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Media Center guide download error code 13

Media Center guide download error code 13

  • Comments 59

I have been getting several comments in blog posts and emails from customers who have been running into error code 13 while trying to download television guide data in Media Center.  Unfortunately, there appear to be a lot of cases of this error and we have not been able to identify fixes or workarounds for all of them.  I wanted to create one single post where I list all of the suggested workarounds we currently have.

What is error code 13?

First, a brief description of error code 13.  According to the list of possible guide download error codes I previously posted, this error means "Failure attempting to download new Guide data. Please ensure that you are connected to the Internet. If you connect through a LAN, ensure that your proxy or firewall has been properly configured."

What can I try to do if I receive error code 13 during Media Center guide download?

Based on the cases we have seen so far, this error is generally a proxy server configuration issue that is preventing Media Center or the computer from communicating on the internet.  The following suggestions may help resolve this issue:

  1. Media Center guide download will only work if your computer's system clock is correctly synchronized to the current internet time.  Make sure that your system clock is set to the correct time and time zone for the region you are located in.  Note also that if you do not have the box checked to automatically adjust the time for daylight savings time changes, you may have to manually adjust your clock to account for this.
  2. Sometimes, there are XML parsing problems caused by previously downloaded guide data.  You can attempt to workaround this type of problem by renaming the directory %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Ehome\EPG (I suggest renaming rather than deleting in case you want to revert back to the previous data later on).  Then open Media Center, go to Settings, then TV, then Guide, then Set up Guide Listings and configure guide download one more time to regenerate this folder and (hopefully) the contents
  3. Media Center guide download functionality is located in the binary file %windir%\ehome\ehSched.exe.  If you have firewall hardware or software on your system, you need to make sure that this executable has outgoing internet privileges.
  4. Media Center guide download uses SSL and the HTTPS protocol.  This protocol requires the ability to access the internet on port 443.  In addition, the guide download communicates in some instances via the standard HTTP port - 80.  You may need to configure your firewall to allow internet communication on ports 80 and 443 if you have them locked down otherwise.
  5. Launch Media Center, choose Settings, then General, then Media Center Setup and choose to not use the guide.  Then restart the machine, relaunch Media Center and run Media Center setup again and choose to use the guide again
  6. Re-register the Media Center guide DLL by clicking on the Start menu, choosing Run, typing cmd and then running the command line %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\regasm.exe %windir%\ehome\ehepgdat.dll
  7. Temporarily disable any anti-virus, anti-spyware or firewall software that you have installed on your system, then launch Media Center and try to download guide data again
  8. Uninstall McAfee Privacy Service if you have it installed
  9. If you are using a SonicWALL hardware firewall, you may have to manually configure it to allow HTTP byte range requests.  See this blog post for instructions to do this.
  10. If you are using a download manager application that overrides default system download functionality (such as BitComet or FlashGet), they may interfere with Media Center guide data download functionality.  In some cases, it helps to close or disable this type of software, then launch Media Center and try to download guide data again

What if none of the above work?

Unfortunately, this list of suggestions is all that I currently know of to try to troubleshoot this type of failure.  If you have tried all of the above and are still not able to download guide data, then I suggest posting a question at one of the following locations and hopefully someone there can help suggest some additional ideas:

<update date="1/7/2008"> Added information about download manager software and added links to the public newsgroup and forums </update>


  • i do not understand how to try the possible solution of renaming folder to %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Ehome\EPG

    can someone please explain on how to do this

  • dangordon,
    Just find the folder in Explorer and rename it...

    I tried a few things tonight.  Reinstalled MCE twice.

    After the first reinstall I ran all of windows updates, installed Montego DDL Drivers, VNC, JRE 1.5, azureus, daemon tools, winrar,nvidia decoder,MBM5, also changed the security alerter thing, moved the paging file to my second HD, disabled hibernate, and turned off the firewall.
    The first time I tried to get the guide after walking through the setup it timed out and gave the error-13...

