Well, the media center I use in the bedroom was built out with 2GB RAM, and because of some occasional freezing of the system, I got some more RAM. Guess what, replacing the system disk a month ago didn't cause any issues - no reactivation and the additional RAM didn't trigger re-activation of windows 7, but it did completely hose PlayReady. This is a required component to record using a cableCard tuner, like the Ceton InfiniTV4 card which I use. This is ridiculous! It is way simpler to upgrade RAM than swap out a hard disk (I use Acronis to image the new disk when replacing a disk), yet changing RAM triggers a voiding of the DRM key. This is probably one of the most common and simple upgrades that the average computer hobbyist would be doing, and this breaks DRM/PlayReady.
At first I didn't realize anything was wrong, but about an hour later, I started getting warnings that the update for PlayReady was incomplete, uh-oh, and then could not record or watch any live TV. I was able to locate some instructions on the internet to get it to finally update, but I lost 4 movies I had recorded last week and had not yet been able to watch as they were tagged with the copy protection that was encrypted using the old DRM key. I also had to completely reconstruct my scheduled recordings as getting PlayReady to work again requires completely removing several configuration files from Media Center, and as I have Remote Potato installed, that service also had to be disabled to delete some of these files.
Below are the steps I followed, cobbled together from two posts, as the one larger post was not able to get me up and running on its own.
- Uninstall PlayReady from the 'Programs and Features' control panel.
- Turn off Windows Media Center in Control Panel/Programs and Features/Turn Windows features on or off. Remove the check mark for Windows Media Center in the "Media Features" section. Ok your way out and reboot when prompted.
- Enable Windows Explorer to show hidden files and folders in the Folder Options Control Panel.
- Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\ and delete eHome and PlayReady folders.
- Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DRM and delete all files and folders underneath (don't delete the DRM directory itself)
- Open the registry with elevated privileges. To do so, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt and then point to “Run as administrator”. In the command prompt that opens, type regedit.exe.
- Go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft and delete the DRM key. (You may have to change Permissions in order to delete the key.)
- Restart the computer.
- Reinstall Windows Media Center from “Programs and Features: Turn Windows features on or off.” This should also regenerate the DRM keys for your machine. Reboot.
- Run Windows Media Center setup.
- Run the PlayReady install from inside Media Center.
- reboot in safe mode (you can probably just stop the service)
- navigate to: navigate to: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\
- create a folder named old
- move ALL of the contents in the folder on step 2 to the old folder
- run windows media center setup
One of the first things I do when I get a new windows 7 system going is disable UAC so performing "run as administrator" was not necessary. I did have to add the Administrator group to rights on the DRM registry key in order to delete it, but that is a common enough thing when mucking in the registry. I followed the second set of instructions after the first reboot after deactivating the features (perform steps 1-6 somewhere around steps c and d). These became yet another block of deletions in addition to the deletions included in the first set. This second set was the part that required stopping the Remote Potato service as the files were being read by the service to feed the application.
There is a way to restore all your licenses to play all existing DRM recordings even if you don't have a system image that was made after those recordings were made (but have an older system image).
- Make a copy/backup the "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds" file (must be done before you reset any PlayReady stuff).
- Restore your most recent system image. Reboot.
- Stop the "Windows Media Center Receiver" Service
- Copy the backed up "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds" file back to its original location (make a copy of the existing one just in case the restored one doesn't work).
- Start the "Windows Media Center Receiver" Service
You should now be able to play back all of your DRM recordings, including the ones that were recorded after your system image was made.