Pitfalls of changing a processor

I recently upgraded my main Media Center to a Phenom II x4 940 from an AMD 5000+. Looks like AMD have finally got their act together on the Phenoms and this runs really nicely  (5.9 in Vista) and cooler than the 5000 did.

I did have a couple of real gotchas though. When I first booted up I had an error message from Windows Media Player saying its network sharing service had errored. Then when I ran media center all was fine until I tried to play back recorded tv or view live tv when I just got a crash.

My immediate thought was a problem with the chip or the memory I had installed at the same time so I ran all the diagnostics and found no errors.

Suddenly it dawned DRM – a lot of DRM systems use part of the Chip ID to issue keys. With such a major change in chip this surely would have changed.

Doing some digging I found http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/918218 

Following the steps in there to reset the DRM store worked and I could play my recorded tv, watch live tv and no longer had a Windows Media Player issue. I did lose the drm license to one piece of content but that was not an issue.

Note if you use iTunes it is also going to think you are have a new PC so you will need to license your content for that PC

Next issue Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra wouldn’t play Blu-Ray disks. More to the point it would show the Menu but wouldn’t play any selected content. I assume this is DRM again. The only way i could work round this one was to uninstall PowerDVD and reinstall – fortunately I still had my license key.

So a can of worms being eaten by a flock of pigeons but all now sorted and my PC is incredibly responsive so worth all the effort.




6 thoughts on “Pitfalls of changing a processor

  1. My media center is the first one I’ve built so I haven’t run into this yet. Thanks for the tip Ian. This is one that should go in the Wiki!

  2. Whats weird is someone on twitter pointed out this same issue and that is how they fixed it. But I did a swap, similar to yours, went from a dual core to a quad core system and I never had that issue.

    – Josh

  3. Are you running extenders at all? If so, did you notice an increase in performance with them? I have the same scenario as you and was wondering what to expect with I pop in the Phenom someday.

  4. Interesting question on extenders. I do run several extenders and wasn’t really expecting much change as most of the UI processing is doneon the extender tself but I have been very impressed with the improvement in areas which requires indexing like dispalying lists of recorded tv, music etc these seem a lot snappier.

  5. @Clotheyes: There are very complcated ways of avoiding the reinstall but yes Vista (and XP) really don’t like major architecture changes.

    Good tip on motherboard choice always buy one with dual bios in hardware it reallymakes recovery form a bad flash a lot easier.

    @josh – doesn’t seem ahrd and fast that a problem will occur which is odd. I have done another upgrade recently and expected the worst but nothing broke. It may depend on what content you have in your media library.

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