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Install Windows Media Player 11 on Windows Server 2003

December 17th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Aye, I’ve finally worked out a way how to do this, and as far as I can see from 5 test machines running Windows Server 2003, Standard; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise; Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter, Windows Server 2003 x64 Enteprise… it works.

1) Download the Windows Media Player 11 setup file from here and save to disk.
2) Run the setup file – the first thing you should see if a validation checker. Just leave this up, don’t go any further.
3) Search the hard drive for “wmp11.exe” – it should be in a temporary directory somewhere. Right click the file in the search then click “Open containing folder” (and not open).
4) Open and run the wmfdist11.exe file, then umdf.exe and wmdbexport.exe. Be warned, you may need to run these files in Compatibilty Mode. Simply right click each file, click Properties. Go to the Compatibility tab, then ensure that Windows XP is selected.
5) After all these are installed, you must restart (very important.)
6) Once you’ve restarted, run the wmp11.exe file in the same directory – this also may require compatibility settings being applied to it. Restart once more.
7) Back into Windows again, go to Start, Run then type in wmplayer then OK. Configure as you like, and viola it’s done 🙂

Any questions?
Post em here 😉

Posted in Media Center/Media Player, Windows Server System, Windows XP | 103 Comments »

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 17th, 2006 at 3:30 pm and is filed under Media Center/Media Player, Windows Server System, Windows XP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

103 Responses

  1. Simon Says:

    Many thanks for this – extremely helpful and worked flawlessly.

  2. debi Says:

    Thanks! It worked like a charm. Finally can watch Netflix on my favorite machine!

  3. Gregory Suvalian Says:

    Instead looking through temporary directories for files, just execute setup program with /T:c:\ /C switches which will instruct setup.exe just extract and put it to root of C drive.

  4. C:Amie Says:

    I have created a script that is 95% automated to perform this change, it even sorts out service security for you. It can be downloaded here:

  5. Windows Media Player unter Server 2003 | hilpers Says:

    […] selbst ausprobiert aber seh dir mal die Diskussion an, da sind ein paar Varianten beschrieben ……s-server-2003/ « CPU / Prozess Historie | Nach Stromausfall keine […]

  6. Jerry Says:

    You’re still making people happy with this post. I reinstalled my HP Paviljon with Windows Media Center Edition 2003 (upgraded to SP3) and Windows Media Player 9 onboard. Windows Media Player 11 will not install, because the WMP11 installer says it needs at least Windows Media Center 2005.
    I followed you’re instructions and it works! Thanks for this very useful information.

  7. Jeff Says:

    I am running Server 2003 Enterprise SP2, I followed instructions above by extracting the files, setting the compatibility to Windows XP, but when I run wmfdist11.exe, I get a popup message saying “The version of Windows you have installed does not match the update you are trying to install.”

    Anyone have a suggestion?

  8. Alan Says:

    I’ve followed the instructions and WMP11 works OK except I can’t get Media Sharing to work. Any ideas

    Windows 2003 Server Web Edition SP2

  9. cybersans Says:

    i also faced a problem same like jeff at #57. is this “hack” is not working on win2k3 sp2? even though that i set every *.exe to use windows xp compatibility mode, it appear an error like that:
    “the version of windows you have installed does not match the update you are trying to install”

    anyone, please advise. tq

  10. fernando Says:

    you saved my life! thanks a lot!

  11. Jaime Says:

    Thank you sir, your method worked like a charm!. I was having the problem of installing wmp11 on my windows media center 2003. So this not only works on windows server 2003, thanks again!.

  12. Bill Says:

    I am not going through all this bs! If Mr Gates wants it to be this complicated then so be it. I’ll find an alternative….

  13. TrungNS Says:

    I couldn’t imagine how my life should be like if I hadn’t seen your blog. Thanks much..!

  14. Bruce Says:

    I got media sharing to work with 2003 R2 SP2 and my xbox 360 by using this page in conjunction with

  15. Bruce Says:

    PS. I got this to work in 2k3 EE R2 SP2 only by setting each file I ran to XP compatibility mode first. Works great thanks for all of your help!

  16. Nokia_51 Says:

    wmdbexport.exe it`s broken!!!

  17. LinHongJun Says:

    Use Microsoft’s Orca to edit extracted ffplugin.msi and remove the lines under LaunchCondition.
    Save and exit Orca, now you can run ffplugin.msi to install WMP firefox plugin.

  18. Guillaume Says:

    “From the guys that helped shape Microsoft Windows as we know it”

    Oh, so it’s all YOU fault!

  19. Jordan Says:

    Worked like a charm… a few months ago. Now Netflix is cutting me off because the OS is not supported. I thought of masking the user-agent at first, but apparently they’re using the Netflix plugin to get my OS version directly? Any way to fix this? Using Server 2003 (yeah, I’m watching movies at work…)

  20. Jordan Says:

    I spoke too soon. Used the “User Agent Switcher” extension for Firefox and Netflix didn’t give me any fuss. I did have to install silverlight or something, but it is now playing ( and in Firefox no less!! )

  21. Ev0lut!0n Says:

    Hopefully after the updates it works, i can say with SP1 it works not ;-P

  22. Ev0lut!0n Says:

    Great! It works, i thank you for this HowTo!
    So update the Server on SP2 if you doesn’t have it an follow this Tutorial.

