will make sure that the post addresses all of these questions as well (it answers some of them now but not all).

  47. Todd Lee says:

    Just a comment. HBO seems to be the only thing affected. I’m on DirecTV and I watched some previews on some of the pay per view channels and did not get the restricted content screen. No problems with any other channel. HBO is my only premium package so I don’t know about the others.

  48. LCC says:

    It is not just HBO for me. It is all premium channels. But is is not all movies, just most of them. For instance…I watched Scary Movie 3 the other night on HBO. It ended. Previews came on and they were fine. Cocktail was coming on and I was going to watch it. As soon as it started, 15 seconds or so later I get the restricted content message.

    Will someone please fix this now!

  49. Hi all – I have posted an article with more details about diagnosing and working around these issues. I understand this is very frustrating, but I hope that some of the items in this article will be useful in the meantime –

    To Jimmy Hagerty – I typically don’t delete comments, even when they are negative towards Microsoft, but I have to draw the line with profanity. It probably doesn’t mean much, but I sincerely apologize for the frustration that you and everyone else are experiencing while we work on fixes for these issues.

  50. sbondell says:


    I could be wrong but I think there is a difference between problems playing back previously recorded protected content and not being able to view HBO live, let alone record it. As you know I have tried all the work arounds to no avail. After a DMR reset I can download the security "update" needed to play the sample audio and have no problem playing it in Media Player or Winamp but HBO still generates the protected content Blue Screen.

    I personaly believe there is a failure by MCE Rollup 2 to properly interpret the the CGMS-A signal that HBO is sending which is supposed to limit the user to one recording of Broadcast HBO programing and prevent recording of On Demand programing (their logic being that you do not need to time shift what is available via On Demand since this is time shifted by definition, it’s available whenever you want to view and can be paused, fast fowarded or rewound as needed. We need some answers from Microsoft as to why Media Center is not permitting us to view this content. I can go to Sonic MyDVD and capture the HBO program as an MPEG via the same Angel Tuner Box and the same component Audio and Video lines that MCE is using, all with no problems and I can even burn this capture to a DVD. The problem is strictly Media Center. Please try to get us some meaningfull answers from Microsoft. I did not like the profanity in the earlier posting but I don’t think Microsoft is answering or even admitting to an actual problem here. I just want to be sure that the fix they are working on is for the real problem.

    Also could you clarify your instructions on re-installing Rollup 2. Did you purposefuly not mention uninstalling Rollup 2 or other hotfixes first – in other words doing an over install. I have seen some programs which have fixed their problems by an over install without uninstalling. If uninstallation is needed, I wanted to know what other hotfixes needed to be uninstalled first. I would be more comfortable with trying an over install.


  51. Todd Lee says:

    Steve and Aaron –

    My situation is exactly as described by Steve. No problems playing the protected audio file. Seems to me that that portion of DRM is working correctly.

    I can also capture HBO using Sonic MyDVD with no problems.


  52. sbondell says:


    I again followed your instructions but HBO can not be viewed. I can click on the test audio file after a reset and download a new licence and play the file but no HBO. I have not attempted to re-install Rollup 2 because I have been waiting for your advice as to how to best do this – uninstall or overinstall and what else to uninstall – please see my post above.

    I have checked the versions of the files you described with the following results:

    drmclien.dll and drmv2clt.dll and wmp.dll and wmvcore.dll files in both c:windowssystem32 and cwindowssystem32dllcache all show version

    There are versions of these files in system backup directories and in c:i386 (the Windows installation directory) which are different. In these other directories drmclien.dll, drmv2clt.dll and wmvcore.dll are all version and wmp.dll in these other directories is There is also an uninstallKB903157 directory that contains wmp.dll version and an uninstallEmeraldQFE2 directory with version

    Again are the versions in system32 and system32/dllcache directories for all of these files.

    Is this the correct current version for these files?


