Two user accounts on a Windows 8.1 HTPC with a Core i5 cpu, both ordinary user accounts, no elevated privileges. One is fine, but the other account will spike CPU to 80% to cause core temp to get very high after WMC has been running for about 10 minutes - whether it is playing TV, recording TV, playing a video, or simply idling makes no difference. the offending process is windows media player - wmplayer.exe - it starts after WMC has been running for ~10 minutes, and the spike starts with it. Load returns to normal if I kill the wmp process, but it will restart itself as long as I use WMC. I presume WMP is indexing, but I don't know why - this user does not use WMP. there are no folders in the Windows Music, Pictures, Videos Libraries that contain any files, and only recorded TV (local HDD) and shared videos (file server) in WMC's libraries.

The other account is fine, WMC usage causes no problems, CPU usage stays under 10% and temps in the 30s.

Does anyone know why this is happening? Thanks in advance!

  • Are you seeing the same issue if you just launch Windows Media Player directly? Make sure that the wmplayer.exe process isn't already running before you do. – Tim De Baets Jul 21 '14 at 21:23

I suggest that you try rebuilding WMP's library by following these instructions. First note that resetting the library will make you lose all current play counts, and possibly ratings too. Then, follow these steps:

  • Reboot the PC.
  • Open the Start Screen, type services.msc, and press Enter. In Services, find the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service. If its status is Started, double-click the service and click Stop.
  • Open the Start Screen, type %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft, and press Enter. This folder will open up in Windows Explorer.
  • In this folder, delete the Media Player folder. If you can't see the folder, then it's probably hidden. Set Explorer to show hidden files and folders, and to show protected system files.
  • Start WMP, your library will have been reset and will be rebuilt. Check if the issue still occurs.
  • Remember I said that the offending user does not use WMP, there are no folders in its libraries, or the Windows Explorer Music, Pictures, Videos Libraries. – MC5 Mar 10 '15 at 19:11
  • That doesn't necessarily mean that the library can't be corrupted and requires a reset. So please try resetting it anyway (and also answer my comment above). – Tim De Baets Mar 12 '15 at 21:17

I have seen something similar to this in Windows 7 (not 8 or 8.1 yet) installations more than once in my life, always 64 bits but I don't think arch matters. Search with Google for "windows media player network sharing service cpu"

I said "similar" because the exe name for that service is wmpntwk.exe not wmplayer.exe, and the CPU usage peaks at 100 (or less depending on the processor) when you login, not when you start to play something.

I'd happen to two of my desktops too. System became unusable. I just disabled Windows Media Player Network Sharing service as I do not need It, I just put my music in a shared folder so I can listen to It when I'm not in front of the machine with the larger HDD where I have the music files.

I propose to disable Windows Media Player Network Sharing using services.msc, reboot and see what happens the next time you try to use WMP. If this does not solve your problem you can simply enable the service again.

Other than that, Have you installed any video/audio codec? Maybe If you uninstall it while you are troubleshooting this. Tip: the K-Lite Codec Pack will probably register its own codecs before any other codec already present in the system if you install it, If it is a codec problem, maybe you can install this pack and see if playback performance improves: http://www.codecguide.com/download_kl.htm (download the Mega version to maximize the probability that the offending codec gets replaced). When uninstalling this software, everything should be as before, its harmless.

  • can't be a codec problem. remember user A is totally fine, it is only when logged in as user B that the problem manifests. And user B has no folders in any WMP or Windows Explorer media library. That's why this is so odd - it is behaving like an indexer, but there is nothing to index for user B, and it never finishes. – MC5 Mar 10 '15 at 19:14

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