Windows updates seem to causing problems with media players...

  Florio 16:44 15 Jan 2015

I've tried posting on the Windows Seven Forums, but nobody has even replied, so thought I'd try here.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a whole series of different problems with my laptop. It would now seem that these are related in some way.

When I turned my computer on one morning about a month ago, I noticed that several icons on my task bar had gone missing; these were mainly for Microsoft programs—including Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, Windows Explorer—or other media players, for example Media Player Classic. This didn’t seem particularly important at the time, and was relatively easy to fix, but it was surely symptomatic of something more serious.

Shortly after this, I wanted to watch a DVD using Windows Media Center, but when I actually clicked on the DVD button, the screen changed size and a message came up telling me that the disc could not be played, and that the video resolution would probably need to be reduced. I spent ages trying to fix this, by updating graphics drivers, installing and replacing codecs etc, and doing system restores, and for a while none of my media players would work (I couldn't even watch videos on YouTube)! But I eventually got my DVDs playing again in Windows Media Center, and created a restore point when everything seemed to be running smoothly.

The next day, however, the problem with the DVD player had inexplicably returned, and when I went to System Restore, I could see that there had been a Windows update after I had created my restore point. After experimenting a bit with restore points and system restores, I realized that Windows updates were responsible for all of these problems, including the missing task bar icons (which disappeared again after an update). It would also seem that most of these updates involve security and/or Windows Defender.

As I see it there are two possible solutions. The first involves stopping the download and installation of Windows updates, and probably the deactivation of Defender (I do have a decent anti-virus and other anti-malware programs). Obviously, I would prefer not to have to do this.

The other solution (preferable) would be finding out why these updates are messing with Windows Media Centre. Is there a way of identifying exactly what is conflicting with what? No one else seems to be having the same problems, so I can only assume that there could be a driver conflict with other software I have on my PC. But I have installed no new programs for ages.

Can someone offer some suggestions?

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