Solving the: ‘Windows Media Player Won’t Start in Vista’ Problem


Sometimes Windows Media Player (“WMP”) refuses to start. I’ve had this problem since I first installed Vista in January 2007.

Through most of this period I had thought there was a conflict of some sort with iTunes. Why? Because iTunes is almost always running and, well, it just seemed to make sense since iTunes and Vista were not very friendly for most of Vista’s first year. I had hoped/thought various Vista and/or iTunes updates had solved the problem. But, no, this problem has persisted to this day. Sometimes Windows Media player starts, other times it won’t and I never understood why.

The solution

I have Googled this problem probably a dozen times with no resolution until today. My heart-felt thanks go out to Rob for this post in the Vista x64 forums. Since his answer to the problem was exactly correct and succinct, I reproduce it here:

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Cleaning Up After Vista Service Pack 1

 Vista SP1

I updated my Vista x64 installation with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 the day it came out (March 18, 2008).

Due to the the notoriously buggy nVidia Vista drivers, the small version of the service pack was not available to my nVidia-laden XPS 600 through the recommended ‘Windows Update’ process. So I downloaded and installed the larger 64-bit (x64) version of the service pack here (32-bit (x86) version is here).

Everything generally went without a hitch (though it seems to have turned on a few of the unnecessary security settings I had turned off).

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