MCE 2004 Video Freezes Computer -- Help!

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by Chris, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Please, I know that Microsoft developers monitor this
    board, and that there are some very bright non-Microsoft
    people on here. I'm hoping, praying that someone will be
    able to help with this.

    The following problem NEVER occurred before I upgraded to
    MCE 2004. But since the first hour I upgraded, it has
    plagued my life.

    If Media Center is playing a video file (recorded TV, live
    TV, or an mpeg), the computer will completely freeze 100%
    of the time if any of the following things happen:

    - If I attempt to click any of the buttons in the top
    right (minimize, window/fullscreen, or close)

    - If I attempt to switch to another program

    - If video is paused for more than a couple minutes

    Basically, if Media Center is playing video, it can't be
    minimized, it can't be closed, and it can't be moved
    between window and fullscreen without causing an immediate
    and unrecoverable PC lock-up.

    The only solution is to yank the plug. When the PC
    restarts, it does so quickly and without error messages,
    and everything is perfectly functional. Here are other
    key points:

    ONE: This freeze does NOT occur when I play dvr-ms and
    mpeg files using WMP 9, ZoomPlayer, and WinDVD. I can
    pause and resize and alt-tab to my heart's content with no
    problem at all. **This is not a video-playback problem;
    this is a Media Center problem.**

    TWO: If Media Center is not displaying video, I can do
    anything I want without causing a freeze. Also, if I re-
    size MC manually (by dragging the lower-right corner), it
    doesn't freeze.

    THREE: According to Graph Edit, my dvr-ms files are being
    handled by the InterVideo decoder.

    FOUR: I've had my 873n for 10 months, and it's still in
    the standard hardware configuration. The freeze occurs
    even when there are no other programs open.

    FIVE: The problem is unaffected by changes in screen
    resolution. It also unaffected by changes in the Nvidia
    display drivers (I've tried the last three) or by
    adjustments to the Nvidia settings.

    SIX: I have tried re-installing MCE 2004 (three times),
    and it doesn't help. Also, because HP had me monkeying
    around with the registry, I now am unable to remove MCE
    2004 by doing a system restore. (I just get a message
    saying the stystem could not be restored.) So I'm stuck.

    Here's what I think: If the problem ONLY occurs with MCE
    2004 and if it NEVER occurred before MCE 2004, the problem
    must lie with . . . MCE 2004. There's something different
    in this version of Media Center that causes no problem on
    other people's computers (I'm happy for you all, really I
    am) - but that kills mine.

    This is clearly a Media Center problem - one that HP can't
    solve. (My most recent call to HP lasted two hours and
    solved nothing.) So I would like very much to hear from a
    Microsoft representative. But I will be extremely
    grateful for any input from anyone else. Not to me
    melodramatic, but you're my last hope . . .

    Right now, when my family watches TV with Media Center, we
    feel like we're in a bomb-disposal unit: "Whatever you
    do, don't -------!" No one is having fun. Thanks in
    advance for any help.

    -- Chris
    Chris, Oct 30, 2003
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  2. Chris

    Rob Alfieri Guest

    I fixed this problem by removing WinDVD and install NVDVD from the NVidia
    site. There seems to be a problem with the WinDVD codec. I just purchased
    the new HP Media Center m390n and this worked for me. Give it a try...

    Rob Alfieri, Oct 30, 2003
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  3. Chris

    Lee D Guest

    Chris - can you uninstall the Intervideo (your DVD) software and install the
    trial version of NVDVD from the Nvidia site.
    I'll be interested to hear if this continues when this is installed.
    If that fixes it - try uninstalling it and re-installing the Intervideo


    Lee D, Oct 30, 2003
  4. Chris

    Rob Alfieri Guest

    I just did that and was able to replicate my freeze and audio muting
    problems. There is definitely a problem with WinDVD's media player
    Rob Alfieri, Oct 30, 2003
  5. Chris

    Chris Guest


    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I tried NVDVD a few months ago to see if it would fix the
    problem -- a common bug with MCE Original -- of not
    allowing fast forward or rewind. It didn't fix it, so I
    just let the trial period lapse. I have a fear that it
    won't allow me to install the trial again.