  53. Hi Steve – unfortunately, the workaround steps I’ve listed don’t seem to work 100% of the time and it sounds like you might be hitting one of the unlucky cases.

    I’m not sure what to tell you to try at this point other than to try to reinstall your OS or to wait for the hotfix that we will hopefully have available soon.

    You can try to reinstall Update Rollup 2 before that if you haven’t done it already. You do not need to uninstall before re-installing, I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear earlier.

    Again, I’m very sorry for the hassles here. I really wish I was able to be more helpful for all the folks running into this 🙁

  54. Kevin C says:

    A similar problem is occurring for users of Yahoo! Music Unlimited. I, along with many others, have been unable to tranfer subscription music tracks to any compatible portable devices after installing MCE roll-up two. DRM resets do not address the issue. You can follow threads on this problem, which has multiplied rapidly at:

  55. nupes98 says:

    I had the same problem with HBO, STARZ, Encore channels not working. All, I did was delete the DRM folder, backed up the licenses in media player, and dowloaded the security upgrade for windows media player 10, that fixed the problem for me.

  56. Aaron says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say that the steps outlined here:

    Fixed my problem. Hopefully the same will be true for others. Note: I didn’t re-install update 2. I tested my hbo after the updates and deleting my DRM folder (which I had done on previous attempts at fixing this) and it works now.

    Thanks Aaron

  57. nupes98 says:

    Now I can watch all of the channels, but now I when I attempt to burn the program to DVD it says that I can not burn the programs because it says they are protected. Any suggestions

  58. Hi Nupes98 – Media Center allows you to burn protected music to CD, but you cannot burn protected programs to a video DVD. You should be able to burn them to a data DVD however.

  59. stera says:

    Built my own media center pc to test before recommending to firends and potential customers. Very frustrating experience. Everything was fine viewing TV until last night when I got the dreaded blue screen. Tried above fixes…nothing worked. Was planning on putting in dual tuner card anyway so will probbably also put in new hard drive, reinstall OS and try and compy over my music and picture files. This is, to put it mildly, completely unacceptable. I cannot in good conscience recommend this OS to anyone.

  60. Hi Stera – I’m very sorry you’ve run into these problems while trying to use Media Center. Can you please provide more details about exactly what error you’re seeing so I can try to be of more assistance? For example, what is the exact message you see in the blue window? Is this a traditional Windows blue screen crash, or a Media Center blue overlay? If you are getting a protected content playback error, there are also some more detailed steps located at that may help as well.

  61. stera says:

    Yes, it is the protected content message. I can watch HBO, STARZ etc for about 15 seconds and then the screen comes up. I’ve tried deleting the DRM folder but no go. This appears to be but one of many little media center quirks. I’ve also experienced audio dying for no reason and I have to reboot. Or, system won’t wake up from standby consistently. Too many irritating little issues. I do, however, like the music set up. Have loaded in all my CDS (over 350) which is why I’m hoping to copy them to a new hard drive. Loading them was very time consuming.

  62. sbondell says:


    It’s been a while since I last posted on this subject. I have been patiently waiting for you to come back with an answer for those of us who cannot watch or record HBO with Media Center despite trying every variation on the DRM reset. You and Microsoft know by now that the DRM reset does not work for everyone. I appreciate your politenes in apologizing for the problem but sooner or later we need to see a fix. Nothing has really been done since offering a DRM reset. December 5th you posted "we are still working on a fix for this content protection issue and hope to have it ready very soon". I’m sure it’s pretty complicated but this has been going on since October and Media Center is a major operating system being sold with a lot of new computers. We pay Cable for HBO, we paid Microsoft either directly or through our computer puchase for Media Center yet the two do not work together properly. How about posting some reassuring substantive information on what is being done and when we might see a real fix.

    Getting frustrated,Steve

  63. stera says:

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more

  64. Mark Sowul says:

    Don’t blame Microsoft, blame the content providers that force this stupid crappy DRM down our throats against our will.

