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Windows 7: Reinstall WMC from scratch. What is the best approach?

18 Mar 2015   #1

Reinstall WMC from scratch. What is the best approach?

Guess the subject says most of it. I have a Windows 7 MCE computer that is being used to record all my TV shows and stream them to multiple Xbox 360's in the house. Over time the system has become a bit more sluggish than it used to be as I used it for multiple things so have installed other things on it that I guess has effected it in time. Now that I have dedicated computers for those other things, was thinking of re-installing the entire system from scratch. Does anyone have a guide or know where I can find one that talks about how to reinstall MCE and restore all my scheduled shows without any data loss? I have done this before, but winged it so prefer a known good approach. Note I have a complete backup of the entire system so wiping and restoring random files won't be an issue. Only thing I don't backup is the recorded shows folder. Thoughts?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2015   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 sp1

AFAIK there is no specific Windows 7 Media Center Edition - all versions from Home Premium up have Windows Media Center. Are you referring to a clean reinstall of the correct version to match your COA - Home Premium, Pro, Ultimate etc ? Guide -

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2015   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

I cannot vouch for the approach described in this article to backup/restore your current scheduled recordings when you anticipate reinstalling Windows from scratch. But is sounds plausible and correct.

My own method is to have a collection of screenshots for all my "series recordings", of which I currently have 65. At 9 lines per screen (as you page through them), that's 8 screenshots to "preserve" all of them.

Of course all I have is basically a list of names, of the shows (and probably the channel as well) in my current list of series recordings. So after the Windows reinstall is complete, I have to through the normal expected WMC configuration and setup, and then download the Guide data, and then manually recreate each series recording while viewing my screenshots to provide the reminder list of what I'm looking for.

Clearly, this approach doesn't provide a solution for a series you might have set whose current season has expired so that this show isn't present in the current Guide. And unless you take additional screenshots of the interior details of each series to refer to, you must mentally recreate whether you want NEW or NEW+RERUN, etc.

Also, it doesn't provide a solution for upcoming near-future one-off (non-series) recordings which might be set for sometime in the next week or two.

But honestly, unless you had many hundreds of series recordings and one-offs, surely this "list" of series recordings from which you can manually recreate from should be fine. Even if you miss series not currently on the schedule, presumably in a few months time when the series returns you will know about it from other sources or advertisements, and can just remember to recreate the new series recording.

Much more importantly, just remember that all your current copy-protected WTV recordings (i.e. from programs that your cable provider has marked with 5C copy-once flags) WILL NOT BE PLAYABLE WITH YOUR NEWLY REINSTALLED WINDOWS AND WMC!!! This is because of the encryption used by WMC at recording time in your current system, to store that copy-protected WTV file on your hard drive. The DRM encrypt/decrypt method prevents playback of copy-protected content by anything other than the original installed Windows and WMC that did the recording in the first place. A newly installed Windows (even on the same hardware) CANNOT read those recordings.

So, be prepared to lose all of that content when you reinstall Windows... unless you prepare for it. You really have no solution available. The only "workaround" is to view-down all of your current copy-protected recordings before you start the new Windows install, so that you don't actually lose anything.

Another "workaround" approach would be to install Windows and WMC onto a second computer, retaining the current machine and its WMC for selective connection to one or two extenders, and to continue to retain that machine and the connected selected extender arrangement until you finally finish viewing-down all of your old current copy-protected recordings.

Once you exhaust all of those old copy-protected recordings, you can ditch the old machine and re-configure your extenders to now all be connected to the new machine.

Obviously, this is not a wonderful "solution". But that's what copy-protected means, and that's how DRM works. Those are the rules. So just be aware of that, especially if your cable provider provides most/all of your content marked as copy-protected (as TWC/LA does for me). There is no longer clear QAM, and either a cablecard or STB/DVR (which has a cablecard inside) from them is required in order to view/record 100% of their content, no matter what the channel, free or premium.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Mar 2015   #4

Windows 7 Pro-x64

WMC is a feature that you can turn on and off. A while back, my schedule listings were hosed for some reason. All I did was turn off the feature and reboot. After that, I turned the feature back on and it rebuilt the schedule. None of the files were disturbed.

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My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Reinstall WMC from scratch. What is the best approach?

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