Fixing wmv files in IE8

I just clicked a link to play a .WMV video and was greeted by a “Page can’t be displayed” window. This was odd as I’ve done it plenty of times before, although I couldn’t remember the last time.

I did a quick Bing and came across a blog post from Eric Richards, an Office developer over at MS Redmond.

He too had that issue and points towards MS KB article KB974538. The inability to play .wmv files seems to be a knock on effect of installing the latest version of Windows Live Photo Gallery.

The KB article gives you some text to copy into a reg file which, and I can confirm this, will fix the problem. The fix for Windows 7 is:

This issue can be avoided if the following registry keys are present, which reset the file associations to original Windows 7 settings:

  1. On an account with Administration privileges, choose Start and type notepad.exe.
  2. Copy and paste the contents of the box below.
  3. Save the file as fix.reg.
  4. Double-click on the fix.reg file to add it to your registry.
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

(Copy the text between the dashed lines)

More info and the fix for Vista can be found by in the full article.

I’m glad it was such a quick fix and thanks to Eric 🙂

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