    Greetings from Luxembourg

  23. TR1GG3R Says:

    It says Not enough storage is available to process this command The server is ver 2008 and have 206 gb hardisk space free and have 4gb and uses 1,16 what could it be?

  24. fernando Says:

    saved my life!!

  25. Haki Zorbey Says:

    hi people,I am turk, this working it is very good
    Windows XP based MSN Gaming Zone (reversi,backgammon…) ,
    how working on windows 2003 server
    because not include MSN Gaming Zone on windows 2003 server
    Please help me.

  26. Isaac356 Says:

    Instead of searching like crazy for wmfdist11.exe, umdf.exe, and wmdbexport.exe on your computer, use 7-zip to extract wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu.exe, then activate compatability mode in place. It’s way easier, especially if you are using a Virtual Machine (I can extract the files in linux, then samba-share them to Server ’03).

  27. Haki Zorbey Says:

    my screenshot
    thanks for this working.

    please help item 75

  28. Windows Server 2003 - MediaPortal Forum Says:

    […] Here is a dolution on how to install mp11 on windows server 2003 MSBLOG Blog Archive Install Windows Media Player 11 on Windows Server 2003 […]

  29. Ched Pan Says:

    Thanks for the Best Solution.

    It also works on My 2003 R2. Confirm!
    Follow the instructions, you won’t miss it.

    Thanks again

  30. Todd Says:

    I am unable to get this to run on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition R2 SP2 x64. I get Media Player installed and running, however I am unable to get Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service to start. I have SSDP Discovery Service and Universal Plug and Play Device Host running by using a Windows XP Professional x64 SP2 install CD for the needed files prompted by

    Does anyone have Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service running on Windows Server 2003 x64? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Pancho Says:

    Works like a F*** charm!!!

    JUST DO THIS: Remember tick the option “compatibility mode” on all the files about to install, and change the option to “windows xp”, then install and reboot! that’s easy! many thanks to all in this page.

  32. mase Says:

    thanks worked great on 3 diff 03 servers and 1 with r2. seems people dont know how to follow steps or set the compatibility right i guess worked all good for me. you have ot have sp2 installed which is what i ran into on one of the 03s. check that if you still have problems run one at a time restart then run the 2nd one then the 3rd then the wmplayer in run prompt

  33. Wolfgang Says:

    Thank you very much! Worked perfectly, using your help i hope to have MediaPortal running on my Windows Home Server soon!

  34. Juan Says:

    Perfecto en Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP2 tanto el Media Player como el plugin de Firefox.

  35. Gerardo Marciales Says:

    In my case, I had to copy these files from an XP Pro and work out okay.

  36. Gerardo Marciales Says:


  37. Abbasi Says:

    Thanks a lot, Excellent guide it’s works 100% for me

  38. Instalar Windows Media Player 11 en Windows Server 2003 | Blog de Alexis Abarca Says:

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  39. xpkranger Says:

    WARNING: Doesn’t work for Citrix published applications. Users get this error: “To use Windows Media Player, log off from Windows, log back on, and then start Windows Media Player.”

    MP 11 then will not uninstall gracefully.

  40. xpkranger Says:

    Finally got WMP 11 uninstalled with this command: %windir%\$ntUninstallwmp11$\spuninst\spuninst.exe (this is method #2 on

  41. ad kliko Says:

    WMP 11 works also in WHS thx

  42. somachai Says:

    i finish , Thank you very much.

  43. denis Says:

    Hi expinit: Just want to say much thanks to you. Am using server 2003 and the solution above is either outdated or just doesn’t work anymore same old error “The version of windows you have installed does not match the update you are trying to install”
    I followed your link and install Tversity and boom now am able to stream media from xbox360 and the media sharing works perfect same as any wmp11.
    Appreciate it.

  44. Reza Says:

    i found a really light sulotion for enableing windows media player on windows server 2003.

    1- first download “npdsplay.dll” from here :

    2- then copy it in C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins

    3- restrat firefox

    4- enjoy!

  45. Khalid Says:

    thanks bro for your idea it’s working 100%

  46. keisinger Says:

    to Jeff and others who cant install WMP11 on Windows Server 2003 because of “The version of windows you have installed does not match the update you are trying to install” error message:

    The problem here is the REG file provided to install system restore on Windows Server 2003 is missing the entry for the Application Experience Lookup service. The REG file is actually removing the entry for it. You can solve this by simply going to the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost] registry key and add AeLookupSvc under the netsvcs string.

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  48. How to install Windows Media Player 11 on Windows 2003 Server « Matanel Sindilevich's Live Space Says:

    […] been found to install the Windows Media Player 11 on their PCs. The information is available at:       This site gives a great deal of information, yet complaints have been posted to the […]

  49. video converter review Says:

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  50. Chris Says:

    Well, I’ve heard a few “why would you want to do this” comments, so to answer that….I favor windows 2003 server enterprise edition over any other server based OS, and I need a media server, and windows media player 11 has some nice media sharing options, including sharing media with Xbox 360’s and other networked devices.