    On the second reinstall I did all the updates again, installed all the software, also installed KAV this time, but I didnt change any windows settings(page file, hibernate, security center,left firewall on).  Didnt touch any of those settings so they are all at default.  Now the guide downloads fine.

    The order I did some of the windows updates was different.  I guess that might have some difference but I doubt it.
  • I saw Jonny's recommendation for DirectWay users in which he changed his LAN settings to use public proxy port 3128.  Does anyone know exactly how to do this? Thanks.
  • Hi Dangordon - You can do the following to find and rename this folder:

    1.  Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Ehome

    2.  Right-click on the EPG folder and choose Rename

    Hi James - I am not familiar with all of the software that you listed in your comment, but it is possible that one of them was somehow interfering with the ability of the Media Center ehSched service to access the internet to download guide data.  It sounds like things are now working for you, so please let me know if you run into any more issues in the future.

    Hi Kevin - Here is how you would changes these settings if you are using Internet Explorer:

    1.  Open an instance of Internet Explorer

    2.  From the Tools menu, select Internet Options...

    3.  Choose the Connections tab, and then click on the LAN Settings... button

    4.  Check the box to use a proxy server, and provide the address and port information in the text boxes

    Hopefully this will help...
  • Yeah I'm working for the time being.  I guess it could still be the software but I doesn't seem like it.  I installed all of the same software I installed the first time when it failed and its working now.

    I'm just not going to touch the rest of the settings.  and pray it stays happy :)
  • Aaron, going through the steps above on a continuing and arbitrary basis doesn't make any sense, but yes, I have gone through them with no joy.  I have used the proxy tick in the past, but that fails now as well.

    I have to update through dial-up, and even that fails at times, but here is the point that is seemingly being ignored.

    Not one other program that I have has any problem with being updated through my DirecWay connection.

    If Microsoft would just get off their high horse and just correct this problem, then it is going to better for them in the long run.

    If not, I am sure that I will have no problem at all getting people, and probably not much of a problem in getting law firm, to sign on to a class action suit.
  • Hi Ronald - The Media Center guide download does not have any special logic that would prevent it from working on any specific internet service provider, and our test lab includes various types of internet connectivity for guide download test scenarios, including dial-up, broadband and satellite.

    Nearly all of the DirecWay issues I have heard of from customers so far were related to proxy bypass configurations or the DirecWay web accelerator interfering with the ports that guide download communicates on (80 and 443).

    The Media Center teams are continually working to make guide download functionality more reliable, but in cases where proxy servers are not configured to allow the guide download service to access the internet, there is not really anything that can be done.

    It might help for you to contact DirecWay and/or your computer manufacturer for some more detailed troubleshooting on your system to see if there are any configuration issues that could be causing this.  I'm sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused you.
  • Hi Aaron - As with most that refuse to take responsibility for a problem such as this, you state one thing and then contradict it in the next sentence.

    "The Media Center guide download does not have any special logic that would prevent it from working on any specific internet service provider ...
    or the DirecWay web accelerator interfering with the ports that guide download communicates on (80 and 443)."

    NO!  All Microsoft has to do is to provide an environment which does not interfere with the way that DirecWay operates.  This is something that seemingly everyone other than Microsoft has accomplished.

    Microsoft has seemingly decided to not fix a process that leads to failure on at least one specific internet service provider.

    Just LISTEN for a second, instead of denying responsibility.

    I can update EVERYTHING through my DirecWay system except ONE (actually two, more on this later) thing.  Why is this?

    I have no problem with SSL and HTTPS with any process except for ONE.  Why is this?

    Because that ONE process is BROKEN.  PERIOD.

    Answer me this then.  Why is it that synchronization through "Internet Time" almost always fails with time.windows.com through MCE (and ONLY on my MCE machine) and almost never fails through time.nist.gov?

    Both failures appear to be related to timeout issues, as my machine can contact the update guide server, but then does the "0%, 1%" failure dance, or it gets to the "magic" 6% or 7% before failure.

