Windows XP Media Center Edition. Any reason to keep?

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zapp22

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i have a messed up Dell system that COA is for "Windows XP Media Center Edition". That original config is botched, and the bootloader shows an instance of "Windows XP". I don't have a good copy of MCE so I run a Repair from Win XP Pro CD and it gives a message "previous attempt to upgrade to Windows XP Professional". Interesting.

License-wise, is Windows XP Media Center Edition distinct from the later "Windows XP PRO Media Center Edition" ?? Anyone know what the migration path was?

The dell configuration page on their website shows the OS as follows:
DF965 Kit, Software, Overpack, Windows XP, MCE05U, Digital Video Disk Drive, ENGLAND/ENGLISH...

?
Were MCE's known to be buggy? This is the second one I've worked on and both were badly screwed up. Worse, when I go back to an earlier version [trying to start at the beginning with the ver the system had before patches/rollups/sp's/kb's] it doesn't install right, and then applying the patches from Micrsoft fails, probably because I do not have a map that shows me the proper sequence for 'evolving' it to its final update.
If anyone knows such a path please let me know
 

Macboatmaster

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I will readily stand corrected but I did not think that there was an XP Pro Media Centre Edition. Windows Media Centre edition was issued in five forms. XP Pro can have the elements of Media Centre Edition installed but yes the licenses were different as of course the Media Centre edition was only issued as an OEM.
I am sorry, I cannot help with the actual problem.
 

zapp22

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this is one messed up sorry failing effort by Microsoft. since posting this I have looked at myriad of the same from other people who cannot comprehend the maze that is MCE. Microsoft's own support bulletins are muddled messes. nowhere can I find a sequential roadmap or customer guide that says: do this 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
I went back AGAIN for the second time and completely nuked the drive, started from scratch after verifying my media. Dell shipped this travesty with MCE Version 2005 on the machine, but the COA clearly says its for the 2006 version, which Microsoft's own website has no record of, apparently. the last installment was 2005. But the Properties window shows "Windows XP 2002", and also says "Media Center Edition".

So, clean install using the three disc set verified as MCE 2005, and there are no programs, no media players, nothing that suggests this is anything but a partly-installed Win XP. When one goes to "Windows Update" at microsoft, again nothing identifies the install as MCE. no updates, no rollups, no acknowledgement. The COA license key worked, and the install is activated and validated.

how did this ever go golden?

as to Pro, the MCE media at one point inexplicably calls for "Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 Disc". I'm like ... "WHAT!???". The disc MARKED as "Windows XP MCE 2005 Disc 2" is the one they meant by that moniker.... how would an average Joe know what in the heck is going on???? I finally figured it out the hard way by exploding all the files on the disc.

this is insane.
 

Macboatmaster

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  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2006 ("Emerald", Aug 2005) is a service pack- like update of MCE 2005 (Symphony) and was a recommended download designed to be installed on top of existing Symphony.
 

zapp22

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but what are the antecedents of Symphony, and in what sequence?
seriously, I have been all over MS support sites and cannot find a breadcrumb trail
 

zapp22

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update: slightly different communique' between my install and 'Windows Update' site. at least this time the site OFFERED WMP 11 as an update. But of course if failed, as do all attempts to install WMP.

so I have MCE with no WMP
 
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Check out this website:
http://www.zune.net/en-US/support/usersguide/gettingstarted/pcreqs.htm
It clearly states that you must have WinMCE 2005. Sorry, but then I wondered about the second part of your question. The work around, there's always the compatibility option when you right click on the setup.exe file. That might work, then there's the Virtual PC path, but then again you'll have to purchase a copy of WinXP Pro or WinMCE 2005 and that defeats the purpose of a work around.
 
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As to reply to the title of the post, As a user I was hesitant to update to Vista and even to Windows 7. I held out until their was an incentive, a student discount. I was able to obtain Windows 7 for $30. I hopped on it quickly, and quest what it was the best decision I've made since. There are other discounts too. I think NewEgg.com has them for $80 as of this reply. So to answer the question in the title, No there is no reason to keep WinMCE any more.
 

zapp22

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chef I agree with you and for me personally I much prefer win7. however this is another owner's system and I'm not authorized to go spend money [that money]. the task is to put it in original/good condition.

Mac - I stand corrected!
 

zapp22

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I'll settle for a baby step here: has anyone successfully loaded Win XP MCE and Windows Media Player? if so, how?
 

zapp22

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so, one last time, I wiped out the install I had just installed thinking maybe I would get luckier if I tried again.
Not.
Deleted the partition, repartitioned as one big main partition, reformatted. The Windows XP MCE 2005 install got about halfway through and stalled. No error messages, no request for CD's... just stopped.

if anyone can tell me how to safely back out of this or trigger to wakeup I would deeply appreciate the guidance.

z
 
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Since the pc in question has an old Operating system like WinMCE 2005, maybe a component has become bad, i.e. the RAM, HDD.

You can download a program called Memtest86, http://www.memtest.org/
Burn it on a CD and boot it up to test your RAM.

Then to your HHD. I've had this happen before, Windows won't complete it installation. The hard drive is about to die. I've googled everything to no avail. I stumbled upon Spin Rite, http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm. It THOROUGHLY scanned the HDD to see if anything is bad. And if it's bad, will label it bad and not let the BIOS, OS, or any software use that bad sector (sort of like putting up a detour sign). Depending on how big the hard drive is and how badly in shape it is, it can take some time, like many hours. Oh it's not cheap either, I paid $89 for it. It was a good investment on my end. And most importantly, it got the job done and I was able to install my Operating System.

So if you'll are willing to go this route, I recommend Spin Rite v6. I don't want to overwhelm you.

I hope this helps:)
 

zapp22

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we think similarly... I did do the mem check a couple of days ago and did find one bad 512mb module [out of two systems... I'm having the joy of doing this twice]. I have a russian-made gamer's stress package that exercised the whole system. I didn't see any other bugs, but Dimension is not the line that Dell sweated QA on. I can tell you that for a certainty.

Also, I found yet another in endless string of bug reports on MS Tech support site, to the effect that XP MCE 2005 installer filechecker will give false messages about certain files it thinks it needs. this is what got me in the ditch on the last attempt. I BELIEVED what it was saying "need x7zxyz.dll please insert Windows XP Pro CD2 now". huh??? so that's what I did... dug out an old XP Pro set, stuck in CD2, and it bombed at that point.

I have it back up now, gotta go install device drivers. Bet you a large hamburger there is no Media Center and no WMP installed (n)
 

zapp22

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Not quite sure since I don't know what "normal" looks like with Windows MCE. You should see the trail of misfit errors documented on MS's site. Hard to tell what version of which you have installed. They flat out say that when you install a "Rollup" or Service Pack, that info may or may not get updated in the system profile [Checked via Properties of "My Computer"]. The updating process for MCE appears to be its own animal. There are many pages on their website devoted to this. Dependencies on specific releases of .Net Framework which are peculiar to each "Rollup". If you get too aggressive and install later patches to .NET Framework you have to uinstall them before "Rollup" of MCE.
 
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