How to fix error C00D11DA: an error occurred while verifying the license

So, this HUGE thunderstorm rolled through last night and took out the power a bunch of times. The first time the power went out, I had the computer on and was playing a licensed media file.

Upon rebooting the computer, I found that NONE of my licensed media would play. That REALLY stunk. I listen to unabbridged audio books all the time. I have several libary accounts with branches that offer LibaryReserve borrowing through Overdrive Media, the Ohio eBook Project website (http://ohdbks.lib.overdrive.com) and Net Library accounts. Each branch offers different lists of audio books, so I probably have free access to 3000 or so audio books.

So it was a ROYAL pain when none media player could play none of these files. Media Player wouldn’t even do the OverDrive Media Player’s security update task.

When I tried to do anything related to Media Player’s Digital Rights management, I got the error “Windows Media Player cannot play, synchronize, or burn a protected file because an error occurred while verifying the license.” That’s error C00D11DA if you must know… It means that one or more of your license files are corrupt. In my case, it seems all of them were. I could neither do a restore nor a backup of the licenses. Here’s how to fix that…

ATTEMPT 1: Surgical Assualt
The first choice you have, if the problem is with one song or story or whatever, is to delete that wma file, download a new unlicensed one and aquire a new license. That’s the easy fix. But my problem was with ALL licensed media. The Windows Media Player would not even attempt to get a new license for any file.

ATTEMPT 2: Send in the Ground Forces
You might be able to do a license restore and save your self a lot of pain. So try this first.
1. Run media player
2. Choose Tools-> Manage Licenses
3. Click “Restore now”

Hopefully that works. Of course that depends upon you having backed them up before, and who does that? Who even knows that menu entry is there???

Anyway, it didn’t work for me. So, I searched my hard drive and registry for anything related to the licensing. Google revealed nothing until I found a post by a guy that had just paid $35 to MS Support for the fix. (HAH! This morning I can’t find the link, but the very first result is a more detailed blog entry by Cris Lanier describing what I was about to tell you in this post. Oh well, I’ll tell you anyway and turn it into a three step process. If you want to do this process manually, or have some OS other than XP, I recommend that you use the link I provided to Chris’s blog.)

ATTEMPT 3: Throw out the baby with the bath water it’s time for Global Thermonuclear War

Well, that’s it. Now, it is time to quit playing games get serious. Now, to fix your Digital Rights Management problem, we are going to erase everything your computer knows about the DRM licenses you have and tell it to start over. Since this process will delete all licenses you have, after we’re done, you’ll have to redownload the WMA (or whatever they are) and reaquire a new license. Hopefully, that’s not a problem for you, but if it is, there’s really not much else that can be done at this point, as far as I know. A call to MS and a few hundred dollars in support fees might get them to rebuild the license database, but I wouldn’t count on it. In the meantime, the rest of us are gonna give DRM a brain transplant. Or at least we’ll remove the old brain and see if a new one grows back…

SUMMARY:
Delete the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM directory
Delete these two registry branches:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DRM
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Media\WMSDK

WindowsXP three step process: (Close all media players first)
1. Click Start->Run paste in the following line, press enter and hit Y if you are sure you did it correctly:
rd /s “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM”
2. Click Start->Run paste in the following line, press enter and hit Y if you are sure you did it correctly:
reg delete “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DRM”
3. Click Start->Run paste in the following line, press enter and hit Y if you are sure you did it correctly:
reg delete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Media\WMSDK”

That’s it. You’re done. Now re-download the files and re-aquire your licenses. You should be in business.