Weblog Archives: August 2012

Resetting PlayReady

I spent several hours this weekend struggling to get my Windows Media Center (WMC) systems up and running with the HDHomeRun. I ran across the error "The PlayReady update was incomplete" on two different machines. The solution involved resetting PlayReady on one machine; another machine required resetting the whole Windows DRM system.

These were the steps required on one computer to reset PlayReady:

  1. Run services.msc
  2. Stop the "Windows Media Center Receiver Service"
  3. Go to %programdata%\Microsoft\PlayReady and delete (or move to a backup location) the Cache folder and .hds files
  4. Go to %programdata%\Microsoft\eHome and delete (or move to a backup location) the Cache folder and .hds files
  5. Restart the receiver service
  6. Run Windows Media Center and go to Settings, TV, TV Signal, Update PlayReady
  7. If PlayReady still fails to update, follow the steps below to reset Windows DRM, then repeat

Another computer required additional steps, possibly because the hardware underneath Windows had changed so much. Note that these steps may render existing DRM-protected content inaccessible. Save your existing DRM folder (in step 1) if you are worried about that possibility. These are the steps to reset Windows DRM:

  1. Go to %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows and delete (or rename as a backup) the DRM folder
  2. Visit the Microsoft Security Component Upgrade site. Unfortunately you must visit this site using Internet Explorer.
  3. Click the Upgrade button and follow the prompts
  4. Follow the PlayReady reset steps above

Postscript: DRM is terrible. All it does is make it difficult for legitimate users of content to access what they've legally paid for. I consider myself proficient in the "computer arts" and I struggled mightily to make this stuff work. Most consumers will end up downloading torrents long before they'll put in that much effort to watch TV legally.

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