    I'm so desperate for a solution, however, that I might
    suck it up and pay for NVDVD. Of course, if it doesn't
    help (and my hopes have been shattered on this several
    times already), I'll be even more annoyed to have wated
    money on top of everything else.

    Is there anyone out there who knows the nuts-and-bolts of
    how MCE 2004 interacts with InterVideo/WinDVD (which,
    after all, is the decoder that has HP's seal of
    approval)? Specifically, why would WinDVD work great by
    itself -- but cause MCE to have a stroke when doing the
    same simple things?

    More generally, is there anyone who knows what would cause
    this kind of SEVERE system lock-up (paging
    Microsoft . . .)? It's much more drastic than anything
    that EVER happened to me with the original Media Center.

    -- Chris
    Chris, Oct 30, 2003
  6. Chris

    greg.l.owens Guest

    MCE seem to work better with two hard drives. Each
    having a page file. I bought a External 60 hard
    greg.l.owens, Oct 30, 2003
  7. Chris

    Dave Neff Guest

    I have long used NVDVD, and was concerned with the HP
    2004 upgrade automatically re-installed WinDVD. Things
    seemed to work OK, but I uninstalled WinDVD. I still saw
    some stuttering in MPEG2 playback, which I had in the
    past and went away when I installed the latest NVDVD
    patch. I also re-installed the latest NVDVD patch (even
    though I had done that long ago), and it seemed to
    eliminate the stuttering.

    I've still seen flakey behavior with 2004, but it is
    leaps and bounds ahead of the original. The other day a
    low priority program was running minimized, I was
    watching recorded TV, and minimized program completed and
    opened a screen, which did freeze the media center
    application. I did manage unfreeze things by "clicking
    around on random stuff" :)
    Dave Neff, Oct 30, 2003
  8. Chris

    Lee D Guest

    Chris - MCE uses the MPEG decoder that the DVD software installs. Basically
    you can only have 1 MPEG decoder registered for MCE to work properly but you
    have to remember that Nvidias codec will be internally completely different
    to Intervideos.
    I have no idea why MCE should not work particularly well with your WinDVD
    software (is it the lastest version?) or why it seems to work better with
    NVDVD. I can only guess that NVDVD is actually a better product. In my
    experience (and others that I have spoken to) NVDVD seems to be the software
    of choice.
    When you did your upgrade to 2004 - did you do a complete system
    installation (from nothing)?
    I know its frustrating but other people have had a lot more luck actually
    completely reinstalling their system before applying the 2004 update. Then
    you will be able to uninstall WinDVD (if its already installed by default on
    your restore discs) and install NVDVD.
    I honestly think that the above is worth a try if you haven't already - at
    least it will make your mind up whether NVDVD is worth it.
    Sorry I can't be of any more help to you.


    Lee D, Oct 31, 2003
  9. Chris

    Terry Walsh Guest

    Hi Chris,

    My only advice is to agree with Lee - most of the video
    problems I've seen on these boards have been solved by
    uninstalling your existing mpeg2 decoder and using NVDVD.
    At the very least, have a go at downloading the demo
    version - you never know, it may be a later version and
    let you use the trial...

    Good luck
    Terry Walsh, Oct 31, 2003
  10. Chris

    Guest Guest


    I don't have the same media problem you have, but I've
    got XP Pro and I'm having a terrible freezing problem as
    well. I work at home and get paid per line, and every
    day without fail, my computer will freeze up anywhere
    from one to ten times in a 3 hour period, and a whole
    bunch of colorful little boxes will fill my screen - and
    the only way to get rid of it is by unplugging the whole
    thing. It's literally driving me crazy - so if it helps,
    there is someone out there who knows exactly how you
    feel. You can reach me at if

    Guest, Oct 31, 2003
  11. Chris

    dacruz Guest

    Overheating is what it sound like to me

    check for fans and also that the video card is kinda isolated from the
    rest because it could be the video card overheats.


    Posted via
    Everything about Windows XP Media Center Edition
    dacruz, Oct 31, 2003
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