How to resolve TV glitching in Media Center 2005 on dual core AMD computers

Some customers have been reporting TV glitching issues in Media Center 2005, and Dave Fleischman has narrowed down one of the root causes to be an issue with dual core AMD systems.  He got a hold of one of these machines and was able to easily reproduce the issue, and further research showed that the problem affected other applications (specifically, games) and not just Media Center.  Fortunately AMD has released a processor update pack on their hotfix website to address this issue.  If you are running into this issue, you will want to download and apply this update for the dual core processor from that site.


Comments (28)

  1. It’s really interesting that this update from AMD is over 6 months old. It goes to show that people stop getting their system drivers up to date once they ‘think’ everything looks like it is working right.

  2. Paul Frost says:

    There’s something odd about the update on the AMD site.  The text specifically says that it’s version but when I install it, the hardware manager says that it’s version  I wonder if the link is pointing to a wrong (older) driver.  The reason I even looked was that I started to get these "stutters" in microsoft word.

  3. Johnny says:

    You guys are awesome.  Thanks for the info on the fix.

    Johnny Utah

  4. Dan Welch says:

    Dave –

    You are the man.  I can’t believe I went through so much trouble finding such an easy fix.  You should get paid by Gateway/Circuit City’s as a Tech Support.


  5. Ariel P. says:

    Thanks so much. You definitely should get a cut from Gateway’s tech support.

  6. Eric says:

    i just bought a gateway 5032, with a 4200+ x2 processor, i updated the driver for amd, the video card and ati’s driver as well.. and i am stil getting it to lock up on me during ‘live tv’ at various intervals.  any ideas on how to fix this? should i uninstall the roll back?

  7. Hi Eric – Typically this type of freezing is caused by driver or decoder issues, assuming you have already installed the AMD update listed above.  You may want to try to update your video and audio drivers as well as check for any updates for the decoder you are using.  Finally, you may want to check and see if there are any other processes running on your system that are consuming a lot of processor resources and see if stopping those processes help resolve this issue.

  8. Irene says:

    I just bought a Gateway 5045 and was having trouble with the television screen freezing constantly. I found your site after doing a Google search. Thanks for posting the link to the fix… you’ve saved me from a load of hassles.

  9. Dave says:

    Hmm… tried applying but says it can’t locate or find c:boot.ini – because the way my drives are set up my hard drive is g: – can’t seem to modify this – any suggestions?

  10. Hi Dave – I am not sure why you would be getting this error from this AMD hotfix package.  I would suggest trying to contact AMD to see if they can help with this package install failure because I’m not familiar with the details about how that hotfix package works.  I’m sorry I’m not able to be more helpful here.

  11. Earl says:

    I bought a Gateway GT5034 and had the TV tuner constantly freezing. I updated all of the drivers and had no luck until I found this page. Now it works great. Thank you so much for researching this problem and finding a fix. It saved me much frustration. Thanks again!

  12. Jerry Kyle says:

     You fixed it!!  Great job!!!  AMD should be notifying its dual core vendors.

      I agree with Ariel and Dan – to put you on the AMD/Circuit City payroll – and now Best Buy which is where I got my GM5032 Gateway AMD 64 x2 dual core processor.

      Mine was freezing after about 30 seconds until I would switch channels (which would play for another 30 seconds or so before skipping, then locking.)  It also froze on recorded playbacks as well as Live TV.

      Thanks for making this quick and, um, easy.

  13. Jim says:

    Without going into too much excruciating detail, I also purchased a Gateway system with an AMD Dual Core processor and Windows Media Center.  For over three weeks, I watched both Live and Recorded TV stutter, stammer and freeze up until it drove me bats.  In addition, the recording lengths were always completely an hour program would be reflected as anywhere from 5 hours 34 minutes, to 31 (!!!??) hours.  When I found this page & ran the AMD processor update, it fixed all these problems in a heartbeat.  My deepest gratitude to Dave, Aaron

    and all those who commented about the hotfix on this site.  Outstanding!!!


  14. phwang says:

    Nice that AMD has released a patch for their processor.  Any ideas about Intel 820 dual core 2.8GHz?  I have a ONE YEAR OLD Gateway 5014 that has spent its first year of life being RMA’d.  Gateway tech now refuses to assist.  It was unable to run MCE (50% functional) right out of the box… now it’s 80% functional – at least MCE works, somewhat.

    My problem is that the image freezes every 24 seconds (just image, software and OS are fine).   I have to either hit REPLAY or STOP then OK for it to continue.  The 24 second freeze is pretty consistent.  This freeze affects both Live TV and playback of recorded shows.