    Guess what HBO, I can’t watch your channel because you insist on crappy DRM, so my only alternative is to pirate it.  Good going guys, you’re doing a great job protecting your content.  You forced a legal customer to download it illegally…who does this hurt, the pirates, or the legal folk?

  65. joe m says:

    Wow! This is amazing. I have suddenly lost the ability to watch HBO and Showtime on my MCE. I’m not going to go through all the convolutions suggested here to get it back. I’m just going to cancel these subscriptions. Way to go DRM!

  66. stera says:

    Just helped my nephew install a tuner card in his media pc. Yes, it didn’t come with one. So much for Microsoft’s concern about hardware. Anyway,he was so excited about getting it all hooked up I haven’t had the heart to tell him how disappointed he will ultimately be. Shame on you Microsoft.

  67. Hi Stera – Microsoft is definitely concerned about hardware.  In this case though, it is the decision of the hardware manufacturer whether or not to include TV tuner(s) with Media Center.  I am not sure why you state that your nephew is going to be disappointed?  Is there something currently going wrong with his Media Center?  If so, can you please share some of the details so I can see if it is a known issue and try to help solve it?

    Hi Steve et al – I understand the frustration, and I also know it doesn’t help at all for me to say that I understand.  The DRM team has released a fixed version of the preventative fix ( and is actively working on another hotfix.  I have been posting information as soon as I find out about it (for example, this post on January 16th –

    Again, I apologize again for the delay.  We have to make sure that any upcoming hotfixes not only fix all of the issues described here but also leave all currently working configurations in the correct working state, and as you can imagine, this is a complex test matrix.

  68. chrisr says:

    I’ve got an interesting take on this issue-

    I loaded mce then changed a ton of hardware and uprevved the bios (I know, shoulda done it in reverse, but regardless)…

    I then could not play the protected media files(Alanis Morsett vid for example) nor watch HBO live without the 15-second ‘drm problem’ mssage.

    I then followed Aaron’s recommendations, and used the directions in KB891664 to delete the drm folder and download the latest drm components.

    The result? I can watch HBO now, but when playing the included protected content (alanis again) I get an error where WMP says it needs to download a license by connecting to http://localhost/licerror.aspx. Needless to say, that’s not a valid address and it craps out.

    I’m happy with hbo and don’t really care about Alanis but the error looking for a license on an invalid address makes me think some programmer didn’t write into MCE where to look to obtain some licences for this conten. Aaron– how can I obtain the right license for the inluded, protected content in mce?

  69. Hi Chrisr – Some protected content has a built-in "optimization" that will cause it to not try to request a new license if a flag has been set indicating that it already acquired a license, even if the license that has been acquired is no longer valid.  What is the manufacturer of the content that you are seeing this issue with?

  70. chrisr says:

    Hi Aaron. The only content I cannot get to play correctly is the protected content installed by default when installing MCE2005. The ‘free’ protected content in the all users-> shared videos/music folders.

    It’s really not a big deal that I cannot play them as I’m not a huge fan of anyone’s content MS provided as part of the install, but thought you should know that as a side effect of the clearing of the drm folder that when this content tries to reaquire the license it goes looking for it at the localhost/licerror.aspx page and threw up an error.

  71. paul newell says:

    you know I really like mce2005 found it a real usful tool till now that is..I am getting these messages now and after spending much time have decided like everyone else to just cancel the movie package from my sat provider..I think I understand now why some people dont pay for stuff…only us suckers fuel the fire…I am so fed up with this drm stuff I am finding a new hobby

  72. Todd says:

    This worked for me.  I now have HBO

    I did the DRM resest and resinstalled Rollup 2.  After this HBO worked.

    The next step of this process is installation of KB908250 .  I believe that this has been replaced with a newer update.  When I installed the update HBO was gone again.  I uninstalled, had to go through the setup process for my tuner, and I was again able to view HBO.  

    Hope this helps some of you.  Thanks for the help Aaron.  There is still a bug in here somewhere but at least I have it working again.

