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Windows Media Center crash after W7 update

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Roger Mills, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Guest

    I installed some 'important updates' to W7 (32 bit) last night, and now
    WMC - or rather the whole PC - crashes when I try to watch live TV via
    my USB-based Freeview tuner.

    It will run for a minute or so, and then stops dead. The picture freezes
    and a distorted sound loop about a second long keeps repeating
    relentlessly. The whole laptop freezes, and doesn't respond to any
    keyboard or mouse inputs - so the only way out is to hold down the power
    button until it turns off, and then re-boot.

    Anyone else experienced this - or have any suggestions about how to fix
    it? As with most freezes, I can't find anything in the Event Log.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Dec 18, 2011
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  2. Roger Mills

    BillW50 Guest

    That is a common problem with updates and why I have experimented with
    about a dozen laptops here and I have stopped updating half of them
    without ill effects.

    But on to your problem. System Restore should get you back (if you have
    it enabled). Also some updates can be uninstalled is another choice. If
    neither is possible and you don't have a backup of your system. Then
    maybe the manufacture for your USB tuner has an updated driver for the
    Media Center.

    Say how do you like the Media Center for saving recordings anyway? I
    like the Media Center for watching TV or timeshifting, although it takes
    a big CPU hit. Otherwise I like the DVR software that comes with most
    tuners better, plus they don't hit the CPU so hard and you can get more
    multitasking done.
    BillW50, Dec 18, 2011
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  3. Roger Mills

    James Guest

    I had a problem with jerky video playback and live TV
    in other apps after installing the batch of 64-bit
    Windows Updates dated 13th December. I did a System
    Restore to get rid of the updates (and the problem)
    then added them back one-by-one. The restore also got
    rid of an update to a 3rd party app, which could have
    been the culprit.

    The problem seemed to have gone after the re-update,
    but it returned the next day, so I restored to before
    the last update (IE9 fix) and repeated that fix. I'm
    still monitoring to see if the issue comes back.
    James, Dec 18, 2011
  4. Roger Mills

    J G Miller Guest

    First do a web search to see if anybody else if having problems with
    your specific USB box.

    Other than that, all I can suggest is to completely remove the
    drivers and user front end software for the USB box (including
    registry keys) and then reinstall the USB box drivers and
    software from scratch.

    You may try asking for specific help for your USB box at

    J G Miller, Dec 18, 2011
  5. Roger Mills

    Paul - xxx Guest

    USB Freeview tuner (Pinnacle PCTV Nano Stick) inserted into the laptop
    and running W7 Ultimate and WMC, updated automagically last night ...
    all works absolutely fine, no issues.

    Checking this, I have W7 (same setup) on a computer in one room, all
    updated as of last night automatically. It's connected via ethernet
    directly to the TV in the front room .. Currently streaming Fawlty
    Towers with no issues .. Ran fine for 5 minutes or so .. Swapped to
    music, pictures and a film and all ran fine .. Swapped to streaming
    wirelessly from (as above) laptop and same, all works fine .. Only
    checked for a couple of minutes each, mind, but no hint of issues at
    Paul - xxx, Dec 18, 2011
  6. Roger Mills

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Hmm, my laptop (Dell E5500, W7 Ultimate 64 bit) and USB card (Pinnacle
    Nano) running WMC is way better than the supplied software which was
    buggy, slow, crashed frequently and was an absolute pain to navigate!

    Recording in WMC is good, navigation is slow and awkward but works ..
    I've never had a lock-up or crash with W7 or WMC, no matter what other
    tasks I'm doing, which is mostly browsing, Word-processing and Usenet
    ... ;)
    Paul - xxx, Dec 18, 2011
  7. Roger Mills

    BillW50 Guest

    Yes I agree pretty much with WMC, but the format seems to be only
    playable on WMC machines. A stock XP machine won't play them for
    example. Yes some TV DVR software probably isn't too good. I have used
    other like older versions of KWorld and InterVideo WinDVR. And those
    were really buggy.

    Although I am very happy with AVerTV 6. Lots more options available.
    Even timeshifting the FM radio which comes in handy from time to time.
    And I don't think WMC can wake up a computer and record a program and go
    back to sleep after it is done. Although I do this all of the time with
    AVerTV 6.
    BillW50, Dec 18, 2011
  8. Roger Mills

    Tazz Guest

    Maybe try re-installing or updating your video drivers?

