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Windows 7: WMC 'missing files?'

28 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
WMC 'missing files?'

All I -ever- use WMC for, is to play the cable TV signal. It's worked fine since installation 13 mos ago.

Now when I start WMC and < over to 'live tv,' sometimes I get the message as you see in the subj line.

What is this, and what is the fix?

This is the version I am using.



Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

still happening, someone calls it a HDMI handshaking problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

The message text is kind of ambiguous, and in my experience (of seeing the same message on my own machine) really has nothing to do with Windows Media Center program files. In my experience, the "files" being referenced as problematic are the recorded program files themselves... on whatever hard drive they've been accessed from.

In my experience it stems from the hard drive on which the recorded program is stored being unable to "keep up" with the demands of WMC, insofar as required minimum delivery data rate is concerned.

For example, I have four separate hard drives on which my "\Recorded TV" Library is defined: (1) 2TB internal 7200rpm SATA drive, 64MB buffer, (2) 1TB internal 7200rpm SATA drive, 32MB buffer, (3) external 2TB USB 3.0 drive - actually Hitachi HDS5C3020ALA632 SATA 32MB buffer and variable speed CoolSpin, (4) external USB 3.0 drive - actually Samsung HD204UI SATA 32MB buffer and 5400rpm.

The best performance I have is for current recordings made to the internal 2TB 7200rpm drive with 64MB buffer. In fact, I've NEVER seen the "files" error message when playing back recordings from that drive.

And before I installed that drive, my primary recording drive was that other internal 1TB 7200rpm drive with 32MB buffer, and on occasion I would see the "files" problem.

Recently, I was forced to offload lots of Olympics recordings to one of my external 2TB USB 3.0 drives. And when it was obvious I was running out of storage I quickly ran out and bought another external 2TB USB 3.0 drive. As identified above, these are actually two different SATA drives in a USB enclosure.

And now, when I play back recordings which have been relocated onto those external USB 3.0 drives for storage, and I use the "fast-forward" function to skip through unwanted portions (e.g. soccer), I will see that "files" error far more often than I would want. The problem is that the low-speed SATA drives in those external USB enclosures do not have a fast enough transfer rate, nor is their cache large enough, to keep up with the WMC data-delivery needs of "fast-forward" at 4x or 5x speed.

Now when this occurs, I can screw around with the remote (e.g. press STOP, skip-forward 30-seconds, FF, PLAY, skip-forward 30-seconds, etc.) and sure enough I can get ordinary speed playback to resume. There's really no need to restart the machine, or close/re-open Windows Media Center, or even to restart any of my media extenders.

So, I've just learned that when playing back content from the two external USB 3.0 drives I have to be a bit more restrained when doing "fast-forward". I can accomplish what I'm wanting to do through the alternative approach of pushing 9 and then "skip 30-seconds" (which is effectively 9 x 30-seconds skip-forward), which gives me essentially a 5 minute skip-forward. This works reliably and does not produce the "files" error which is fairly common from "fast forward".


Bottom line: penny-wise, pound-foolish. Your best performance for WMC will come when your storage hard drives are at least 7200rpm, and at least 32MB cache if not 64MB cache. And don't ever use USB 2.0 external drives, as it simply will not perform adequately. You need to use USB 3.0 external drives, if you're going to use them at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Sep 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

I only use it for playback and recording of Live TV...so not sure all this applies!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eknirb View Post
I only use it for playback and recording of Live TV...so not sure all this applies!
"Playback and recording"... you are using WMC. And it's a DVR.

That means at any time while you're watching "live TV" you can push the PAUSE or REW button, and then PLAY, REC, etc. And that's because it's actually writing out everything you're watching "live" to the hard drive buffer, and then playing it back from that buffer. That's what you're actually watching, and that's why you can PAUSE or REW "live TV" and have it work... because you're really watching a display of whatever's been buffered onto hard drive.

So the performance of your hard drive always comes into play, no matter whether you're "watching live TV" or playing back a true previously recorded program.

What exactly is the name/model of your hard drive used for \Recorded TV, so that we can know its specs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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