Originally Posted by ajhieb
You won't be able to view your old copy protected material on a new windows install. There is no way around this afaik
Correct. Copy protected content can only be played by the same Win7 install and on the same "nucleus hardware" which did the original recording in the first place.
NOTE: swapping a hard drive and many other peripherals is NOT considered altering the hardware, so you can upgrade lots of equipment and not lose access to those DRM-protected program recordings. I don't believe you can replace motherboard (unless it's identical to the previous one?) or CPU (unsure here), but these ARE considered "nucleus" to define the recording machine system. So changing those might well break the boundary so that you'd lose playability to your old copy-protected content.
If you still have your old hard drive with original install you should be able to go back to that, and if you're so inclined you can clone the old drive onto the new drive
Given the situation, this is really the only "solution" that will work. No choice other than this, aside from losing all these copy-protected programs forever.
Note that even doing a "system image" restore (say of last weekend's weekly "system image" backup you might have done using Macrium Reflect or similar) from some date in the past will LOSE ACCESS TO ALL COPY-PROTECTED RECORDINGS DONE SINCE THE DATE OF THAT RESTORED "SYSTEM IMAGE". And that's because the DRM encryption used by WMC is also time-based. It can only successfully decrypt encrypted recordings which were made at the current moment or earlier. Nothing NEWER than the current moment is decryptable. And of course "current moment" is always moving forward in time, but is never newer than right now. Hence the loss of ability to decrypt anything NEWER than the date of that "system image" backup you took last weekend and just restored. You've now lost all copy-protected programs made this week, i.e. since last week's "system image" you just recovered from your disaster with.
That's why I take TWO "system images" each week, so that I won't lose more than possibly a few days of copy-protected content if I have to restore a "system image" to recover from an otherwise unrecoverable disaster. In general, cable copy-protected content is shown multiple times throughout a week, so having only a few days to scramble to re-record later airings of if I have to go back to a 3-day old "system image" is almost certainly an issue I can deal with successfully so that in the end nothing is truly lost.
but a new install of windows won't play nice with your old DRM'ed content.
Correct. Saving 10TB of copy-protected content for posterity viewing will require that you keep that WMC system operational forever, including the original installed Win7 and the same MB and CPU. You can add memory, swap hard drives, change/add monitors, change printers, mice and keyboards, add USB devices, etc., but you can't change MB and CPU or reinstall Win7.