Windows Media Center Guide Update Woes
July 12, 2005
I’ve been trying to stabilize my MCE box for the last month or two now. After changing video cards and decoders, I seemed to about have it licked, with one notable exception.
Every night, between about 12:45am and 1:10am, the machine would lock up. If you reboot it during that period, like as not it will lock up repeatedly.
Since this is prime TV watching time for me (I usually will watch a little bit before going to bed), this wasn’t going to cut it.
It took me awhile to catch onto how regular the timing of this problem was, but once I did, being a well-trained Windows geek, I started watching the event log for the problem.
What I found was that repeatedly, a few moments before the lock-up would occur, an event was logged for “Background Intelligent Transfer Service” starting.
A little googling tells us that this is part of Windows Update (the “Check for Updates” part), so I disabled the service — I’ve spent enough years checking Windows Update manually, I figured it wouldn’t hurt me to do so on this box (particularly since I open a web browser on it about once in a blue moon, and even then it’s usually Firefox.) I also disabled automatic check for updates, to keep Windows Update from bitching.
So I watched it for a week or so, and sure enough, my early-morning lockup problem was long gone. Hurray!
Last night (during the time-period of doom, in fact), I decided to make sure it was set to record the new season of Stargate Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica this Friday…
Hmmm… I only had guide data through Thursday…
I went to settings, and told it to manually update the guide data. I got an error.
So I went in, re-enabled BITS, started it, and tried a manual download once again.
I tried this again this noon, and was able to successfully download the guide (and then disable BITS again), but this is going to be a pain in the butt.
Searching around, I haven’t been able to find a discussion of a problem similar to this, so perhaps it’s just yet another oddity of my machine….