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When I tried to play an audio file that uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) on my Windows 8 machine, Windows Media Player promptly crashes, recording this error in the Windows event log:

Event id 1000
Faulting application name: wmplayer.exe, version: 12.0.9200.16420, time stamp: 0x505aa40e
Faulting module name: Indiv01.key, version: 11.0.6001.8029, time stamp: 0x4f47b9c7
Exception code: 0x4000001e
Fault offset: 0x00143204
Faulting process id: 0x12c0
Faulting application start time: 0x01d03ddbdfd16423
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe
Faulting module path: \\?\C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DRM\Cache\Indiv_SID_S-1-5-21-3409602320-3147478373-2796147904-1001\Indiv01.key
Report Id: 2660c788-a9cf-11e4-bee7-8e0a62ceb447
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

A web search led me to Windows Media Player Crashing: Fault in DRM Key (Indiv01.key) which seems to be a very similar (possibly identical) issue. That post suggested two actions as a remedy. A Microsoft KB post (unable to play protected content) essentially offered the same recommendations.

  • Delete the contents of the hidden DRM folder (which, on my system, I found at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DRM).
  • Run Microsoft's Security Component Upgrade to recreate a new set of DRM keys.

Deleting the DRM contents was not a problem. However, when I go to the Security Component Upgrade web page the Upgrade button was disabled. To remedy that, further search led me to suggestions to disable protected mode in Internet Explorer options, and to enable compatibility mode, but neither enabled that greyed-out button on my system. One other suggestion I found was to confirm that the necessary components were in fact available, using this Microsoft diagnostic web page, but on my system, that reported that all components were in place. Another suggestion that someone else had success with was by launching a Microsoft-supplied sample DRM file to automatically do the security component upgrade; on my system that just crashes Windows Media Player.

Any other suggestions on how to get that Security Component Upgrade to work, or otherwise get my Windows Media Player to function with files using DRM?

  • Use VLC player and avoid drm issues all together. – Moab Feb 8 '15 at 0:25
  • Interestingly, I had already tried VLC--it played the audio file just fine (per the progress bar) but it emitted no sound! Sigh. – Michael Sorens Feb 9 '15 at 5:19
  • So WMP is still crashing (with the same details in event log), after you've deleted the contents of the DRM folder? Since the file that's crashing WMP is also located in that folder, are you sure that all of the contents was deleted? Did you make sure to set Explorer to show hidden/protected files? – Tim De Baets Feb 27 '15 at 21:21

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