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Prevent Opening Certain Files in WMP

sedberg1
sedberg1 used Ask the Experts™
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I need to add WMP to my XP clients so they can listen to MP3s.  I'd like to disable any access to other multimedia file extensions, so they can't open anything other than MP3s.  Anyone have suggestions on how to do that?
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Commented:
You might need to use registry changes to remove the file association between other audio file types and WMP, or you could lock it in by policy. Although that won't stop the user from manually opening the file in WMP.

Author

Commented:
and how would i do that?

I tried going to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and changing the permissions on .wmv (for a test) so everyone had Deny Full Control. Didn't do much.  Rahter than block access to the file type, it would prompt a user for the application to open it.
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
You could remove WMP with the add/remove windows components tool in control panel and install Free WinAmp Lite and during setup deselect any video support.  (Deselect all the toolbar and extra garbage too).It plays a wide variety of audio files, but not so much in the video department.  Unless users have install rights, they shouldn't be able to add any plugins for any video files it may be able to support with additional downloaded plugins.

They can't play what an app doesn't support.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Just to be certain you are DENYing the right spot in the registry....

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.wmv

Depending on your version, you might see a different "Default" value... Mine is "WMP11.AssocFile.WMV"

That means you would DENY the rights to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WMP11.AssocFile.WMV"

Course there are a ton of other keys related to WMP11 under HKCR, that you might need to DENY as well, for various formats/extensions.....

Author

Commented:
As written:
"I tried going to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and changing the permissions on .wmv (for a test) so everyone had Deny Full Control."

Also did this on WMVFILE key in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.  No go.  I guess I'll have to look through the entire hive and see any references to wmv.  If I can get it to block WMV, then I should be able to reproduce the same actions (hopefully) to get the others blocked.
EE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional
Commented:
I think this is going to be the problem. You'll have to point it to another program. If there is no file association, windows is going to prompt for what program to use.

You could open one of the undesired files using shift-rclick and "open with" to point file associations you want to block to a program that won't open it (notepad, for example).

Again if you are trying to stop the user from doing something insecure, or loading a file they aren't supposed to, these steps won't stop them from starting WMP and then opening whatever file they want.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
I don't think that method will prompt for an association, rather result a generic "Access Denied".....

Its a tough predicament fer sure....