  73. Matt Ridings says:

    Not sure how helpful it will be as there seems to be a number of issues at play here, but here is the sequence that worked for me (note that I tried a number of sequences that did not work).  In my case I was unable to play live or recorded HBO content.

    1) Installed the decoder checkup utility and set my preferred MCE decoder to be the original one that was installed on the system (in my case I had installed the Nvidia decoder in place of the intervideo decoder that came with the HP Media Center)

    2) Turned off all antivirus/firewall software (if not 3rd party you should be able to leave on firewall)

    3) Shut down the ehrecvr MCE service

    4) Deleted all files within the hidden system DRM folder (see above instructions from Aaron)

    5) Downloaded latest DRM security components upgrade at

    6) Rebooted System

    Note that I tried multiple other steps, including these same ones but in different sequences with no success.  I did *not* re-run any other patches/hotfixes/rollups after these steps, nor did I rollback any prior.

    Hope this helps someone

  74. Troy says:

    I guess I don’t understand all these comments that state:  "Well I’m just going to cancel my cable/sat subscriptions to HBO/Starz/etc…".  Since this is specifically a problem with Media Center and they are not forthcoming with a fix in a reasonable amount of time, shouldn’t you be looking for alternatives to MCE… rather than canceling subscription to premium content?

    I currently don’t have the HBO/premium content problems you all refer to here, except that I cannot take my HBO recording and view it on another PC.  But if this problem was on my MCE computer directly and I couldn’t view HBO live or any premium recordings, I would look for an alternative software solution, rather than cancel my HBO.

    MythTV, SageTV, Media Portal, Meedio, MyPVR, etc, etc, etc… many of these are completely free or free to try.  None of them cost as much as MCE.  I would simply switch to another front end, rather than lose content.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing MS or it’s MCE product.  I currently use MCE as my full time media machine and am happy with it, but with all the other alternatives out there that can perform similar and in many ways better, why wouldn’t that be your first option over canceling subscriptions to your cable?

  75. djwakelee says:

    I have seem to have a related content protection issue.  Similar to everyone else, but with good only fashioned analog cable.  

    Tried to record ABC’s Lost last night.  Media center says it was recorded, but only 14 minutes of it!

    Further investigation in the Event Viewer log lists this error…


    Event Type:     Warning

    Event Source:   Recording

    Event Category: None

    Event ID:       8

    Date:           3/1/2006

    Time:           9:17:22 PM

    User:           N/A

    Computer:       HTPC


    Lost was not recorded.  Recording of this content is prohibited by the content provider.


    I can playback the 14 minutes which were recorded – which is right up until the 2nd commercial break was going to start in.  Just enough to get into the show, only to be left hanging.

    I’ll admit, this is the first time I tried to record Lost.  Though, give me a break, the recorded analog signal is hardly worthy of any sort of protection – picture doesn’t look that great in the first place.

    I too have Update Rollup 2 installed – unsure if it is related to that or not.  Any ideas how to fix this issue?



  76. Hi Djwakelee – I’m very sorry you ran into this issue.  I saw it once on my Media Center as well and it turned out to be a one-off issue.  When I asked around about the case I saw they said it was likely an inadvertant signal problem from the broadcaster (it was the ABC affiliate here in Seattle, and I lost the season premiere of Alias as a result).  Sure enough, I have not had any further issues on that channel or with that series.  I’m sorry I don’t have a better explanation for you for this  🙁

  77. djwakelee says:

    Thanks for the reply Aaron.  I too thought it might be a one up issue, as I’ve successfully recorded other programming without issues.  

    Though, given the issue, I’ve definately lost trust in Media Center’s ability to record what I’ve requested.  My old VCR doesn’t have these copy protection issues – and its recorded analog content with its 4 heads/HQ/SP looks just as good as Media Center.  Granted that the capabilities and convienence of Media Center far exceed the VCR, but the system needs to be reliable if I am going to count on it for recording.

