Useful FAQ for configuring an Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender

I have been asked several questions recently related to setting up an Xbox 360 with a Windows XP Media Center 2005 system for use as a Media Center Extender.  I recently found a pretty good FAQ page that is posted on the Media Center site that I wanted to link to here.  Specifically, the following topics are covered:

  • Networking issues, including wireless network configurations

  • Installation requirements on the Media Center PC

  • Supported video and audio formats that can be played back on the Xbox 360

  • Adding music, pictures and videos on the Xbox 360 console

There are also several other topics covered in this FAQ.  I encourage you to take a look at this page if you run into any questions about what features are available with an Xbox 360 Media Center Extender or about how to setup an Xbox 360 to act as an Extender.

There are also some useful links on the Xbox site related to Media Center and PC connectivity issues:


Comments (21)
  1. Setup should register the open ports and applications for Windows Firewall, and opening Windows Media Connect will allow you to click a button to do the same for playing content without Media Center (music and pictures).

    If you have Windows OneCare, though, this won’t work. I have filed a bug with them to somehow allow for the same behavior, but for now follow the instructions at and

    For Windows Media Center make sure you let ehsched.exe (I believe – Aaron, correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember off-hand and am not at home) access the Internet in order to download the guide.

  2. Hi Heath – Thank you for adding this supplemental information about Windows OneCare.  You are correct that ehsched.exe is the executable that contains guide download code, so you will need to allow that EXE to access the internet in order for guide download to function properly in Media Center.

  3. Tony N says:

    I have Windows OneCare installed on my systems and found that my xbox 360 wasn’t able to connect to it using Media Connect. Even before reading the blog and instructions in OneCare I went to the advanced options and enabled these options but it still did not work (this was before I new about the specific ports that need to be opened). My quick work around for fixing this issue was turning off the Onecare firewall for 1 minutes while I connected using the xbox then used the slider to put the firewall back up. This seamed to work for me…don’t know how safe an approach this is though 🙂 But just thought I would share…just incase there are others of you who were frustrated as I was to get this all to play nicely.

  4. Andy Knowles says:

    Is the Media Center/XBox 360 functionality enabled in Vista 5342? I can get Vista to recognise my Xbox but not configure it, it just stalls with the rotating cursor, even with the firewall off.

  5. Hi Andy – No, there is no Xbox 360 extender functionality available in Vista build 5342.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

  6. Andy Knowles says:

    Hi, me again.

    Thanks for the prompt response last time. Does the new Vista 5365.8 build have the Extender functionality?

  7. Hi Andy – No, there is no Xbox 360 extender functionality available in Vista build 5365.8 either.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

  8. This article is intended to serve as a central location for all links to troubleshooting documentation…

  9. Satisfy Me says:

    Over the weekend I talked about From the Expert Zone: Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender. A quick…

  10. Satisfy Me says:

    Over the weekend I talked about From the Expert Zone: Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender. A quick visit

  11. carl.morris says:

    Hello.  I am pulling my hair out trying to find a solutiong to my problem.

    I am trying to set up my XBox360 with my MCE05 PC.

    I make it to the xbox screen that directs me to  I then try to download and install Media Center Extender software.

    I then download and run this exe: XboxMCE05Lit-enu.exe.

    It looks like it’s installing; then I get the following message:

    "Media Center Extender software does not support dynamic disks.  Do you want to install Windows Media Connect?"

    I click "Yes."

    Media Center pops up and says:

    "Unsupported Operating System- Media Center Extender Software requires Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.  This computer is running an unsupported version of Windows XP."

    OK.  I’ve been at this all night.  I have checked every place I can to ensure I have right version.

    Media center/settings/about media center/software version says: Win XP MCE2005 version: 5.1.2715.3011 Update rollup 2.

    System Properties/General says Win XP MCE2002 SP2.

    HKEY_Localmachine_etc. . . say ident 4.0

    I cant get this extender loaded and this is keeping me from finishing the xbox360 setup.

    Any help or a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.



  12. Hi Carl – I haven’t heard of this issue before.  You can find a list of log files created by Xbox 360 PC Setup at  Can you gather those logs, zip them up and send them to me so I can take a look and see if I can figure anything out?  You can send the logs to Aaron.Stebner (at) microsoft (dot) com.

  13. carl.morris says:

    Aaron- I sent you the logs you requested via email.  Thanks for your help.

  14. aznk1d2 says:

    Hello i am trying to figure out why i cannot use my 360 on my pc. i have the EXACT information as carl.morris has and i need to know if anyone can help. my email is aznk1d2(at)aol(dot)com HELP PLEASE

  15. Hi Aznk1d2 – The issue on Carl Morris’ system was that the system had the C drive configured as a dynamic disk.  Xbox 360 PC setup and Media Center extenders do not support that.  Carl had to update the partitions on his hard drive to allow installation of Xbox 360 PC setup to succeed.  This might help on your system as well.

  16. downhilljon says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I’ve been spending the last couple of days getting my Xbox (original, not 360) set up as a media centre extender to my Win XP MCE 2005 RU2 laptop. After a few hiccups, I have got it sorted to a point where the media centre menu loads up on the Xbox, and I can navigate through with no worries – I can also see the files which are on my computer. I can view pictures fine, but whenever I try to watch video files or Live TV (or Recorded TV) I run into issues. I am getting a mix of "Video Error" and "Application Failure" errors. Everything works fine when viewed on my PC.

    Have you got any suggestions? Please let me know if you need any further info.

  17. Hi Downhilljon – I’m sorry but I don’t have any experience troubleshooting this type of issue with an original Xbox extender.  I’d suggest posting a question at one of the following locations and hopefully someone there might be able to suggest some workarounds for you to try:

  18. rainl says:

    Hello Aaron,

    I’m at my wit end with several Media Center hiccups . But to not delve out of the general topic of this thread,  I’d like to — for the moment — just request you help with a problem  I’m having that is similar to the one carl.morris had.

    Like him, I have an a PC running  MCE2005 and an xbox360 I’d like to network with it.

    (Other basic computer software info.,

    -MCE Version: 5.1.2715.27773(xpsp(wmbla). 051011-0745) ur2

    -Gen. Sys. Prop.: Win XP MCE2002 Serv. Pack 3

    – C drive configuration: Basic, NTFS)

    As for my  problem:

    Given my MCE Version, at I click on the third option — "Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 – Update Rollup 2."

    From there I’m able to successfully download and install the "Media  Center Update." Then, when  when I try to install the "Media Center Extender software, Media Center spits the following message:

    "Unsupported Operating System

    Media Center Extender software require       Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

    This computer is running an unsupported version of Window XP. [….]"

    And that’s the wall I’m at.

  19. Hi Rainl – There are a couple of registry values that are used by Media Center Extender setup to determine whether or not your OS is Windows XP Media Center Edition.  Can you please check and see if you have both of the following values set to the specified values on your system?

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionMedia Center]

    Ident = 3.0 or 3.1


    Installed = 1 (this must be a REG_DWORD)

  20. rainl says:

    Aeron, thanks for the prompt reply, specially coming after a long holiday weekend.

    Here are the the values I get after following those paths,

    […]/CurrentVersion/Media Center:

    Ident = 3.0


    Installed = 0x00000001(1)

    (Identified as REG_DWORD under Type)

    Once again, thanks a bunch.

  21. Hi Rainl – Those values look correct to me.  Just to confirm, is the Ident value a REG_SZ data type?

    Can you please zip up your log files from the list at, post them to a file server, and reply here with a link so I can take a look and see if I can spot any other potential problems that could cause this type of error?

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