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Possible workaround for Media Center guide download error code 20

Possible workaround for Media Center guide download error code 20

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Our development team has found a possible root cause and workaround for error code 20 that may appear when trying to download television guide data in Media Center 2005.  The guide download error code article I previously published describes error code 20 as a file validation error, possibly caused by a mismatched guide package.  Previously, the only recommended workaround was to try downloading guide data again later.

We got a hold of a machine that was displaying error code 20, and the developer debugged and found the failure resulted from a call to a cryptographic API that is used to decode guide data (which is downloaded in an encrypted format).  For some reason we don't fully understand yet, this API returns a set of permissions that don't permit the guide data file to be opened correctly.

This workaround that we used to resolve this issue is the following:

  1. Log onto the computer as a user with Administrator privileges
  2. Close Media Center
  3. Navigate to the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys folder
  4. Delete the file that starts with 1c93d682e65b0f3af0cd51385becba5e_
  5. Restart Media Center and try to download television guide data again

Error code 20 is being caused by one of the machine keys in that folder, but it appears to be a different key on each computer that hits this problem.

<update date="6/22/2006"> Updated this workaround so that it only includes deleting Media Center-specific RSA keys.  The previous workaround ended up deleting the entire RSA key store, which can impact other products on the system. </update>


  • This worked for me. Thanks for your help!!
  • I can't do your workaround because it says the access is denied - as if the file was open. But I've closed media center. I've been getting error code 20 repeatedly. And it says "File validation error - mismatched guide package. Code 20" Can you help?
  • Hi Tommy - the access denied error may be caused by some other program that is running and keeping those files in use. You might want to try to reboot and then try the workaround again and see if that helps. If that doesn't work, you might need to boot into safe mode and try to delete them that way. Hope this helps!
  • I'm in shock! I finally got it to work. I've been fiddling with it for weeks now and finally got it to work. I booted in safe mode but still couldn't cut and paste the files, so I just deleted them - and the delete was odd... I tried to delete the whole folder but then one or 2 files would disappear on each delete attempt until finally I got them all. Probably had to tell it to delete the folder 5 times. But then after a reboot to normal mode the guide downloaded flawlessly. Thanks for this post on your website - it is literally the only place on the internet that addresses this issue.
  • just wanted to let you know that I also was having difficulty in downloading the TV Guide listings on my HP media center PC.  I did a google search using the same error message and foud your site.  your fix worked.  Thnx!
  • Posting here in case this helps anyone - fairly unique situation:

    I came across an error code 20 today which did not seem to be solved by deleting the RSA key. I found that I had run out of disk space on my c: drive (small partition - sonic transcoder temporary files :( ). Clearing space and restarting the guide download didn't work either. I finally went into the c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\eHome\EPG folder and removed the latest .sdf file only (there were 6 or 7). Again MCE seemed to get rather confused after restarting. I went to fool with which disableing one of my tuners in the devcie manager - I have two tuners, one direct, one hooked to cable box.  I was doing this to basically restart the process of configuring the guide from scratch. However after rebooting with this change the guide came back and downloaded succesfully. I re-enabled the one tuner and everything worked.
  • Hi,
    Would this RSS key be country specific? I have this error 20 problem regularly, but cannot find the key you listed in that directory. From the application log, it seems to take three or four attempts and then there is a succesful download.
  • Hi AlanRoy - To my knowledge, this RSA key should not be country/locale specific.  This error can sometimes be intermittent, and if it eventually succeeds for you, then the RSA key issue described in this blog post is probably not a problem on your system.
  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx
  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx
  • PingBack from http://www.slappa.org/?p=208

  • This article serves as a central location for all links to troubleshooting documentation that has been

  • I tried to go into that folder that should have the keys. Mine does not contain the one that you said to delete. I have no idea what to do. Any ideas?

  • Hi Gjr5017 - If you don't have the files listed in this blog post, then you are likely not running into this specific issue.  You may want to try some of the other workarounds for guide download issues that are listed in the Guide Download Errors section of the article at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx.  If none of those help, you may want to post a question on the Microsoft.Public.Windows.MediaCenter newsgroup and hopefully someone there can provide some useful advice.

  • I'm experiencing the same problem on vista home premium not win 7 or not xp how do i fix this issue?

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