So I came across these two perculiar situation whilst running Windows 8.1 Enterprise N, both regarding Flash- or should I say that 3rd party Shockwave player embedded into Internet Explorer 11?

Basically, the situation is like this: right after installing a clean copy of Windows 8.1 Enterprise N, if I opened up Youtube without having the headphones plugged in (and thus, a ‘No microphone or speaker plugged in’ message appeared), Youtube returned the ‘An error occurred’ message with the static background and an useless ‘Learn more’ link which only redirected me to adobe.com. Now, I do admit that Flash is not the only culprit here, since Vimeo and other Flash related content on other sites seemed to work fine (not all, though! Zonga.ro – which is a Spotify-like app – works just fine).

One other thing worth mentioning is that Youtube runs smoothly under HTML5. How did I use Youtube on HTML5? Well, first you go to http://www.youtube.com/html5, select that we want to join the HTML5 trial and than you deactivate your Shockwave plugin from the Manage Add-on settings page. Another thing worth mentioning is also the fact that on the HTML5 activation page on Youtube, both H.264 and MSE & H.264 (along with HTMLVideoElement and Media Source Extensions) are found as supported.

However, after installing the usual some R&D related software, I came across another strange issue. Right before updating the OS again (more software means more updates, more updates means theoretically less headache, practically more issues i.m.h.o.), Youtube worked fine – as long as my headphones were plugged in. After updating the OS though, every single time I am trying to run a video on Youtube, IE crashes completely with the ‘Close program’ message box – I don’t even have the option of reporting the issue!

Here’s some extra info from Event Viewer:

  • Faulting application name: IEXPLORE.EXE, version: 11.0.9600.16384
  • Faulting module name: Flash.ocx, version: 11.9.900.117
  • Exception code: 0xc0000005
  • Fault offset: 0x00573ef5
  • Faulting module path: C:WindowsSYSTEM32MacromedFlashFlash.ocx
  • Report Id: 17dce16c-32a1-11e3-9c0d-d43d7ed8c58e

The reason for why I was mentioning the HTML5 facts earlier is that as soon as these issues appeared, I tried to switch the video playback back to HTML5 from Flash and found out that:

  1. after disabling the Shockwave plugin, Youtube reported that my browser didn’t support HTML5 (a small error message inside the container for the video player)
  2. on the youtube/html5, neither H.264 nor MSE & H.264 were marked as supported

One more strange thing is that when I tried to verify if there’s an update for Flash player on Adobe’s page here, Adobe no longer reported that I was visiting the site from IE11 or Windows 8.1. I therefore suppose that after updating it, the browser no longer sends out its capabilities and thus, Flash (and possibly other apps too) run into some sort on unhandled exception.

Looking into Event Viewer, I found out that the issue was related to Flash.ocx and that the error code was 0xc0000005, which was rather random. After several failed attemps of solving the issue by reinstalling audio, video, chipset and other device drivers, I decided to install the Media Pack for Windows Enterprise N and KN, which basically installs Windows Media Player and other media related software on an OS which was designed to work without this extras. Guess what!

Installing the Media Pack for Windows Enterprise N and KN (link here) solved the problem. Now, if you ask me, there is a bug somewhere, because there is no way for a piece of software to work only if your headphones are plugged in (only under given circumstances – specific websites, so specific apps) and, after updating the OS with IE related updates, to crash every single time the Shockwave plugin is used, only to recover if you install the extras which you didn’t want in the first place and which should theoretically have nothing to do with the issue itself whatsoever.

I know this is sort of a dum-dum solution, but it might get you going until there is an update available.


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