    Looks like a timeout issue and not the nonsensical (and insulting and obsfucational) red herring proxy server suggestion.

    Proxy server issues are fail/no fail in nature, so that is not applicable in this case.

    So now, you can fall back on the "web accelerator" blame game, which again, seemingly only occurs in ONE process.

    But, this is nonsense as well, as the web accelerator is disabled on DirecWay for HTTPS traffic.

    "It might help for you to contact DirecWay and/or your computer manufacturer ..."

    More nonsense.  This is a known problem with the MCE guide update process and is not platform specific, and as the DirecWay system works with everything except this ONE process, it is an insult for you to suggest the above.

    If you want me to capture logs, etc. in order to help Microsoft do their job, then all you have to do is ask.

    In the meantime, please provide a web (or FTP) site, like every competent company provides, that would allow me to download the guides directly when there are problems with the "standard" update process.

    Looking Forward, Ronald Carter
  • Hi Ronald - I'm very sorry for the inconvenience that this issue has been causing you.  In general, I try to provide tips and workarounds on my blog, but they don't work in all scenarios, and at this point, I have helped you as well as I know how to.

    The official technical support mechanism for Media Center functional problems is to contact your computer manufacturer, which is why I suggested that in my previous post.

    The Media Center guide download log files should be located in the directory named something like C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\ehome\EPG\TraceHelper.  It would likely be helpful for you to have those files handy when contacting technical support because they will probably ask for them early on in their debugging process.

    Also, the reason I suggest that this error is somehow proxy related is that all of the cases I have heard of in the past with error code 13 are related to proxy server configuration problems.  That is not to say there are not other potential causes of guide download issues, but those have other root causes and different error codes (and are described in more detail at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/490466.aspx).  I'm sorry that you found this proxy configuration suggestion to be a red herring (or nonsensical or insulting or obsfucational).  I ensure you that none of those were my intention here.  I was simply basing my suggestions on my past experience with this type of issue.

  • In the Vienna, Austria, UPC analog (1230) channel line-up there should have been a new channel. I tried to reconfigure the TV-Guide to get the new channel.
    BIG MISTAKE- All EPG information is gone and the download fails with the error described here. (code 13)
    It just stops downloading after showing three green blocks on the progress bar, then after a few minutes without progress it shows the error.
    First I was very happy to find this blog's article here, because step 1 described the time sync and many posters seemed to have the same problem with time sync. (the handle is invalid - like mario wrote above)
    So time sync it is, i thought!
    As suggested by Nick Hall I stopped and restarted the Windows Time service AND the Media Centre Scheduler Service.
    That did fix the issue with the time sync not working.
    But still TV Guide is not downloading.
  • Two weeks ago all was well in Media Center land ... now I too am seeing error code 13 and error code 4 for Media Center in the event viewer, and NO epg data.  What happened to cause this??? Microsoft? Or perhaps my ISP, Adelphia???

    None of the suggestions above have worked, and without the guide MCE is useless to me. I am also seeing the problem with the time sync failing, I can restart the service and all is well, but then it fails again.

    How do I get tech support for this issue? I am an MSDN subscriber and will perhaps try that avenue ...
  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx
  • PingBack from http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/articles/487537.aspx
  • Hi folks & Aaron,

    I have the same old Direcway Guide Download problem as everyone else.  What worked for me was the public IP address.  My computer took a dump with a power surge which forced me to re install MCE 2005 OS.  I have tried everything, even setting it up the way it was previous to the crash.  Public IP and everything else is not working this time.  Has anyone come up with a solution to the Direcway MCE 2005 guide download code 13 nightmare?  Direway says because the speed is not consistant it will drop off (whatever).  With the public IP I get 1 or 2% then back to 0%.  Microsoft and Direcway are not dealing with this problem.  I can't wait for another choice.

    Thanks, Johnny
  • PingBack from http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/bladerunner/13030-brp-wont-work-wont-uninstall-regular-mce-epg-wont-work-either.html#post94418
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