When trying to use the media keys on my keyboard, the launch_media button always opens Windows Media Player (WMP) on Windows 8. I've checked the registry, and the key is mapped to .mp3, the default program for both .mp3 and .cda is set to my player, MusicBee, and using a AutoHotkey keyboard hook, it does seem to report the keys using the standard commands, rather than being specialized for my keyboard.

The keyboard is the Lenovo Enhanced Performance USB Keyboard AKA SK-8815, and I'm running Windows 8 Pro.

I've also tried uninstalling WMP, with the result of pressing the button being a window that pops up labels "Assign a Command," which then opens the Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse Center (MK&MC) and reports itself as, if I remember correctly, a Microsoft 6000 keyboard; changing settings there has no effect, and it doesn't appear if MK&MC is launched normally.

Possibly related (and also annoying), the play pause button pops up a window saying no CD/DVD was found in drive. This seems to originally correspond with Daemon Tools, since I did also get "CD is application, not media" errors, but this still occurred after fully removing the virtual drive.

How can I fix these problems?

  • I think I may have found a workaround. Renaming wmplayer.exe causes the same affects as if it's not installed, so if I can just get "wmplayer.exe" to redirect to a different executable, I should be golden.
    – alex
    Sep 12, 2013 at 3:21

1 Answer 1


Warning: this may make Windows Media Player had or impossible to open, or may otherwise cause its instability. So far I have had no problems, and it's still accessible (see note below), but you have been warned!

  1. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Player and right click wmplayer.exe.
  2. Click -> Properties -> Advanced -> change owner, and I set it to admin
  3. Now you can change the permissions (you may have to exit the properties menu and go back in) so that the administrator has full access
  4. Now you can finally rename wmplayer.exe to wmplayer.exe.bkp.
  5. Next, download Bart's program launcher (link as of 2013-09-11: http://www.nu2.nu/launch/) and extract the files to the folder
  6. Rename launch.exe and launch.ini to wmplayer.exe and wmplayer.ini.
  7. Edit wmplayer.ini in Notepad so that the path goes to your application of choice and save.
  8. Open up regedit, and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
  9. Finally, add an entry with the name "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" and the value "RUNASADMIN".

Note: renaming the original wmplayer as an EXE file with a different name seems to still work to launch WMP, although obviously most shortcuts would have to be changed if you wish to use those.

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