The holidays and MceRepair


As time permits, I’ve been working on the next version of MceRepair, but with the real world taking up so much of my extracurricular time it’s been a slow row to hoe.


Here’s what’s in it so far:



  • Detects and reports your installation status, including baseline (e.g. Media Center 2005) and installed updates (e.g. KB908250)

  • SHA-1 hashes for every MCE 2005+ binary.  This will allow me to zero in on exactly the versions of the binaries that are present on the machine, whether they are corrupted or original, and which KB package they belong to.

  • Targeted unregistration and re-registration, which should improve results and execution time.

  • DRM subsystem analysis to detect “corrupt” state and suggest resolutions (simple tests to determine whether you can playback certain content).

  • Complete rewrite in C++ to remove the .NET dependency.  This is necessary because one of the problems most prevalent with MCE installs seems to be a corrupt .NET installation, so I need a reliable way to detect that and suggest repair options.

  • Creates a System Restore Point, if the feature is enabled on the machine

Here are planned features that I have not yet completed:



  • Detection of improperly installed MCE Update packages

  • Registry filter driver to intercept DllRegisterServer attempts to write to the registry.  This will allow MceRepair to compare the existing registry with what the DLL “wants” it to be without actually making changes, and compare that with a database of “known good” registry entries.

  • GAC scrubbing

  • EPG data analysis (for corrupt EPG)

  • Recorded TV file scrubbing to delete corrupt recordings

I spent a lot of time compiling the baseline data for the application to have something to compare machine configurations against.  Since I cannot trust that the binary wasn’t tampered with, I decided to include a strong hash as part of the binary’s identity–this required digging up every single QFE shipped by the team and recalculating hashes against them.


As soon as I have the registry filter driver portion complete, I’ll be able to use it to calculate the baseline registry information for the binaries, too.  I don’t fully trust the update.inf’s registry section, since it may assume that the underlying system has a working configuration set (i.e. it may be missing some entries).


 


Comments (8)

  1. Rick says:

    Is this available for download? My brother has been having problems with his media center recently. I’d like to find out what the problem is.

  2. PeterRosser says:

    Sorry, it’s not done yet.

  3. Darrel says:

    Hey, I know its not written for this, but is it possible that something is written to see what happens with digital tv signals/data in mce in order to troubleshoot a problem I have been having? Basically, in my (and other people’s)hardware setup if I use the PCI SATA controller for the recorded tv folder, it causes some kind of corruption which makes the video pixilate and break up, whereas using the IDE channel does not cause this problem. It is not an IRQ conflict; I checked that. It does not affect my ATI HDTV Wonder, but it does affect my AverMedia AverTVHD MCE A180 (and possibly other BDA ATSC tuners). The folks at Avermedia have not come up with any solutions, but I beleive a solution must exist if the ATI card can work (then the Avermedia should be able to also). I was wondering if in your experience you knew of a way to troubleshoot this problem. I think it is a little more widespread than may realize, but many people who have stuttering or other problems with HDTV are looking at other things and assuming they must be to blame (i.e. video cards, dvd decoders, sound cards, processors, ram, power supplies, overheating). I know switching to IDE fixed my problem, and using SATA causes it only for one ATSC tuner not the other. I have been to TGB forums and AVSForums, but so far no luck. Any direction you could give would be great. Thanks!

  4. Mirrorkill says:

    Hi,

    Had problems with Update Rollup 2, most of which were sorted out with your MceRepair. The only thing that’s still a problem now is the DVD burning software, which now reports that MCE’s own recorded TV is an unrecognised file type. I’ve been searching for a solution to this one for a while, is it likely to be a registration problem?

    Thanks, apologies if this is an inappropriate place for this question…

  5. Joeb says:

    The item: "EPG data analysis (for corrupt EPG)" sound very interesting.

    If you are able to povide some helpful and somewhat specific error messages to troubleshoot the EPG data actually..

    (Yes I’m using a 3rd party EPG thingy..)

  6. Jason Tsang [MVP] says:

    Mirrorkill:

    Try removing and reinstalling the Sonic Burn Engine.

    To do this, goto Add/Remove Programs, Add/Remove windows components, then

    unselect "Sonic DVD and CD Burning", ok out, then repeat but this time select it.

    Maybe that will help.