Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Fix Windows Media Player

If you try playing a song or video clip with Windows Media Player, and encounter an “unknown error” or “file corrupted” error on a file you know should play (because you have played it before),  a file WMP needs to function may have been inadvertently damaged. These steps can cure the ‘glitch’, and get your music playing again.

1) Reboot (aka “restart”) your computer.
Folks, this is almost always your first troubleshooting step. Rebooting your machine “clears” it’s memory and refreshes its settings — which is why a ‘reboot’ cures 9 out of 10 computer “problems”.

Didn’t work? Let’s tell Windows to repair itself.

2) Use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7. Follow these steps:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
  2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER: sfc /scannow. (Yes, there is a space between the “c” and the “/”.)
  3. You will (probably) see a message stating that you need to restart your computer for the tool to run. Save and Close any work, and then reboot.

When the file checker is running, you will see a black screen with white lettering telling you the progress. The sfc tool can take a while to complete, a half hour or more.

The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions. This should restore your ability to play your media files.
If not, you may next want to run a special “Fix It” script from Microsoft. (Click on the image below).

If those two do not get you going again, you probably have more serious issues going on, and may need to consult a pro, like me (shameless plug).

Today’s reco: The Simplest Way to Print A List of Filenames In A Folder

Have a large listing of music files, movie files, picture files, etc…?  I bet there has been the occasion that you wished there was a simple way to get a printout of those listings. There is and..” Read more..

Today’s quote:Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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December 12, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, digital music, digital Video, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Directory List and Print is a great addition to my Windows utilities. Thanks to you and Rick @ What’s On My PC for bringing it to my attention!


    Comment by kstinman | December 12, 2011 | Reply

    • kstinman,
      That’s why I keep an eye on Rick’s site: he’s my “Christopher Columbus of the Web” (as he’s always discovering neat little things that have escaped my notice [particularly “cloud apps”].)
      For, oh.. decades? Karen’s Directory Printer was my tool for that chore.. which I was saddened to read delenn13’s comment (below)…


      Comment by techpaul | December 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. I fixed my Windows Media player long time ago by using Media Player Classic – Home Cinema – Video Player. :) But each to their own.

    I have used Karen’s Directory Printer for years and years. I got Karen Kenworthy’s newsletters and used several of her programs.

    In April of this year I got this very sad letter from her brother:

    “Dear Friends, I suspect that many of you have noticed that the last issue of Karen©s Power Tools Newsletter was dated March 17, 2010, and you may have been anxiously awaiting another. It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of Karen©s death on April 12, 2011, after a long struggle with several debilitations, including diabetes. I know that Karen touched many of you with her kindness, wit, creativity and encouragement. She was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend. And she was a pretty darned good programmer, too. We are deeply grieving her loss. For now, Karen©s server is still running, the programs she has written can still be downloaded, and donations can still be made through the website. We are also working to fill all CD orders that have been submitted or mailed. It is difficult to make business decisions while grieving. So, at this point, I cannot say what will be the future of, except to say that we will certainly continue Karen©s commitment to safeguard your privacy as shown at the Privacy link of Many of you have already written many kinds words of condolence and comfort. Please know that we greatly appreciate you. If you care to make a contribution in her honor, she was a long-time supporter of The Dohnavur Fellowship, a special children©s ministry in southern India. You can learn more about them at All we ask is that you remember her whenever you take the case off of your computer, contemplate removing entries from your Windows Registry, listen to Bob Wills or Riders in the Sky, or wave and say ©Hi!© to anyone on the ©net. May God richly bless you, as He has all those who knew Karen. Bill Kenworthy Karen©s brother “


    Comment by delenn13 | December 12, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      I suspect that many “Old-school Geeks” will be just as bummed out to read this as I was… I hadn’t heard.
      I cannot really say when it was I first stumbled-to her “directory printer” utility… mid 90’s, maybe? (Folks, that’s the mid-to-late Jurassic in terms of ‘puters..)

      So.. thanks for sharing. Bummer as it was…

      You know, folks.. humor me a moment won’t you? This is third time in as many days I had heard this kind of news and I cannot help think: take a minute, and think along with me — am I taking some thing, or some one, kinda for granted?
      We might want to change that…


      Comment by techpaul | December 12, 2011 | Reply

  3. I know, I was really bummed out for a few days. I knew she had been sick but didn’t realize how bad. I started using her programs back in the mid 90’s too. They were always easy to use, simple(no flash just did what it claimed to do) and handy. Her site is still up but no changes from what I can see.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


    Comment by delenn13 | December 12, 2011 | Reply

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