    The whole Windows Update thing scares the #ell outa me. How they can
    change OS files and settings while the OS is still running and being
    used and supposedly not affect any other software stuff. I've been
    bitten too many times, I usually make a Ghost or Acronis image before
    ANY Windows Update.
    Tazz, Dec 19, 2011
  9. They don't. If an upgrade includes files that are being used, you have
    to restart your computer to allow the new files to be used and the old
    ones to be deleted.

    Roderick Stewart, Dec 19, 2011
  10. Roger Mills

    BillW50 Guest

    Tazz is very smart. As any programmer that is worth a damn knows that
    making any changes to an OS carries a risk. OS are written to minimize
    such problems, but there is no way to eliminate all risks. So it is
    always best to have a backup plan if an update goes wrong.

    There are tons of examples where this is true. For example my
    KW-TVUSB506RF-PRO tuner driver breaks if used on anything higher than XP
    SP2. So can OE6 break with XP SP3 as well. As it can hang on compacting
    on the folder.dbx file due to changes in SP3. And I am sure somebody
    could write a book on why updating an OS can break your OS and
    BillW50, Dec 19, 2011
  11. Roger Mills

    Daniallo Guest

    Go into your recorded tv folder & right click a recording, you have an
    option to convert to dvr-ms which will play on XP.
    Daniallo, Dec 19, 2011
  12. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Guest

    Thanks for that - and thanks to everyone else who responded. I did a
    restore to the point immediately before the update, and the problem
    seems to have gone away. I went away from home (and am still away)
    shortly after doing the restore - so haven't been able to do any
    extensive testing, but it *looks* good so far.

    I suppose I shall now have to apply these updates one at a time, and see
    which one is the culprit.
    I was introduced to WMC by someone in this NG (or another NG to which I
    cross-posted - can't remember) because the application which came with
    the dongle kept crashing and freezing my laptop. Apart from this recent
    problem, WMC has fixed that. To answer your question, I think that the
    user interface is truly *awful* - but it does the job,once you have
    found your way around it. The other day, I found some recordings which I
    hadn't expected. I must at some time have told it to record a series -
    but I hadn't run the application in the meantime, and didn't expect it
    to record when it wasn't running - but it *did*. Presumably, something
    must be loaded at startup which takes care of scheduled recordings even
    if the user interface isn't running.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Dec 20, 2011
  13. Roger Mills

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Probably me, I couldn't get my PCTV nanostick to work for longer than a
    few minutes with the supplied software, happened to try WMC and found
    it worked very well, albeit clunky, awkward but very reliable!
    That's interesting, might have to try that it could come in very
    useful, thanks.

    karma .. ;)
    Paul - xxx, Dec 20, 2011
  14. Roger Mills

    BillW50 Guest

    Thanks! I have a dozen of computers here and some stock and some isn't.
    And they all have the same problem with the converted file. As WMP will
    just sit there like it is paused when it isn't. Although it plays fine
    if I move the time bar. Isn't there a codec that allows it to play
    without conversion?
    BillW50, Dec 20, 2011
  15. Roger Mills

    John Guest

    Paul - xxx brought next idea :
    Yes, I've got Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit in an HTPC I built using a
    BlackGold 3620 tuner and Windows Media Centre works brilliantly. Use
    the guide to choose to record either a single programme or a whole
    series, choose the Shut Down menu and then Sleep from within Media
    Centre and it wakes up and records flawlessly. Highly recommended :')
    John, Apr 20, 2012
  16. Roger Mills

    mike Guest

    I've never had good luck with media center.
    Either it wouldn't play TV at all or would use 120% of the cpu and sutdder
    I tried the win8 preview and the tv card plays without a hitch
    and uses the same cpu cycles as the recorder that came with the card.
    I'm optimistic that things might be getting better in this area.
    I don't like the user interface, but at least it works now.
    mike, Apr 20, 2012
  17. Roger Mills

    CJB Guest

    I have XP MC on my Toshiba Qosmio G30 - it cost 2 grand (pounds)
    originally. However the t.v. analogue and digitial card(s) gave such
    appalling results that I quickly hacked the registry to disable the
    whole lot. I could never get the scan for new channels to work. The
    picture quality was appalling with colour washout and jerkiness. And
    if I did a scan for analogue channels this wiped out the settings for
    the digital channels, and vice-a-versa. Now-a-days I watch t.v. on a
    proper digital t.v. - the laptop is just that - a laptop. Media Centre
    is the worst app. I have ever come across from MS - but that's not
    saying very much.

    CJB, May 17, 2012
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