Vista Media Center in Server 2008

Forums Operating Systems Windows Server 2008 Wish List Progress Vista Media Center in Server 2008

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    • #42935

        Description: Use Windows Server 2008 as home entertainment pc in the living room!

        – Copied the folder C:Windowsehome from a Vista Ultimate workstation, but when trying starting some executables, none of them appear and the processes directly close.

        Anonymous: The reason that Vista Media Center doesn’t work is because the executables rely on Windows services to work properly, which are not installed. You would have to register the services with Windows and set them to start-up if you want it to work, but I imagine that’s where some of the Vista bloat comes from in th first place.

        TheNetAvenger: Media Center depends on several services (files may not be in Server Install) and have to be copied, registered, & installed as services) – No these do not add bloat to Vista as someone suggested, since if the users doesn’t e ven havea TV Tuner card, a very lite version of the service runs that is for remote media access.
        Media Center also is DirectX reliant, make sure you run the latest DirectX runtime distribution as well once you get the services running and the EXEs regi.)

        – Use XBMC Media Center for Windows (Screenshots, Download)
        – Use Origami Experience as free alternative. Note: it doesn’t have TV support. (Review, Download)

      • #45507
      • #45508

        If anyone does solve this one I’m looking forward to it!

      • #45509

        We finally got Windows Media Center install on Windows Server 2008 but a last minute show-stopper bug emerge due to software restriction policy. If you would like to help complete the product you can download it here:

        1. run MCE from Vista.bat on Vista
        2. copy C:MCE from vista to C:MCE in server 2008
        3. run MCE to Server 2008.bat (or you can copy all files in C:MCE to C:)
        4. run Media Center – Add.reg

        If you run Windows Media Center you will get this error: Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy. For more information contact your system administrator.

        If somebody find a solution, let me know.

        Original post:

        This is most wanted feature in Windows Server 2008 and we need all the help we can get. You can contribute here:

      • #45510

        How on earth are you getting Origami installed on a server os, it will only install on vista, not 08.

      • #45511

        It seems no progress is being made with this area… please guys don’t give up… we need this feature….

      • #45512

        I remember using Media Center with my Server 2003 workstation. The way I got it working was by making Server 2003 believe it was XP MC2005. Can’t you do something like that with Server 2008 (make it believe it is Vista Ultimate)?

        Now, something I would like to ask for: Can someone make a package with the “Desktop Experience”. I am asking this because I would like to add it to my custom Server 2008 DVD. Thanks!

      • #45513


        BACK ON TOPIC, I am going to look into this over the next few days. Stay tuned.

      • #45516

        This is a must feature for me being the geek I am. I will pitch in the efforts to get this working. It has too work and it will work and we will find it.

        I noticed the eshell.exe text file referenced a version of DOT NET (v2.0 exactly). I also know Vista has a patch out there which fixed a virtual memory error that failed to CORRECTLY apply “software restriction policies” or the lack there of. There were some issues installing some drivers which this particular patch fixed in Vista (seeing that you are getting the same error in your thread above).

        I’m going to match the dot net framework versions per Vista and see where that gets me. As for the patch, I say we keep that in the back of our minds. We’ll figure this out with world wide mass efforts.

      • #45515

        Installing the versions of DOT NET Framework had no effect. I’ve been hunting down registry values all night too. The group policies that enable/disable this program are turned off as well (verified a manual reg key entry too).

      • #45514

        I’ve exported every registry entry for Media Center as well to no avail.

      • #45517

        I hope you’ll find a solution, we are all really interesting in this stuff. Thanks for the work already done, i hope you’ll success.

      • #45518

        I’ve gone as far as importing the entire Security Template from Vista in my Server 2008 test machine with no success either. I’ve also been looking at an alternative to MCE called Origami which seems awfully cool itself. I’ll leave my comments null for now since this topic is based on MCE only.

        I’ve also looked into the possiblity of different versions of core DLL files between Vista Ultimate and Server 2k8. I haven’t found that isn’t the same version yet which relates to MCE. I’ve been monitoring the EhShell.exe with PROCMON and Process Explorer utilities too. So many threads are initiated by this EXE, it’s a bit hard to track the exact root cause still.

        I’m throwing my best at it tho! Cheers.

      • #45520

        Is there any chance of a phobos – JonusC alliance? 😀

        Anyways, I’ll share my very limited knowledge on Origami experience.

        1. The .msi needs to be modified with Orca.
        2. the WLAN feature must be installed, or it’ll throw back a .dll error
        3. Even then, it’ll throw back an Operating System incompatible error.

        Hope it helps :]

      • #45519

        I had a look to the origami experience, it really looks handsome, but this install is impossible. I tried with uniextract to make it portable but of course no way.
        Maybe should we do another topic, except if you think the problem is the same. I’m sure that all the people who want MCE on server 2k8 would in fact prefer the origami.

        If you want some help for requesting suggestions on other forum board, or anything, even a coffee to help you programming :), just tell me!

      • #45521

        UP, did i kill the topic??

      • #45522

        Out of respect to those who want to persue MCE, it may be beneficial to us to fire a new thread. I’ve thrown every possible hack at MCE and watched every possible process. I’ve been seeing some rumors about a TOKENS.DAT file. I’m gathering this file is like an application gatekeeper (via HASH ID) and denys apps who “Shall not pass”.

        I like both Media Centers to be honest and at this point, I’ll settle for either one. In the meantime, I’m here to help if ya’ll need anything from me.

        Thanks for everything!

