How-To Fix MCE 2005 Restricted Content Problem

November 8, 2005

I’ve had a problem since shortly after re-installing my MCE 2005 system (complete with update rollup 2). Although everything was working fine at first, a few days later I wanted to view a DivX clip from Windows, outside of MCE.

I installed a DivX codec (in fact, I installed FFDShow, since it included several codecs I wanted and it has a fairly low processor overhead in the configuration I needed; I was careful to insure that it wasn’t installed for any of the MS formats), and attempted to launch Windows Media Player.

Since this was the first time I’d run it on this system, it led me through all of the initial configuration questions and then came back and said “Media Player 9 is not installed correctly” (I have no idea why it wasn’t v. 10), and asked me if I wanted to download a fresh copy and install it.

I clicked okay, downloaded a fresh copy, went back through setup, and the clip played fine.

Unfortunately, when I went back into Media Center, I could no longer play any HBO content I’d recorded.

Worse, recording new content, or even attempting to watch HBO (or any other protected channel) in “Live TV” received a “Blue Screen of Restricted Content”.

I didn’t mind so much losing the couple of shows I’d recorded, but not being able to view or record premium content moving forward was a serious problem.

I did a lot of digging around online. The MS Knowledgebase and some of the various MCE sites were tracking “Restricted Content” problems both with MCE users post update rollup 2, and with Media Player 10 users after install.

I found a number of suggested fixes for both of these problems (which didn’t seem quite on-point with my problem, but close), however none of them worked for me. A post at TheGreenButton failed to get any on-point suggestions as well.

I was beginning to suspect I’d have to wipe the machine clean and do a ground-up reinstall, which I wasn’t looking forward to.

I’d even considered just filtering the Macrovision content protection signal out of the incoming S-Video going into the tuners, although this is obviously a sub-optimum (and possibly illegal, depending on your location) solution.

Continuing to dig however, last night I hit a solution that actually worked.

Whether this will work for anyone else, I can’t say. There is also a substantial chance that this will permanently break any recorded or purchased Windows DRM’d content you have, so try this at your own risk.

  1. Make sure you’re out of both Media Center, and Media Player
  2. Open a command prompt, and type: “net stop ehRecvr” (this stops the Media Center reciever)
  3. Download “Napster DRM_Reset” from
  4. Launch the Napster utility (from Windows)
  5. Reboot your machine

After doing this, I was once again able to view, pause, rewind and record HBO and other premium channels from within “Live TV”, as well as record and playback premium content.

An HBO recording that my schedule had picked up earlier that evening still would not play (not surprisingly) but it looks like things should now work properly moving forward.

Can we please have another chorus of “DRM Sucks”?

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31 Responses to “How-To Fix MCE 2005 Restricted Content Problem”

  1. Steve Bondell on January 8th, 2006 11:26 pm

    I wish the fix you gave for viewing HBO in media center worked for me but it did not. I had previously followed directions to manualy reset DMR by deleting DMR folder after stoping ehrecvr but that did not work either. Showtime channels are fine. Have a dell inspiron 9300 notebook with dell angel tuner and nvidia 6800 video card, connected to a home wireless network. Any other ideas how to fix this mess. Would it help to uninstall and reinstall rollup 2?
    I have updated to the latest nvidia video card drivers and tuner driver. My tv decoder is from Cyberlink. Would it help to change mpeg decoder to nvidia?


  2. HBOProblem on January 14th, 2006 1:15 pm

    I had the same problem with HBO restricted content, the most annoying thing on my screen. All the green botton solutions failed to fix my HBO. Surprizingly, your solution worked fine for me. I had tried to mannually fix my DRM which failed to work. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Roy Brody on January 15th, 2006 2:39 pm

    I had the same problem after switching from Time Warner Cable box to Dish Network. No problem with Time Warner, when I installed the Dish Network the problem occured. I appied the fix you recomended, and Bingo no more problem.
    Thanks again

  4. BK on January 16th, 2006 11:35 am

    Hey thanks for the fix. I had the same issues with HBO and Starz content and bingo in about 5 mins she is back up and running with no issues.

  5. david schepps on March 2nd, 2006 6:56 am

    Just letting you know that I had this same problem. I tried calling HP and they had no clue as to what to do. Thank god I have an independent computer technician that came over and within minutes the problem was solved.

    Thanks for posting this fix to an annoying problem

  6. FuckDRM on March 8th, 2006 11:01 pm

    Screw them and just get a Sima

  7. Rosana on March 13th, 2006 6:38 pm

    You are a Godsend! It worked! Can’t thank you enough. I was so mad when everything was working fine (over a year) then yesterday it just started doing that restriction. System restore didn’t even fix it.

    Thank you!

