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Media Center Stabilizing

October 25, 2005

After a fairly long, dark time of problems with my Windows Media Center Edition box, it looks like I’ve finally got it largely stabilized.

The problem was either the motherboard’s on-board audio, or an overheating issue; unfortunately, I added a new sound card and an additional fan at the same time, so it’s a bit hard to pin down.

I finally decided to replace the audio system mostly because I started to notice that when the box hung, the audio would drop out a second or two beforehand.

Since making the change, the only remaining problem I have is that I still have lock-ups anytime the background update service is enabled. This means that I still have to run it disabled, and then enable it for a few minutes every so often to get the guide downloaded, and run Windows Update. I can usually manage to get the guide with only one or two lockups.

I’m now beginning to wonder if maybe the embedded ethernet on the motherboard has a problem also. Essentially, about the only thing it does over ethernet other than downloading the guide is updating movie info, but that happens in very small bursts.

I may try dropping a seperate ethernet card in the box and disabling the onboard ethernet, to see if that solves the problem. Unfortunately, I’m running out of slots, and if I ever get this last problem ironed out, I’d like to add an HD tuner to record my OTA HD channels.

Maybe if that turns out to be the problem, the solution is to just replace the motherboard, and maybe step up to an Athlon 64 motherboard and processor instead.

In other MCE news, I updated to rollup two (and the rollup two hotfix) without any issues at all, surprisingly (at least to me).

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One Response to “Media Center Stabilizing”

  1. Matt on October 26th, 2005 10:01 pm

    The MCE I’m using (Blueado 500exl) is GREAT it’s stable. There are some window’s problems but overall it’s working out great. I think they are on sale now but I’m not sure. I think this will be a good season for the MCE and we’ll see a lot of companies swith to MCE like panasonic and those small DVD player companies.

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