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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    WMP 12 Skins Not Displaying

    Win7 SP1, 64-bit (recently installed and updated)

    I have recently upgraded from 32 to 64-bit. Under the former, I successfully downloaded and used several WMP skins from the MS website. Since upgrading, these same skins will download but cannot be displayed. When I download directly from the MS site (with "open this file with MWP"), WMP12 returns the error "WMP encountered a problem with the skin file. The skin file might not be valid." The file downloads anyway and appears on the skin chooser but will not display when activated (w/o any error report). No further errors appear and otherwise WMP performs as expected.

    I've posed on the MS forums and have received 0 replies in a month. I've searched the internet and have seen similar problems reported but the answers have been either unhelpful ("Here's how you install skins") or unsuccessful.

    What's going on?

  2. #2
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    Most likely, WMP is downloading the skins to the wrong place or otherwise doing something dumb. The issue is almost certainly a confusion between the 32 and 64 bit handling Microsoft has put in place in Windows.

    Here are the fundamentals: Microsoft segregates 32 and 64 bit logic very strongly and different subsystems (Windows on Windows, or WOW) handle each internally. However this can get awkward in places. When you run 64 bit Windows the 64 bit logic becomes the default, but 32 bit applications don't typically know anything about that. Windows therefore automatically redirects their logic to the correct places and this works. Most of the time!

    Now getting to the specifics in this case. WMP is a 32 bit application. Where it wants to install it's skins is to:

    C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\Skins

    Where Windows redirects those skins is to:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Player\Skins

    Rather bizarrely though, the first location actually exists even though it isn't used. Don't ask me how or why, I just know it does.

    Here's what you need to do. Find your skin files. They all have a ".wmz" extension, so for example "Classic.wmz". They need to go to the second folder, so move them there:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Player\Skins

    That's all you need to do. I'm betting you will find they went to the first location, or to Downloads, or somewhere else. There's no registry entries needed, no special install process, no Start menu modification. A straight-up file copy to the correct location and you will be in business.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to BHarder For This Useful Post:

    djmast (2015-08-30)

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    BHarder,

    That's the solution! In my case, as you predicted, the files were somewhere else, located at C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Media Player\Skins\

    Many thanks.

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