Question about HP Media Center m7250n (ED842AA) PC Desktop

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My HP Media Center m7250n was recently reloaded from scratch. Everything seems to operate correctly except for the Media Center software itself. When it loads, the software loads but does not recognize the coaxial TV input or the TV card. However, the computer's on-board diagnostics program sees the device and signal properly. When going through the M.C. setup screens, I receive a 'critical process failure' message and to call tech support (code:3). Does anyone know a solution to try to eliminate the error code and to get the software to "see" the TV input?

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  • 6 more comments 
  • psternes Sep 11, 2010

    All known windows and HP software upgrades were applied (XP SP3, etc...). The Media Center loaded a movie and ran it but the application 'crashed' (in its own words) when closing it out; have also been seeing a 'ehshell.exe' error message most times it crashes.

  • psternes Sep 11, 2010

    The TV card is the stock unit; the Device Manager claims it and its drivers are working fine. And yes, this is all based on a single new format (using a new HDD) and restore from CD.



    As a secondary thought, I was considering running the included 'HP Application Recovery' and/or 'Software Repair Wizard' programs; I will hold off until you respond with your earlier thoughts. In your opinion, though, do these two programs provide worthwhile solutions, or are they less likely to work compared to a full re-install?

  • psternes Sep 12, 2010

    I tried a Windows 'recovery install' to avoid a lot of pain, and Media Center was operating again, just back at the old settings for windows and any pre-loaded software. I reset the TV settings and things seemed fine.



    However, I then reloaded my Norton Internet Security 2009 (which I have been successfully using on this machine for over a year) and Media Center started showing constant 'exExtHost.exe - no disk' errors and would not allow any access; basically the functionality of MC got worse. Once out of MC, the PC seemed to run trouble-free again.



    I found one website where someone had similar trouble with NIS 2009 / Media Center. Are you familiar with anything regarding this particular issue? Its frustrating how it was not an issue for the past year until now. I will await your response, but I am getting close to just doing a full reformat and reload of Windows (because I love pain so much, I guess!) to hopefully clean out any possible corrupted files.

  • psternes Sep 12, 2010

    I was wondering if you would suggest ditching the Norton. Weird, it has worked well on this machine for over a year before my recent HDD crash, and the additional two licenses are on our standard Vista PCs operate without issue.



    I plan on recovering one more time before a full re-install. One thing I had forgotten was that when I first loaded NIS 2009 last year, I also ran the available Norton Removal Tool from the web (recommended to clean up old items better than the Control Panel removal). Maybe that will be my last step before attempting the AVG switch.



    It will be much later today before I can attempt all these but I will give you a complete rundown then. Thanks for your help.

  • psternes Sep 13, 2010

    The latest thing I found was that the Media Center began erroring immediately after removal of the original Norton 2005; it had nothing to do with adding the newer NIS 2009 software that I could tell. You are right about the 'sequence' of adding software; I am fairly certain that all HP firmware and software for the machine was added long before NIS 2009 was added. I am wondering whether to try the HP revisions before dumping the original NIS 2005 on a new re-install. My biggest concern would be not having up-to-date protection while downloading them. I will let you know if this works out.

  • psternes Sep 14, 2010

    Thought I had a work-around with the software but it was short-lived before a bounty of errors appeared. At this point, no more 'restores' and I am formatting and loading from scratch, trying to update in the same sequence as I did years ago. Wish me luck!

  • psternes Sep 16, 2010

    Well, it took a these past few nights after work to get it finalized, but a complete reload from scratch has succeeded. I should have started out that way but was hoping a simple restore would do the trick.



    I enabled the original NIS 2005 for the duration of the installs, upgrades, and tests of the Media Center, etc.... After everything checked out, I (nervously) removed that and reinstalled the NIS 2009 and everything is once again o.k. WOW! What a pain, but finally worth it to have it back to normal.



    Thanks for all your help and suggestions.

  • psternes Sep 16, 2010

    Tim ("micromatical") was very helpful with his advice and suggestions. His insights helped me get this PC back up and running better tan before. Many thanks!

