How to transfer guide data from one Media Center to another

Given the number of people that I have heard from who have been having trouble getting guide download functionality to work correctly with their ISP (particularly the Direcway satellite internet provider), I thought it might be useful to post some steps that can be used to transfer downloaded guide data from one Media Center PC to another.

First, you will need to copy all of the values from the following registry hive from a machine that has downloaded guide data to the one you want to transfer it to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Services\EPG

This only needs to be done once, and can be achieved using the following steps:

  1. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type regedit

  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then Software, then Microsoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Media Center, then Services in the tree control

  3. Right-click on the EPG sub-key and choose Export

  4. Save the contents of this sub-key to a file with a .reg extension

  5. Copy the .reg file to the computer you want to transfer the data to

  6. Double-click on the .reg file and choose Yes to merge it into the registry on the second computer

Note that the source computer and the destination computer must have the same directory structure and system drive (meaning the OS is installed on the same drive letter and the Documents and Settings and Windows folders are all in the same path on both computers, etc)

After you have performed this one-time transfer of the registry settings listed above, you will need to perform the following additional steps each time you want to transfer the guide data to the destination computer:

  1. Close Media Center

  2. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd

  3. Type net stop ehsched

  4. Type net stop ehrecvr

  5. Look at the registry value named currentEPG in the above listed registry location to determine the full path to the guide database file

  6. Copy the file from the location listed in the currentEPG registry value from the source computer to the same folder location on the destination computer

  7. Restart Media Center

Note that you will need to repeat this second set of steps at least once every 2 weeks if you want to continue to have valid guide data on the destination computer.


Comments (9)
  1. says:

    Thanks again Aaron!

  2. AeroSign says:

    This is truelly valuable information.

    I do however have another problem that seems related. Sometimes my Event Viewer shows error entries saying: "Unable to link service to lineup. File validation error – mismatched guide package" etc. etc. When that happens I loose every binding between the guide and the channels. I then have to go manually and connect each channel to a listning again.

    Is there any way to backup this link-information for a faster repair?

    It is quite annoying and happes 5-6 times each month.

    Thank for the coolest blog


  3. Hi AeroSign – Unfortunately, I do not know if there is a way to back up and restore the channel mappings in Media Center.  I will ask around and see what I can find out.

    You can back up and restore scheduled recordings if necessary by copying the file %ALLUSERSPROFILE%Application DataMicrosofteHomeRecordingRecordings.xml.

    Note that the source computer and destination computer must have the same cable provider in order for recordings.xml to be able to be copied from one computer to another.

  4. Hi AeroSign – I talked to the guide team a little bit and they indicated that the only reliable way to re-map the channels is to delete the folder %ALLUSERSPROFILE%Application DataMicrosoftEhomeEPG, re-run Guide Setup from the Media Center TV Settings menu, and force another download of the line-up and channel listings.

  5. AeroSign says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for the quick reply – it is much appreciated. Unfortunately it was not the answer I was hoping for – but atleast I/we tried … Thanks for your time.

  6. Ray Cooper says:

    I dont remember where I found this, but I found a site that said to use a proxy address in the IE settings, when using direcway and it works beautifully for downloading the guide data, the proxy address is port 3128.

  7. Jim Hamilton says:

    Thank you for sending me this. I got my guide downloaded a different way today by copying the ehome directory from the working PC to the non-working PC:

    2. Uninstall WMC

    a. click start button

    in search box type taskschd.msc

    after task scheduler opens

    In the left tree expand Task Scheduler Library, Microsoft, Windows

    click on Media Center folder to highlight it

    In the upper window of the center section scroll through the activities under the Name column.

    right-click ObjectStoreRecoveryTask, and click Run

    Let this run for a minute or two

    b. restart/reboot

    c. Uninstall Windows Media Center by going to Control Panel => Programs and Features  => Turn Windows features on and off => Media Features => uncheck Windows Media Center => Yes => OK => Restart

    3. Go to C:ProgramDataMicrosoft, erase/delete ehome directory

    4. Copy working ehome directory from another Win 7 computer or from a download to C:ProgramDataMicrosoft

    a. Here in lies the problem. If you do not have your own working Windows Media Center PC, we need someone with the capability (perhaps Microsoft) to provide a download of a working ehome directory that has been build with a Rovi guide.

    5. Restart/reboot

    6. Set up TV Signal

    a. Start WMC

    b. Go to Settings/General/WMC Setup/Setup TV Signal

    c. Use a verified ZIP code

    d. You may get the dreaded  DOWNLOAD FAILURE error. I did.

    e. Click OK. The click back and try again. It worked the second time for me.

    f. Proceed with TV Signal set up as usual

  8. Ken Dearden says:

    There is no currentEPG entry in the registry in Windows 7 SP1 as at 15/10/2016. This information would seem to be out of date.

    1. Hi Ken Dearden – I originally wrote this post in 2006, which was before Windows 7 shipped. I believe the information in this post works for Windows XP Media Center Edition and Windows Vista, but based on your experience, it sounds like it no longer works in Windows 7. I don’t know if there are updated steps that will work on Windows 7 or not. You might want to try posting a question on the Windows 7 forum at to see if anyone knows of any similar steps that will work on Windows 7.

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