a couple of other suggestions about keeping WMP running...
First and foremost do not use the default directories for your media files.
I do not even have my (or for that matter any) media files on C:, let alone in the default folders of users/music/... (whatever)
My audio files are all on my "G" hard drive and it's mirrored twin "H".
My video files are all on "F" and it's external backup "S"
Media Player is only allowed to see "G" for audio and "F" for video
The other thing seems kinda strange but it avoids issues with WMP11...
That is whenever you are adding folders and files to
your "watched" directories (folders) have the WMP11 program OPEN
IF it's open it is far more likely to correctly "find" the new folders and enclosed files.
If it is not open there is no reason to believe that it will EVER find new folders/files.
I personally have just over 45,000 separate mp3's my WMP is keeping track of
THE point to having media elsewhere, even my picture files and default picture library are off of C is should C fail all I lose is my Operating system installation
and SOME (but not all) settings (most of those are separately backed up)
another thing that WMP is flakey about, though this tends to be more of an issue with WMP9 and WMP10 is file fragmentation,
My NOTEBOOK is another issue, my primary notebook is also a Dell 1525 (excellent computer) but mine runs on a T8300 CPU 4gb of RAM and is running Windows7 Home Premium SP1 64Bit (Dell OEM installer)
I have had to reinstall windows twice due to WMP/Explorer screw-ups. screw-ups that Microsoft FixIt would not correct.
I keep cloned images of all my installs so when I kill a particular demonic possession it stays "killed", but next time my 1525 suffers a windows failure I'm putting Win7Pro SP1 x64 on it, the Professional installation on my HP desktop has been stable for 2-1/2 years.