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Possible fixes for IR receiver or remote problems after installing Update Rollup 2 for MCE 2005

Possible fixes for IR receiver or remote problems after installing Update Rollup 2 for MCE 2005

There have been a few reports so far from customers who have installed Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005 and have had problems getting their infrared (IR) receivers or devices such as remote controls or wireless keyboards to work correctly afterwards.  Update Rollup 2 setup installs an updated set of IR drivers (also shipped independently as KB888795) that have caused some sporadic issues.  Here is a list of the workarounds we have seen be successful so far to resolve IR receiver/remote control issues after installing Update Rollup 2:

1.  The IR receiver appears to be installed correctly but pressing buttons on the remote does not do anything

In this scenario, it is possible that the remote control has been configured to broadcast on a channel range that was supported previously but has since been removed.  You can use the steps that I previously posted here to reconfigure your remote control to broadcast on a different channel to resolve this issue

2.  One or more of the IR drivers is configured incorrectly in Device Manager

In this scenario, if you look in Device Manager (by going to the Start menu, choosing Run and typing devmgmt.msc), you will see yellow exclamation points next to one or more items in the Human Interface Devices category.  The following steps will resolve this issue in most cases:

  1. Go to the Start menu, choose Run and type devmgmt.msc
  2. Expand the Human Interface Devices category
  3. Right-click on each of the items with eHome Infrared Transceiver in the name and choose Uninstall
  4. Unplug the IR device from the computer and wait for approximately 30 seconds
  5. Plug the IR device back into the computer and wait for Windows plug-and-play detection to kick in and re-install the device

3.  Some remote control buttons (number keys, arrows, enter) fail to function, while other buttons work as expected

We have not yet been able to reproduce this scenario in our test lab, but we have seen this set of steps resolve this issue on some customer machines so I wanted to post it here in case someone runs into a similar problem:

  1. Delete the file named %windir%\inf\keyboard.pnf.  Please note that the correct file to delete ends in PNF - do not delete keyboard.INF.
  2. Go to the Start menu, choose Run and type devmgmt.msc
  3. Expand the Human Interface Devices category
  4. Right-click on each of the items with eHome Infrared Transceiver in the name and choose Uninstall
  5. Unplug the IR device from the computer and wait for approximately 30 seconds
  6. Plug the IR device back into the computer and wait for Windows plug-and-play detection to kick in and re-install the device

4.  If none of the above suggestions work

There are some cases that we have seen where none of the above suggestions work.  A customer posted a comment indicating that it sometimes helps to short the Media Center remote control to forcibly reset it.  You can see more information about how to do that in this blog post.

<update date="12/29/2005"> Added a link to a new post I created with a description of how to short a remote control </update>


  • Does this fix the problem with the mouse pointer on the "Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Centre Edition"?

    Here is a review of the keyboard:

    And here is where the problem is mentioned:
    In the normal Windows interface, things aren't so smooth. Here, instead of the confined up/down/left/right movements you experience in Media Center, users expect a full range of movement with a mouse or similar pointing device. The Pointer nubbin on the Remote Keyboard does not provide this type of freedom at all. In fact, it's horrible. It can only move in eight directions (up, down, left, right, and diagonal) and you have to really push the thing to make it go at all. I'm a pretty strong guy, and I have trouble making it move. My kid would be reduced to tears if I made him use this. The Click and Right Click buttons, which emulate the first two buttons on a typical mouse, work fine.
  • Hi Daniel - the mouse pointer issue you describe is not a driver problem, but an issue with the hardware itself. I have heard from some other folks who don't like the design of the pointer (they would prefer a trackball or some other easier-to-move device), but I have also heard from some folks who really like the pointer. It seems to be a matter of personal preference. For what it's worth, I have had a hard time using the pointer on my remote keyboard as well, but it seems to be loosening up a bit as I use it more and "break it in"
  • Hi Aaron, thanks for your reply, i was hoping it was a driver issue. I have read on other forums that you need to "break it in", one guy even said that he no longer has to apply downward pressure to get the pointer to move. I am looking forward to that day. :-)
  • Hi,

    Im having problems with my Microsoft MCE remote / irblaster when coming out
    of s3 standby.

    I can enter standby by using the remote, and also wake the computer from s3
    with it. The issue is that after waking the computer it takes 15-25 seconds
    before the remote/blaster is working again, so when waking it automatically
    to record a scheduled program it is unable to change the channel on my
    set-top box and it does not start recording.

    It seems as if it has to rediscover usb units when waking from s3.

    Anyone have experience in this field? Anyone with a working mce remote and
    settop box recording from s3 standby?

    Any help appreciated.

