We recently had a problem with Netflix streaming. The problem occurred whether trying to use Windows Media Center or in a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox). We could view our queue and everything, but when trying to play a streaming movie, the following error would appear (Windows 7 instructions shown immediately below, Windows XP / Vista instructions shown a little further down the page, and Mac instructions at the very bottom of the post):
Digital Rights Management (DRM) Error
Error Code: N8156-6013
We’re sorry, but there is a problem playing protected (DRM) content.
The date on your computer is set to 4/6/2011, which may be incorrect. Please correct the date on your computer and try again.
If the problem persists, please call Netflix at 1-866-579-7113.
The problem, it turns out, has nothing to do with the date on your computer. The problem is with Microsoft Silverlight, the software that is used for the actual video streaming within Netflix. Scroll down or click the links below to go the instructions specific for your operating system.
Windows 7 / Vista instructions
Windows XP instructions
Here are the steps to take to fix the problem:
- Exit out of Netflix (from both your web browser and from Windows Media Center).
- Browse on your computer to “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\”.
- Change the name of “mspr.hds” to “mspr.hds.old”. (In other words, you want to get rid of the mspr.hds file, and you are renaming it just so that you have a backup copy of it.)
- Open Internet Explorer and go to the Netflix website, log in, and start playing a streaming movie from their website (it should successfully work here now).
- Now you can go into Windows Media Center to stream you movies again!
- If you have more than one computer with the Netflix problem, then repeat this procedure for each of the afflicted computers.
Apparently the problem occurs when Silverlight is updated to a new version (e.g., from version 3 to 4) and some of the old version’s things are left behind in the file you renamed, which breaks the new version. When you rename the “mspr.hds” file, it lets Silverlight re-create the file from scratch.
If the steps above do not fix the problem for you, then try this: close all of your internet browsers and the software that you use to watch Netflix, and then uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Silverlight (thanks for the tip, Josh).
Windows XP (and apparently for Windows Vista, too – thanks for your comment greengeekgirl)
Larry (see comments below) asked how to do this for Windows XP. The same file exists in Windows XP, but it is in a different location and it may not show up if “system files” are hidden. Here is the location in Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds
If you are using Windows XP, but cannot see this file, then you can try two things. First thing to try: open “My Computer” and try to copy/paste the path above into the address bar and press <Enter>. If the file still doesn’t show up, then you may need to try the second step, which is enabling the visibility of system files by doing the following:
- Click the “Tools” menu item and select “Folder Options”.
- On the window that pops up click on the “View” tab.
- In the “Advanced settings” area, scroll down and deselect “Hide protected operating system files” (it will ask you if you really want to do this, so respond with “yes”).
- Now go to the path “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds” and you will find the file. (Then follow steps 3 – 5 in the “Windows 7″ section above.)
If it still doesn’t work for you with Windows XP, then (thanks to adarba’s comment) you can try also looking for the file here:
C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/DRM
If this still does not fix the problem for you, then try this: close all of your internet browsers and the software that you use to watch Netflix, and then uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Silverlight (thanks for the tip, Josh).
If you are having the same problem on a Mac, then follow the instructions at this website: http://www.docstechnotes.com/2011/04/fix-netflix-error-code-8156-6013-on-mac.html. You basically do the same thing as I’ve described above, except that on a Mac the location to delete the “mspr.hds” file is at:
And likewise, if you don’t see the file or the folder, then it is because it is “hidden” and you need to make it visible first or browse to it from a terminal (per the Doc’s Tech Notes website instructions).
If steps above do not fix the problem for you, then try this: close all of your internet browsers and the software that you use to watch Netflix, and then uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Silverlight (thanks for the tip, Josh).
I hope that helps!