Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

Suggest a topic for a future blog post....

Suggest a topic for a future blog post....

  • Comments 87

I am going to keep track of ideas for future blog posts with this blog article.  I'll add my own ideas as they come to me, and I also welcome suggestions from anyone out there who would like to suggest a topic.  I am going to use the following guidelines:

  1. Please use the comment functionality on the blog server to suggest anything you think sounds interesting
  2. Keep in mind my areas of expertise from the tag line of my blog - general setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA Game Studio, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.  I know about things outside of these areas, but my level of depth of knowledge may vary widely depending on the topic, and I am not going to pretend to be an expert and post about a topic I am not very familiar with
  3. I will remove comments as I create posts that address them


  • I'm going nuts trying to figure out why my MCE2005 Rollup2 won't go back to sleep after recording. It will if I reboot it, but if I watch Live TV, use the remote to put it in standby, it will wake up to update the EPG, and won't go back to sleep on its own. I can force it using the power button on the remote; it just won't do it on its own. If I close the MCE shell, it will go to sleep on its own. I see with the shell running, that performance monitor shows a CPU spike of 10% every 8 seconds; if I close the shell, this goes away. Related? I see others have this problem, but have never seen a solution, other than some custom screen saver (which didn't work for me).
  • I would like to see an introduction and troubleshooting article on 'Shim database'-caching. I have read that this is caching of registry, and this technolgy is/becomes important in Vista and .net2.0.
    I came across your blog when I was googling on 'Unable to open shim database version registry key'. One of the advises referred to as yours, was to give user (supposedly write/set value) permissions to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework\Policy\AppPatch\v2.0.50727.00000. Before I do a thing like that, I would like to know the risk involved.
    My apologies for any mispellings or bad grammar. English is, by far, my native language.
  • Hi Aaron - Thanks for a great blog..
    There still seems to be a lot of problems with mce create video dvd & I'd like to see an informed, comprehensive summary of issues and solutions.
    For info I have read pretty much everything I can find on the web about this isue but still can't get it to work on my machine. Every forum has threads running with nearly the same stuff being reinvented but clearly loads of disgruntled users out there.
    Just as example - I am in uk region and record pal broadcasts - I find 894553 describes one of the problems I get, but I've no idea if this is rolled up into RU2 or the Jan Rollup so don't know if it applies.
    Some people say there is a sequence that must be followed for sonicencoders, sonic windows components, r/up2, powerdvd etc as they are all dependent. Others say don't bother and install a third party product.
    For me the issue is that all I want is a basic function in mce that works...and its supposed to be there anyway.
    I'm convinced you would help a lot of people....
  • I have had an issue for some time with Media Center 2005 UR2 and an AverMedia A180 tuner not working with the onboard SATA controller of my machine. It is some kind of hardware/driver issue because my ATI HDTV Wonder works fine. AverMedia has not gotten me any solutions, and newer drivers don't seem to fix anything. There is a post about it here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=597238 If there is anything someone smarter than I could do as far as at least looking at or reproducing this problem it would be great. An explanation would at least be nice if there is no fix.
  • Perhaps talk about whether or not there will be "Softsled" in Vista.  Information is hard to come by.
  • Recently had to buy a new box (HP Pavilion a1410n) running Media Center. Installed my old HD to keep all my previous files. Old HD (d:/) was running xp Pro, which I still need because it contains IIS web server. Can you suggest a good, reliable tutorial on setting up dual boot between Media Center and xp Pro (running on different drives), or is there an easier way to get IIS functionality into Media Center? Thank you.
  • Hi Walter - I haven't tried this myself, but because Media Center does not allow domain joining, I don't think you will be able to get IIS configured and running, so dual boot is probably your best bet here.  Setting up a dual-boot system with Media Center and some other version of Windows is not any different than setting up dual-boot for any other 2 OS types.  There are some really good instructions for configuring the Media Center OS at http://blog.retrosight.com/PermaLink,guid,f2553662-641c-43a5-a9f8-fdd3d69b1dee.aspx that I think will be useful to you here.
  • Hi Aaron, thanks for great blog.

    Question - is it possible to make Media Center (2005) a little more patient with the TV tuner card when resuming from standby to execute a scheduled recording.