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Have you done all windows updates and things of that nature? Does the Media Center software play other video just fine? I can definitely help you out just need a bit more info

Thanks
Tim

Posted on Sep 11, 2010

  • 5 more comments 
  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 11, 2010

    Strange indeed, and I assume it used to work just fine before it was all reloaded? Is the TV card something you added or did it come with the machine? There is something pretty seriously corrupted in the media center if it is bombing out on just video. I would say it was maybe the TV card drivers causing the problem but since you mentioned the diagnostics talk to it fine that would tell me that this isn't the case.

    Let me know this additional info and I will give you some recommendations. You just tried reloading the system the one time correct. I wonder if it would be worth it to completely format and reload again. Sometimes windows can get corrupted during installs / updates. I just saw this happen earlier today on a system, on a brand new fresh load.

    Thanks
    Tim

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 11, 2010

    Those recovery utilities rarely do what is desired, but you can definitely try them, I know a full re-install can seem daunting for sure. The main reason I suggest it though is that the Media Center software is at the core of Windows and if it is having problems them I'm worried about what may cause you more issues in the future that we aren't seeing now, or that you just haven't run into yet.


    One thing to try would be to:


    Make sure Media Center is not running



    Remove the file *mediacenterdatastore.db* in directory,


    c:\program data\microsoft\ehome


    Then open Media Center and it will create the new .db file automatically.




    You can also try booting off the recovery cd or preferably the actual windows cd if you have that, and try a "recovery install". These can be surprisingly good sometimes.


    Let me know what you find, I will be out and and about for a while today but will definitely do my best to reply to you ASAP!

    Thanks
    Tim

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 12, 2010

    Norton is notorious for causing problems with media center pc's, I am sorry I didn't even think to ask sooner. My personal recommendation would be to reinstall, or repair again and get it back to the point of working, and just use a "free" antivirus solution. Unless you are doing some extremely unusual web use, or something of the like, then the regular antivirus solutions will cover you just fine, usually better than Norton in many cases. Windows has a built in firewall and will take care of anything on that side, and with these new antivirus options it protects you on every front on the web...


    I recommend trying AVG's free solution:


    http://free.avg.com


    Especially if you go through the trouble of a full reinstall, I would keep Norton off that ******! :)



  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 12, 2010

    No problem, glad we are getting somewhere from the sounds of things. If you can't find that Norton removal tool you can also use Revo Uninstaller, the freeware version. Just google Revo Uninstaller, check out their site, and go to download. They have a pay and a free version, the free version does everything you'd need, it will completely remove any trace of the Norton on that system.


    Also, to the note about it working fine for a year, it may have received some updates in that year that could have caused the issue, hard to say, or it could have been an anomaly, for example installing some software in the exact perfect order (which noone knows might I add) that was the magic "formula" so to speak to allow it to work. Or if it was installed by HP they may have a special version of Norton that they put on from the factory that doesn't have the one little component that interferes with Media Player for example...


    Anyway, computers are a bugger sometimes! :) Let me know what you come up with

    Tim

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 13, 2010

    I see, well technically as long as you keep your virus definitions up to date, Norton 2005 will keep you just as "safe" as 2009, they always want you to think the newer versions are really better, but on the virus scanning side of things they all work identically. It's a matter of making sure you virus definition database is current, and all versions of Norton for the last 10 years do that... Thats why I recommend free antivirus programs like AVG, they truly work just as well. You are probably protected via a firewall in your router on that front, and spyware can be found and removed by running another freeware utility such as ad-aware. Norton's packages have a ton of "bloat-ware" for lack of a better term, and 99% of what most people really want is just anti-virus protection as that is by far the most harmful...

    Anyway, just my thoughts on it, let me know what you find :)

    Tim

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 14, 2010

    Good luck! :) Definitely let me know, it feels like I'm involved now haha, so I want to see it resolved for sure. I hope a reload does it!

    Tim

  • Tim Grayson
    Tim Grayson Sep 16, 2010

    Thats what I like to hear! Thanks for the kind words my friend :)

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