Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How to re-enable Windows Media Center in the Default Programs control panel on Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate

I wanted to point people to yet another useful Media Center-related article by Aaron Stebner, which is actually a follow-up post to an entry that was posted yesterday.

To summarize some information from the previous post, it is possible that launching Windows Vista Media Center will fail and will instead display the following error message:

Title: Windows Media Center
Text: Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy. For more information contact your system administrator.

Aaron looked at the startup code for Windows Media Center, and found that in addition to the Group Policy setting that was previously described, it is also possible for this error dialog to appear if Windows Media Center is marked as disabled in the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults control panel on Windows Vista.

How to work around the issue
You can use the following steps to enable Windows Media Center in the Set Program Access and Computer Defaults control panel if it is currently disabled:

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose Default Programs
  2. Click on the item named Set Program Access and Computer Defaults
  3. Choose the Custom configuration
  4. Under the Choose a default media player item, make sure that the box to the right of the Windows Media Center item that is labeled Enable access to this program is checked

Note - you do not have to select the radio button to the left of the Windows Media Center to make it the default media player if you don't want to, but the Enable check box must be checked or Windows Media Center will refuse to launch on your system.

For more technical details, see Aaron's blog posting titled, "How to re-enable Windows Media Center in the Default Programs control panel on Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate".


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