  8. bn on March 16th, 2006 10:58 pm

    Finally have my restricted channels working. I can understand Microsoft not letting people copy movies – but not to be able to view them as a tv source is beyond crazy… HP (and like) who have media center should be the ones trying to solve this problem but NO they say “This is done by the Broadcaster to avoid recording of the Program on the Computer.” Well HELLO, isn’t this why we bought the media center – to view MOVIES and such. My cable provider blames it all on Microsoft… Oh well, just wanted to say THANKS and hope you believe in Karma as good things should happen to you now!

  9. Darrell on March 28th, 2006 12:36 am

    I just want to thank you for posting this fix. I have a HP z545 and I have been using it as my PVR, guide etc for six months with no prob. Last week I got the COX BOX (Digital cable) got the ugly blue screen of hate, found your post, one and done!!! Thank you… You have helped me to keep the wife happy with this one.

    I’ll drink to that!

  10. Pete on April 3rd, 2006 10:00 pm

    Thanks, it worked like a charm. I have been looking for a solution form a few months now with no luck.

    Thanks again!!!!


  11. Rob on April 9th, 2006 2:15 pm

    Thank you. It work great.

  12. Steve on April 15th, 2006 1:00 am

    This did the trick for me and I have been working on this for about 2+ weeks –
    Hope this helps someone.
    I take no credit – I got the link from –

  13. Lawless on July 18th, 2006 5:17 pm

    if nothing else works, replace your DVI cable with a VGA. It really works.

  14. Joe on October 12th, 2006 5:35 pm

    Thank you so much, it worked great for me as well.

  15. Mayhem on October 22nd, 2006 5:17 am

    Thanks much, seems to have worked and yes DRM sucks.

  16. t. Cooke on November 4th, 2006 2:46 pm

    I cannot thank you enough! IT WORKED!!!

  17. Sugarholiday on November 15th, 2006 4:52 pm

    Thanks! It worked! It was so frustrating having programs blocked.

  18. Charlie on December 8th, 2006 4:18 pm

    Thanks, worked for me as well.

  19. Johnathan on December 31st, 2006 9:04 pm

    Bully! It works! Now if I can just get it to work on a PC that has had this problem since the day it was born….

    Dun Dun Dun!!!

  20. Robert on January 5th, 2007 10:28 pm

    Thanks for the help. It works great. It is an easy fix. No side affects.

  21. Ranjit on February 13th, 2007 4:19 am

    (:= THANKS

  22. elwood on April 7th, 2007 1:30 pm

    The Microsoft patches worked fine for me on a HP. I was about to throw the cable box out the window!

    Is it possible to recall abusive emails to Comcast and HBO, I wonder…?

  23. squirrel on April 27th, 2007 12:50 am

    yeah, it worked! thanks much.

  24. 1 year later on August 28th, 2007 12:03 pm

    TY very much for the fix…I developed the same problem after trying to install the latest netflicks viewer. One year later ur fix still works 🙂

    Many thanks,

  25. Mehoo on May 16th, 2008 1:21 pm

    Looks like it worked for me 2 years later…I think have to wait for a new show to come around to test it. But I couldn’t record a prime time season finale the other day and

  26. Chuck Lawson on May 16th, 2008 1:32 pm

    Mehoo, I’m glad to hear it worked — but you may have run afoul of a different problem; apparently NBC turned on a “Copy Protection” flag on some of it’s shows this week, and a lot of Windows Media Centers wouldn’t record them as a result…

    Hopefully this will work for you, but if not, you may want to Google for more info on the “Copy Protection” thing this week…

  27. Web Walker on June 7th, 2008 10:35 pm

    Thanx fot the fix. Worked Perfectly

  28. GhaFear on August 9th, 2008 5:31 am

    Hello All,
    Correct me if I’m wrong please.
    As long as rollup 2 is installed the DRM restrictions will always be functional and imposed. And broadcasters will always be able to restrict our MCEs.

    I think what most of us are after is not a channel or a show. I would like to see the feature disable or removed and keeping the rollup 2. Is this possible?


  29. ML on March 7th, 2009 10:16 am

    I am not technically gifted. Can you please tell me how to Open a command prompt, and type: “net stop ehRecvr” (this stops the Media Center reciever) ? I did open a command prompt, but it said ” ‘NET’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.” What am I doing wrong?

  30. sherri on February 6th, 2010 7:10 pm

    2010 running xp sp3 media center edition and this fix works. Tried to watch live tv, not recording. Problem surfaced today. “Blue Screen of Restricted Content”. Searched for answers. Tried the microsoft update for restricted content problem. No luck. Tried this fix, worked like a charm. Made the note, because others may have this problem. Thanks for the solution.

  31. Brad on August 22nd, 2010 7:16 pm

    Hey Thanks, so far this worked like a charm!

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