    A few questions maybe you (or someone else) can answer…

    1) Can you describe what triggers Media Center to act on the CGMS-A content restriction information?  In other words, does it take several seconds/frames of the flag being present in the analog stream, or does Media Center snap off even if it detects even 1 occurance in the signal?  

    2) Looking back at one of your original posts about Update Rollup 2, you mention that UR2 contains a significant revamp in DRM.  If I revert back to pre-UR2, might the CGMS-A detection be more foregiving?

    3) It is my understanding that there is no legal requirement which restricts storing analog brodcast content – be it stored in analog format or analog converted to digital.  Why is Media Center even looking at the CGMS-A information?  If our VCR’s aren’t mandated to do this, why is Media Center?


  78. Aaron says:

    The standard fix isn’t working for me:

    – There are no files in my DRM folder, even with show System Folders/show Hidden Files on.

    – When I go to the update DRM system page, the button is disabled.

    – When I try to run WindowsUpdate, my system hangs and I can’t kill IE even with <ctr>-<alt>-<delete>

    – And of course I can’t watch HBO content, even "live" through the media center.

    Any Ideas?

  79. Stera says:

    I’ve installed a new hard drive and reinstalled a fresh copy of media center and Rollup 2. Can you please tell me the most up to date preventative fix to prevent the restricted content errors..


  80. Hi Djwakelee – I’m afraid I don’t have much knowledge about how the Windows digital rights management works behind the scenes to answer the questions you pose about the CGMS-A flag in questions 1 and 3.  For question 2, there is a new DRM system that is installed as a part of Media Center Update Rollup 2, but I do not know if anything changed in the CGMS-A detection logic in this new version of DRM.  I’m sorry I’m not able to provide more useful information here.

    Hi Aaron – There are a few additional troubleshooting steps listed at that may help in your scenario.

    Hi Stera – You can find the most up-to-date preventative fix described at;en-us;910393.  There is a link in that Knowledge Base article that you can use to download the package.

  81. says:

    Im not sure if anyone has tried this. I have a Dell Dimension 8400 and experienced the Restricted content issue. I was able to fix it by the following.

    1. Closing Media Center

    2. Deleting the Hidden DRM folder on the system

    3. Rebooting the system

    This worked for me to watch HBO again. However my understanding is that this may cause the inability to view any previously recorded content. Since I really didnt have anything I couldnt live without, I opted for this method. I havent yet tried to view any files that I recorded prior to deleting my licences, but dont really care. From this point on I can watch HBO! Yipee!  I noticed that some forums state to back up your licences through Media player, but this did not work for me. I received an error when attempting to backup my licenses. I did find this in a dell forum:

    Wish I had tried this before I deleted files. Oh well.

    Hope ths helps some of you!


  82. Radwok says:

    I followed the instructions as listed in the site by other people (ie, deleted DRM), except I like some other did not reinstall the rollover, etc. and I could not backup my licenses.  Anyways, it worked to get rid of the "restricted content" screen and now I am able to watch and record HBO content.  However, I have noticed that when I go to watch the recorded HBO movie in media center and I want to fast forward thru the beginning, the timing gets off or something and video freezes and appears to go in slow motion w/ choppy audio.  Has anybody else had problems like this?  DVDs seem to run fine even w/ fast forwarding.  Thoughts?

  83. LCC says:

    Is this going to get fixed or not?!?!

  84. Dave says:

    I was asked to look at a friends computer with regard to the included content not working after installing rollup2. I have followed the guides mentioned, but I get http://localhost/licerror.aspx when I try to download licenses, I wondered if anyone has found a fix for this as my friends kids want alanis back!!

    This is mentioned in passing above, but not sorted.  

  85. As many of you have noticed and posted on my blog in the past (here, here, here&amp;nbsp;and here), there…

  86. richard berg says:

    I installed the extender software for my new xbox 360 and suddenly I could not see HBO due to bluescreen after a few seconds.  I tried all of the solutions. Finally I installed and ran the napster reset after deleting the DRM directory. This worked and was easy. Of course I lost previously recorded HBO files but at least it works now.

