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Built-in Vista components - A Bane

Friday, January 12, 2007


I have been using the release edition of "Microsoft Windows Vista - Ultimate" for quite a while now, and until yesterday I was quite satisfied. I must say the operating system has a lot of eye candies and few nifty features. On the serious down side note: To me M$'s offering is not just an OS, but rather applications tightly coupled with the OS. There seems no way to remove or repair the built-in components.

I would consider this as a serious design flaw (or another minting money strategy).

To my bad luck I happened to make the default "Windows Media Player" go kaput and there is no known way to fix the corrupted component except to:

(1) Reinstall the entire operating system
(2) Revert back to a previously saved restore point (which i don't have and I as a user, am I supposed to create restore points after and before every install/uninstall?)

Well if M$ was going to bundle these components so tightly coupled with the OS, they should have ensured a way for the public to reinstall or at the least repair the individual component(s).

The issue
Yesterday while watching an online news I was asked to download an activex control. As this was coming from a reputed news channel I presumed it was okay to download the same. Well, after I downloaded the control I was not able to play any video online – be it a webcast, online streaming audio, basically anything which uses windows media player activeX control.

Well i can't say it for sure that it might be the problem with the activex but what ever the reason it be, I for one has corrupted my windows media player for some reason and I have no clue on how to fix such an issue.





To my surprise I glanced through the logs and this is what the log says (See screen grab below). Everyone but Microsoft knows, windows media player cannot be un-installed from the OS.







Until a workaround is found I will not revert back to Vista again and am royally pissed with their OS design. OS should be the kernel and not the applications tied around it. Sad that this is coming from one of the biggest companies in the world, after 4 years of design and development.


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posted by cacheyourcash, 2:18 PM

75 Comments:

I bet the only reason you can't reinstall Media Player is because it's not available for download currently. It should be on the MS site after the official public release at the end of January.
Have you tried doing a system restore to before when the activeX got installed?
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adrian:
So you mean microsoft will give a separate setup for the built in applications such as calculator, paint, solitaire etc in the event they get corrupted :)? It's funny isn't it when you see calculator as a built in component of the Operating System. I don't understand what were they thinking before accepting this design etc?
Newtronic: As I explained i hate to create restore points after/before every install or uninstall. To me restore point should be created when I am doing something very critical to the system and not at the application level ... Oh wait, i forgot these applications are built in to OS :(.
Truly why would you run MS if you don't really need it for example gaming.

I have dropped MS totally and I can use all apps needed, macromedia etc,etc well I'm not a hardcore gamer.
The Error source is "Windows Media Player Network Sharing service" try turning off media sharing "Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center"
Turning of network sharing didn't help either. I just realised that if i open wmplayer and goto tools options i see only one tab that says "Burn". Any ideas???
As You might have noticed in previous NT5 releases, the Windows Media Player with version starting from 7 is not a media player in the same sence as Media Player 6.x, PowerDVD, VideoLan Client or etc. Instead it's a simple GUI to the system multimedia framework. That's why starting with Windows 2000 there's no way to uninstall Windows Media Player completely (while You could remove WMP's GUI binary in Win2k from "Add/Remove Applications" and through some register key in WinXP).
Therefore shouldn't have been any other expectations about that stuff in Vista.
This comment has been removed by the author.
> Turning of network sharing didn't help
> either. I just realised that if i open
> wmplayer and goto tools options i see
> only one tab that says "Burn". Any
> ideas???

Well, You may try to boot from some Linux LiveCD with FUSE support, obtain NTFS-3G driver and overwrite the altered files of WMP withe the default ones.
>> Reinstall the entire operating system

No you can try other things. For example you can try to create a new user and see if it works better with a new profile, or use the SFC utility.

Note that you can even reinstall Vista over Vista without loosing anything. Someone told me that it is even the best solution to reset the 15 days limit of the activation, but I did not test it myself.

>> Revert back to a previously saved restore point (which i don't have and I as a user, am I supposed to create restore points after and before every install/uninstall?)

Actually nearly all installers on the market automatically creates a restore points for you (or at least for them).
PCLinuxOS - perfect antidote.
I agree that M$ needs to provide a mechanism to 'repair' built-in components without repairing the entire OS (upgrade Vista to Vista via DVD).

However your claims that media player is "baked" into the core of the OS is false. In fact, if you install one of the "N" versions of Vista, you won't have media player in it at all.
Have you tried right clicking on the exe and selecting "restore to previous"?
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