FIX: Windows Media Player crashes when you try to rip a CD

Lately, some users report that they cannot rip a CD because Windows Media Player crashes as soon as they try to rip. This simply means: Windows Media Players 12 closes without notification.

The solution appears to be very simple: Windows Media Player needs to be run with the Prefetch parameter. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Run-box by pressing WIN + R (Hold the Windows Key and then hit R)
  2. In the Run-box, paste this line and press OK
    “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:1
    indows media player run prefetch
  3. Try to rip the CD.

Did it work? Then change the Properties of the Windows Media Player shortcut. You are probably starting WMP with wrong parameters. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the Windows Media Player Shortcut and choose Properties
  2. In the tab Shortcut, in the textbox Target, make sure /prefetch:1 is in the end. So the line should look like:
    “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:1
    windows media player rip cd prefetch
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Worked for me. Thanks.

David Cumming

For anyone who come to this post, note that you are starting the 32 bit version, not the 64 bit version. 64 bit version does not rip (for me) with /prefetch1 or without it


Thanks, your specific link didn’t work (Got a path not found type error) but with a slight modification and David’s comment this did work for me: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe /prefetch:1


the backslashes were stripped from my comment below. You will need to insert them after C: and (x86) and between the r and wm in Playerwmplay.exe

Randy Lewis

Echo David Cumming. The 64bit version of Windows Media Player does not appear to rip but the 32 bit version does. If you have a 64bit system, the 64 bit version of wmplayer.exe in installed by default and exists in \ProgramFiles\Windows Media Player\. However, the 32bit version is probably also on your computer and exists in \ProgramFiles(x86)\Windows Media Player\. If it does, in the Properites window of the shortcut, Change both the Target and Start In to reflect the 32bit version. From “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:1 (64bit version) to “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:1 (32bit version) in the Target field and… Read more »


Worked for me, thank you!!!

Jared Rementer

I had the same issue and was missing the shortcut. I opened file manager. This PC>C:>Program files (x86)> Windows Media Player, right clicked wmplayer and ran as administrator. It didn’t work the first time. I then closed it and created a shortcut to my desktop. Opened it and tried again and it worked. I then closed it and opened and tried another disk and it worked.


Some folks may not know to remove the quotation marks. “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe” /prefetch:1


Removing the quotation marks will break the link in a shortcut. The quotation marks are required in the target of a Windows Shortcut.


Using the 32 bit version works! Thanks. That was very frustrating.


The 32 bit version worked for me too. I was about ready to dump the inexpensive USB CD player I had purchased. Thanks for taking the time to describe the fix.


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