  87. Hi Richard – I posted information yesterday about a new hotfix that is available to fix protected content playback issues.  You can take a look at my blog post at and the knowledge base article for this new hotfix at  Or you can skip both of those and go directly to;amp;amp;amp;displaylang=en and download the hotfix.  Hopefully this will help….

  88. As I have previously described here and here, some folks have run into problems playing protected content…

  89. LBC says:

    After hours talkimg to HP support in India and being blown off by Microsoft who wanted $35 to resolve problem, tried new hotfix and it worked after 2nd reboot. Thank you sir!

  90. George says:

    I have had trouble with showing hidden folders. I tried by going to FOLDER OPTIONS, VIEW and I also selected the option SHOW HIDDEN FOLDERS, but nothing happens. The condition of the folders are the same. They still hidden. How can I make them not hidden even in this condition. I think there might be a protection that somebody did to my computer. Well I bought it. Please help me

  91. Bongo Jon says:

     I updated to MCE Rollup 2 when prompted to do so by the Sonic DVD software.

     The nightmare went on for weeks.  I finally pulled myself away from World of Warcraft long enough to drum up this blog – fortunately it is May 2006 so all of the headaches had been plowed through by everyone else.

     I deleted my DRM files as suggested.  But I hate DRM anyway so I was more than happy to blow away the licenses.  Then applied the hotfix as listed in the blog post:

    I am now happily using MCE Rollup 2 without the application crash occuring every 10 seconds.

    To find this fix I used Google and searched for drmv2clt.dll and ehrecvr.exe as below:

    Thanks for the post Aaron.

  92. Hi Bongo Jon – I’m glad to hear that this hotfix resolved the issue you were seeing on your system.

    For others who read these comments in the future, I want to emphasize that you should be able to install hotfix KB913800 to resolve this issue and you should not have to manually delete the DRM files.  That workaround was only necessary before KB913800 was shipped.

  93. Roger says:


    I have installed KB913800 and I am still experiencing the problem.  My problem is with the Media Center Extenders like XBOX and XBOX 360.  They are unable to view HBO.  The Media Center PC itself IS able to view the content though.  Nothing I do helps….I am tempted to try deleting the DRM folder etc but as I understand it KB913800 makes having to do that obsolete.  Please help if you can.


  94. Roger says:

    I have deleted the DRM folder and gone through the reinstallation of it etc and still no luck.  Very frustrating as I purchased the 360 for this very reason to be able to watch live TV etc in another room.  

    Any help anybody has for this would be greatly appreciated.


  95. Jim says:

    I as well am having problems with my Linksys extender – I’ve gone through deleting the DRM folder and reinstalled it, as well as KB913800 fix.   I’m still unable to watch HBO/Restricted Content on my extender.   I can watch it on my MCE though… any ideas?

  96. This article serves as a central location for all links to troubleshooting documentation that has been

  97. WillyPowWow says:

    I have been through all the troubleshooting steps and I am still unable to view HBO content on my Xbox 360 / extender.  All works fine at the PC.  Only HBO causes the dreaded blue screen, Showtime is fine.  Has anybody resolved this?  Microsoft support has been unable to fix the issue after 6 hours of telephone support.

  98. delroy says:

    Note to users of the Linksys media extender:  If you are having the restricted content issue when trying to watch movie channels on the entended but the main systems works fine, try applying firmware patch 1.01 to the unit.


  99. Question: I have a system with Windows Vista and have been using Media Center to watch DRM-protected

  100. I&#39;m turning off, disconnecting, and throwing out my Windows XP Media Center PC. For two years it

  101. I&#39;m turning off, disconnecting, and throwing out my Windows XP Media Center PC. For two years it

  102. I&#39;m turning off, disconnecting, and throwing out my Windows XP Media Center PC. For two years it

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