wmpnetwk.exe running at maximum CPU…

When I realised I could put my wife’s computer to good use and stop her nagging me about how the videos on the Media Centre were not appearing, I thought all of my christmases had come at once. So I kicked off the indexing of the file shares 3 nights ago, and ahhhh…. blissful silence for a day… then

"Hey Brad, have you done anything to my computer?"

"Yep, It’s serving media up to the Media Centre in the lounge room."

"Well… I don’t know what that means, but it’s been running really slow for a day now. Can you have a look at it?"

*sigh…* "OK"

Sure enough, there’s a process running on it called wmpnetwk.exe that’s using all the available juice. There’s plenty of information around about the root cause (corrupt media files) and some solutions (uninstall – actually I was hoping for a real solution).

As most of the people creating the links above will testify, it ends up that WMP is trying to index a corrupt AVI file. but how do you find it? You could use the SYSInternals tools, but there’s an easier way…

Clear the index from the WMP having problems (It’s done here – C:\Documents and Settings\<Your login name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Index – If you are running vista, then it’s C:\Users\<your login name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft), kick off a new index, and see where it stops. The system indexes alphabetically by folder, so if you add the path to the column headings in the video library and order by the path, you’ll see the last file successfully indexed. the one after that has a problem. Run it for yourself and see… in my case, I had a 700MB video file that lasted for 35 seconds.

Killed the WMPlayer and WMPnetwk processes, Deleted the corrupt videos, reindexed, done.


About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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