    I'm having a problem with a DVB tuner card which will not work properly after resuming, likely a driver bug. All MCE or indeed any other app shows is "no signal found"

    I've been able to workaround this for interactive using a WMI in a script which waits for a Power Management event, and if it's of type 7 (resume) I stop ehrecvr, recycle the bad device with devcon & restart ehrecvr. Net result - TV works a few seconds after resuming.

    But meantime MCE has got in, attempted to start recording, and failed. Grrrr. I'm experimenting with suspending the ehsched process during suspend, resuming it afterwards, but maybe there's a better way? (other than hassling my vendor to fix their drivers!!!)
  • hello,
    i am getting error when i run vs2005 beta 180 days...the error is:

    the application data forlder for visual studio could not be created..
    plz help me
  • Hi Shahid - This error means that the folder %APPDATA%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0 could not be created.  There is probably some kind of permission problem for that folder.  Can you please try to create this folder manually using Windows Explorer and see if it works for you?
  • Hello Aaron,

    Let me thank you for writing such an insightful blog.

    Since you cover my two main interests (Visual Studio and Media Center) I hope I can coax you into answering me the following:
    I'm desperately trying to get Media Center TV to get a signal from a video source (eg. VCR or gaming console) to my TV card from the (S-)video-in connctor. Not the tuner.
    The MCE Newsgroup tell me, it can't be done with the current MCE features, as MCE only controls the tuner.

    Can an add-in provide MCE the ability to get a video from the video-in of one of my cards? My nVidia 6600 GT features a video-in as well as my Hauppauge WinTV Nova S+.

    Is the Media Center SDK a good tool for this problem? Can it be used with the Express versions of Visual Studio?
  • Hi Arminator - From what I know, getting video signals from non-TV sources is not supported in Media Center.  If you know enough about how to write code that could receive input from an alternative video source, you should be able to wrap that as a Media Center add-in.  The Media Center SDK can help you figure out how to integrate your application into Media Center.  The current version of Media Center (Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005) runs on the .NET Framework 1.1, so you will need to use Visual Studio .NET 2003 to create an add-in that will work correctly with Media Center.  The Express Editions can be used to create Media Center add-ins for Windows Vista.
  • Aaron,

    Hi I ran into an issue with winfx beta 2 and the add-ins for vs 2005. For some reason the add-ins try to convert my older sln files to 9.0 files. You cannot cancel the operation and still work with the old project. Now I am forced to remove vs 2005 and winfx beta 2. The uninstall for vs 2005 breaks because it cannot determine the unistall order. Can write about the manual uninstall. Also I have looked on the forums and cannot find a good place to post the issue. I left one message in the "Cider" forum to no avail. Is there a way to get the converter to stop converting projects. Otherwise I have to wait until november or january to work with winfx.

  • Aaron,

    Great blog. Lots of useful and insightful stuff. I've already benefitted from your tips on using msiinv and the Windows Installer Cleanup tool, neither of which I was aware.

    However, the installer problem I just can't figure out is that MSI installs built using a setup-deployment project in Vis Studio 2005 cause corruption in Add/Remove programs. After running the install, either by right-clicking and choosing install from the IDE, or manually running the MSI (on either the development machine or another pc; the result is the same), Add/Remove Programs displays hundreds of lines of empty space and unusual video artifacts, and the program I just installed does not appear in the list. I can then use msiexec /x {product code} to uninstall the app and Add/Remove Programs returns to normal.

    I tried creating a new test solution with a similar structure to my app (i.e., a VB Windows app with C# and VB libraries), but I couldn't duplicate the error. I deleted/recreated the Setup project several times with no effect. Oddly enough, I found that by changing the Product Name in the project's properties, however, it would sometimes install correctly, but so far it's only happened when the Product Name is short (<8 chars). At other times, switching to a shorter product name didn't fix it, but then changing the version & product code got it working!?! Those observations may just be coincidences, but I would really like to to have the full app name display in Add/Remove Programs, and, more importantly, I would like to have some clue as to what's causing this really strange behavior. Any ideas or helpful links? I've googled high and low to no avail.

    Thanks in advance.

    - Dan
  • When trying to open media center it immediately gives ehshell.exe application error 0XC0000005 message and closes the media center windows. Tried reconfguring media center but no go. Request you to provide your valuable suggestions in this regard.
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