  • Hi Richard - This issue might be related to the emitter check that is done before a scheduled recording. Can you please try to set the following registry value and then try this scenario again:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service]

    Please let me know whether or not this works, and if it is successful I'll post this as its own blog post so it will be easier for other people to find if they run into this issue.
  • Nope, did no good. I leaning towards the theory that my MB does no support s3 properly. As i mentioned it is as if it has to rediscover the Remote when waking from S3 even though it has power applied. Will try S1 and see if it works. But i think the mobo is to blame (Asus p4r800-vm)

  • Awesome! Ever since I installed the rollup my navigation buttons have not been working. The steps outlined in 3. fixed it.

    Thank you!
  • None of the above fikses works. The probleem is windows thinks you have the ir so you have the keyboard and installs the drivers >> 3 in total (checks keyboards in hardware devices) If i remove those 3 drivers everything is fine.

    I dont have the keyboard so everything is f$#@$ up. I want an option to disable them or a patch to get rid of them. It's that simple actually.
  • My MS MCE remote was dead and not responding. I tried everything here with no success. I then went to newegg to buy a new one when I saw the following comment by a user. It absolutely worked for me and saved me 40.00.

    "If your remote dies.. (remote light doesn't come on, remote stops functioning) read this..

    "Solution: reset the microcontroller by removing power. The issue here is that there is enough capacitance... More »
    on the board to keep the thing alive for hours after you pull the batteries. But that's easily fixed. Simply short two of the adjacent battery terminals on the remote for a moment, and the capacitors drain. I don't know which two adjacent ones are the ones wired to the board (the other two are simply a short to connect one battery to the other), so I shorted both pair. It took a paper clip and all of a few seconds, and the remote was fine again."

    As I stated ealier, this brought my remote back to life! Since I did not see this solution anywhere, I thought I would spread the word.
  • Hi David, could you explain to me more specifically how u shorted the remote. I have had 2 of the remotes and both have subsequently died on me. My grasp of electronics is virtually none existant but I have a paper clip ready a just need a few pointers.
  • Hi Aaron. Hoping you can help me.

    I previously had MCE setup for a single tuner (set top box) and the blaster worked fine. I've added another set top box and connected to the secondary input of my dual-tuner card. I plugged in the second IR bud and went to reconfigure the TV signal. I selected two tuners, etc. (everything seems to go fine, identifies the remote codes, etc.). However, when I get to the channel change test, there is no activity on either bud (no blinky blinky).
    If I cancel setup (going back to current, single tuner config), the blaster works fine (blinky).
    So, basically, if I try to configure dual tuner, the emitters do nothing - single tuner, everything fine.
    Any ideas? Anything I can check? Thanks in advance.
  • Hi Darren - I checked around on our team and found the following information that might be helpful here:

    Sometimes the receiver will detect a non-existent "bud" (emitter) and try to transmit to that. Could you try out the "Try next emitter" button on the test channel change page and see if that helps?

    Also, a couple of other notes here:

    1. If there is only 1 tuner but multiple emitters, the Media Center IR driver will transmit to all emitters by default.

    2. Unplugging and re-plugging the receiver or rebooting the machine should cause the phantom emitter to disappear.

    Hope this helps!
  • Thanks Aaron. I actually got it to configure and emit by unplugging the receiver, waiting and replugging *twice* during setup.

    I went through normal setup for dual tuners and when it got to testing channel change, I got no emission from either bud. Unplugged the receiver, waited, replugged to different USB, retried and got emission from the first bud.

    Went on to second tuner... same problem, no emission from either bud. Unplugged, waited, replugged to different USB, retried, got emission from second bud.

    Most surprising is that it all now works. Both set-top boxes are controlled independently and correctly (knock on wood).

    I saw a reference on the net by someone that was having a similar problem (no emission). They mentioned replugging the receiver during setup, which led me down this path.

    No offense, but the software/hardware for the receiver is just poor. It shouldn't be this difficult.

    I can provide any system/log/registry information the team might need if they're interested in diagnosing this problem. Let me know: darren_merrill@hotmail.com.
  • I had a different remote issue brought on my MCE RU2, if I pushed any button twice only the first press would actually work. (e.g. up, up, up, up would only move up once. However, down,up,down,up worked properly) The light blinked on the receiver on every press, but MCE would only respond to the first of each button.

    Anyway, after trying EVERYTHING, I just wanted to post that the fix posted here 'Friday, December 02, 2005 12:53 AM by David' about resetting the remote finally fixed my problem. It certainly didn't seem like a remote problem, but it's always the last place you look!

    PS - Good post Aaron, your blog's helped with many other issues I've had too!
  • 3. Some remote control buttons (number keys, arrows, enter) fail to function, while other buttons work as expected.

    I encountered this problema fter going through and disabling some of the services in services.msc that I always disable on windows xp computers. It turns out that the HID input service is required for all of the remote buttons to function correctly and this needs to be set to automatic for the remote to function correctly. It would be extremely helpful if someone would put together a list of services that are necessary in MCE but not normal windows XP since I have been learning the hard way. I have also found out that SSPD Discovery Service, HTTP SSL, and Universal Plug and Play Device Host are needed to connect a XBOX360 to Windows Media Center. Anyone know of others?
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