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How to short a Media Center remote control if it stops working correctly

How to short a Media Center remote control if it stops working correctly

  • Comments 57

A couple of months ago, I posted a list of workarounds that have proven useful to resolve problems using the Media Center remote control and IR receiver after installing Update Rollup 2 for Media Center 2005.

Since I posted that, I have received several comments from customers who were able to solve this issue with a different workaround not previously listed on that post.  I have found that internet searches do not do a great job of indexing blog comments, but they do well for the main body text of blog posts, so I wanted to post this suggestion as a separate blog post in the hope that others will be able to find it more easily.  I can't take any credit for finding this workaround.  It was posted as a comment on my previous blog post by a kind customer who discovered it and found it useful, and I have heard from several additional customers who indicated that it has helped them as well.

I encourage you to try this workaround if you have already exhausted the list of suggestions located in my previous blog post and still have problems getting your Media Center remote control and/or IR receiver to work correctly.


  • Media Center only receives the first button press (for example - pressing up, up, up only goes up once, but pressing down, up, down, up will work correctly)
  • The IR receiver light does not blink when pressing a button
  • Pressing buttons on the remote do not have any effect


Remove the batteries from the remote control and short the battery terminals using a small metal object such as a paper clip.

There is enough capacitance remote control circuit board to keep it alive for hours even after you remove the batteries. However, you can workaround this and drain the capacitors by shorting two of the adjacent battery terminals on the remote.   Different remotes have different configurations, so it is difficult to know \which two adjacent terminals are the ones wired to the circuit board (the other two are simply a short to connect one battery to the other).  Therefore, you should short both pair of adjacent terminals, which can be achieved by using a paper clip.  After that, re-insert the batteries and try to use the remote control again.


  • Eureka! it's to do with toggle codes, I noticed that the remote control software I have has got a "toggle codes" option when learning. tick this and learn the code twice and bingo! I'm away. Thanks for your help, along the way, I'm sure that doing all the updates also helped.
  • My remote flashes every time I press a button. It is reminiscent of the video controllers when you haev them on turbo. With the smae effec, I have to press and release the button quickly or I get multiple clicks.

    How do I fix this?
  • Is there a better MCE remote I can buy?
    I like the one for the XBOX extender, and it has never had a problem but it does not work with my MCE
  • Hi Joe - You might want to try the other remote control workarounds that I have posted and try to install the latest IR rollup package -



    Hope this helps!
  • You can also remove the battaries and gently press all of the remote buttons while holding the power button.
  • Thanks Nic, shorting did not work, but holding down the PC power button with no batteries in the remote, then pressing every single button once, then replacing the batteries, WORKED!

    we need a kickass third party remote to work with the reciever!!!! come on taiwan or china, impress us!
  • Thanks Buddy, your short-cicuit tip saved me a lot of grief (and my son, who I thought had broken the remote)! Why can't Microsoft create things that don't need a regular reboot?
  • Having problems with the MCE transmitting too fast. When I press the button to perform one action the response is two actions, when on a normal remote it would be one. To get the remote to do one action I have to press the button very quickly. Its all a bit annoying. Is this a problem with the remote or I change this in settings, and if so where?
  • Hi Michael - There is a configuration setting that appears during Media Center Setup when configuring your remote control that allows you to choose the remote transmission speed.  That is only applicable if you are configuring your Media Center system with a set-top box though.  I'm not sure if that is how you have your system configured though.  If it is, can you try to re-run Media Center Setup and change the remote settings and see if it helps?
  • Hi, I have a microsoft remote control and I have a problem only with this buttons. When I press those buttons the IR receiver light blink, but nothing happens.

    Can someone help me?
  • Hi Susan - there are several workarounds posted in the "Remote control and IR receiver errors" section of the article at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx.  Can you please see if any of those suggestions help solve this issue on your system?
  • Ian,

    I am having issues with my MCE remote and I have tried all your suggested tips.  Specifically, I've installed the drivers several times but when I check them it states that they are not working properly.  I get an error: this device cannot start. (code 10)

    I know that the remote itself works fine, because I can use it for my Xbox360.  The IR receiver has power and blinks when I press any of the buttons.  The problem is that nothing on the screen changes due to this error.  I have removed the driver, unistalled the e-home usb device and tried a reinstall and that is when it tells me that the device cannot start (code 10).  

    Do you have any other suggestions?
  • I mean Aaron, not Ian. sorry
  • Hi again,

    I try everthing but nothing work.
    The fact that I have the keyboard and the mouse wireless may this be the cause? I'm asking because many times the mouse stop working and i have to restart the signal, but thew keyboard works fine.

  • Hi Josh - Can you try to install the latest IR driver hotfix package from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b39d53f1-0ac9-433b-b488-4cab82f31dc8&DisplayLang=en if you haven't already?  Hopefully that will help clear up the error code you are seeing.

    Hi Susan - It is possible that your wireless mouse and keyboard are interfering with the Media Center remote.  Do you have the Microsoft Media Center keyboard or some other type of wireless keyboard/mouse?  Are they communicating with your computer via bluetooth or IR?
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