    I recently upgraded the case fan and that cooled the CPU by about 5-10C and I also just upgraded the video card to an ATI Radeon XL800 card thinking there may be incompatibility with the stock on-board video, but no improvement on MCE playback.  Help!


  15. planetf1 says:

    Interesting phwang.

    I now have Vista Media Center RTM running with a twin tuner Terratec TV card (2400iDT) and am getting really fed up with Media Center stuttering.

    I’ve gone through Bios updates, just tried the latest nvidia drivers, moved the video over to a striped volume etc.

    Interestingly though for me is that the Terratec "Home Cinema" package can show & record live TV *with no stuttering whatsoever* yet Vista Media Center CANNOT.

    I’ve not yet found a precise pattern to the stuttering though.

    This suggests it’s something media center specific for me… or perhaps just that the terratec software does more buffering?

    I too have a Pentium D 820 2*2.8Ghz though!

  16. instantaccess says:

    I just bought a Media Center PC with a AMD 64 chip on Jan-15th 2007 … I had this freezing up issue… would start slow and get worse until it would hang up totally. I was worried this fix was old but I used it and it worked!

    No more freezes!

    Thank you so much for this helpful fix.

    Glenn Lyvers


  17. WonderingAimlessly says:

    No such luck for me.  The video still hesitates and freezes even after a decoder upgrade, all drivers upgraded, and this additional patch.  

    The freezing and hesitation occurs with recorded video and live TV.  

    I guess I will look at a few of the other patches AMD has posted and see I get lucky or if my PC dies.

    I have a freshly installed Media Center 2005 with all updates including Rollup2.  The video card and tuner card are being reused from another PC I had with Media Center 2004.  All worked great with that box.  I thought upgrading would be a great thing…boy I was mistaking.  2005 MCE has been a pain and it has only been two weeks!

  18. WonderingAimlessly says:


    OK, so I performed a few additional tests since applying the AMD patch described above.  

    New videos do not freeze or hesitate at all.  

    Live TV does not freeze or hesitate at all.  

    I am not sure what changed.  I rebooted as I needed to after applying the patch.  I have not installed any additional software, drivers, tools, etc.

    So, basically, pre-recorded content recorded on my machine prior to the patch are hosed.  

    It would be nice if somehow Microsoft can figure out a way to fix the "broken" content, although, since this appears to be a non-Microsoft problem, I think it would show high integrity for Microsoft to provide a workable solution.

  19. Hi WonderingAimlessly – I’m glad to hear that new videos and live TV are working, but I’m sorry for the hassle that this issue caused.  I think that the glitches are captured as part of the videos recorded while this firmware issue was still affecting your system, so I’m not sure how it would be possible to fix the glitching content since that glitching is a part of the recording.  It might be worth trying to play the videos in Windows Media Player or a 3rd party viewer to see if it renders the glitches better or something like that.

  20. WonderingAimlessly says:

    Yes, I forgot to mentioned that.  I saw on another posting that they were able to watch the recordings using Media Player by itself.  I am also.  I tried MP10 and MP11.  But this really doesn’t help since I record so that I can watch from my television thru my 360.  

    Doesn’t Media Center use Media Player under the hood?

    At this point, I started looking for next show times for the movies I recorded prior to the patch.  Kind of sucks when the kids are disappointed.

  21. Hi WonderingAimlessly – I’m very sorry that this issue has caused so much trouble for you, especially for your kids.  Media Center uses Windows Media Player features for the music library, but not for video playback.  Media Center has its own video playback pipeline and has its own logic for handling glitching and things like that.  I’m sorry, but I don’t know of any way to get Media Center to play a video that was recorded while glitching was happening.

  22. CAE says:

    I just want to thank you for your post. I tried new codecs or reinstall windows without success. Now Live TV is perfect. The old videos have problems to play at MCE, but not the news. I really appreciate and I hope you keep helping us.



  23. Jim Rice says:

    I am experiencing the exact symptoms as described above with the Windows Media Center. I have a HP computer with an AMD Athlon(tm) x2 Dual Core processor 5600+ 2.80 GHz processor.  When I tried to install the fix as described by Dave Fleischman, (amdcpu.exe), it fails with the error "This operating system is not supported by the Athlon 64 driver. The operating system is Windows Vista Home Premium.  Any idea what fix is needed. It is very annoying, the TV just locks up all the time. I spent endless hours with HP support, and nothing was resolved. Thanks in advance.

  24. Hi Jim Rice – It sounds like the firmware update package you tried to run doesn’t allow you to install it on Windows Vista.  David Fleischman posted a link to a newer version of this firmware update in his blog post at  It might help to try that to see if it will be compatible with Windows Vista.  If not, you may need to search on the AMD web site for a Vista-compatible update package.

    Hopefully this will help.