      • #45523

        Wow sorry to revive but.. as far as i’m concerned, im in alliance with all members of the board. Well, you know. I’m not going to tell you any secrets or anything… LOL.

        But yeah i’m back, ive been vacant for too long and am starting some serious research once again to beat this pig with a steel glove. MCE… hmm… i’ve never even used it. Is it better than MPlayerC? LOL.

      • #45525

        May I suggest XBMC for Windows found here:

        I been using XBMC on my XBOX for years and it may not be 100% stable or compatible but maybe it could do the trick.

      • #45524

        I tried XBMC for Windows

        Problem is it has no TV tuning capabilities, otherwise looks like a very solid program.

      • #45526

        I’ve tried them all but personally only like a few. I checked out Origami Experience on a Vista test machine and loved it. It was a pretty smooth too.

        I’ve thrown in the towel for now on the MCE piece. Plus, I’ve been working on other items around Windows 2008 Workstation. I’m going to try to get as much of the things that I know I can knock out before my second child arrives in the this world. Ya’ll know where it goes from here…

        I’ll remain optimistic for now and will always keep an eye out and offer any help that I can.


      • #45527

        Congrats on “Bundle of Joy number two” there phobos!

        I agree that Origami Experience is pretty damn nice. I also agree that MCE in Server 2008 is maybe more effort than it’s worth.


        I can see myself working for it on end with sleepless nights, only to find out that it would infact require a Vista TOKENS.DAT, which is extremely illegal; or will need to be reversed engineered and then make a “patch” for it, which is a bit of a grey area on legalities there.

        I’ll take this time to mention that Windows 6 “ultra tool” i’m currently working on will require an original Vista DVD [or at least the Vista WIM image] to “cross-over” any Vista features to 2008 – distributing core Windows DLL’s is a no-no that’s gotten me into much trouble in the past!

        FYI guys, my new PC replacement is arriving this week – and I have some Vista and 2008 goodies to share – i’ve discovered quite a few neat tricks ‘n’ tweaks that are not documented on any website at all! E.g., ever thought to yourself “Geez, I really love having ‘Details’ view in explorer, but 16×16 icons are too SMALL! Cant I make them 24×24 even and with tiny thumbnails too???” Well… :geek: *hushes himself for leaking out soopa-doopa-secret gossip*

      • #45528

        I just wanted to bring this thread back from the dead.

        Has anyone got Media Center to run on Server 2008?

        I just bought a 1080p LCD TV and I want to run an HDMI cable from my server box to my new TV and just have Media Center running all day on it.

        I will PayPal money to someone who can successfully help me get this running. I’m desperate.

      • #45529

        @kirkouimet wrote:

        I will PayPal money to someone who can successfully help me get this running. I’m desperate.

        We’re placing bounties now!?!?! I’m ON IT!!!!

        Haha kidding! Well my PC is up and going nice now, got an AM2+ mobo/cpu/ram for real cheap – also it’s AM3 ready [new AMD’s comming this year] and is much faster than my old P4 haha!

        Anywho, I’m going to start setting up my hack… erm, “work” stuff right now and get back into the 2008 Workstation stuff – this Media Center still seems to be the most wanted 2008 feature so this is where i’ll start. 🙂 I’ll edit this post in the next few hours when I have something [even if it’s just an E.T.A]. Peace.

      • #45530

        Any more progress on this?

        Or should I just stay with my mythbox… lol

      • #45531

        If we get this also to work it would be really cool =)

      • #45532

        I’ve actually moved up to the Server 2008 R2 Beta, and don’t have a capture card anymore so can’t test everything anyway…

        …I am planning to look at moving the Windows 7 Media Center to 2008 R2 soon.

      • #45533

        Something new?

      • #45534

        if you can get hauppague media center cards (particularly the MCE labelled ones-they say its vista compatible but the damn driver signing thing kicks in and won’t let me do it) to work let me know. Mine still don’t work in R1 or R2!

      • #45535

        Is it possible to get 7 Media Center working on Server 2008 R2 WITHOUT any TV stuff?
        So I will try to work on the TV problem but I have to know how I can get MC working.

      • #45536

        any update for R2 ?

      • #45537

        I followed the installer guide based on Day2Die’s instructions. I was able to get Media Center to run by switching the tokens.dat file with a vista one. I was able to do this without having to actually boot into “vista mode”. I have two tokens.dat files. One is tokens.dat and the other is tokens.dat.old. I created a batch file that causes the two files to swap places. In simple terms I can switch between vista-based activation or server 2008 based activation. Once I loaded into server (fully functional) I ran the tokens switching batch file i created, logged off, and then ran the ehshell.exe file found in c:windowsehome. The program executed fine for a few seconds, but then i fails with the message you see. Day2Dies instructions called for so many files and folders to be copied but the number he mentioned did not correlate with mine. I think it has something to do with permissions of the winsxs file, since some of those folders are system protected. Also i believe some of them have system generated random numbers at the end because I noticed as the script was running i seen “file not found” quite a few times. For example the file “Windowswinsxsmsil_ehireplay_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6000.16386_none_bac1a0be54ce00fb” might be “Windowswinsxsmsil_ehireplay_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6000.16386_none_bac1a0be54ce550c”on another machine. The same dll file exists in that subfolder but its a different number of every machine. I might have to manually go through each file and taking the common name “msil_ehireplay” go through and manually copy and paste it into a folder, then boot into a recovery CD and manually copy the folders to winsxs so i can have super user privileges. Also I noticed the installer for Day2Die’s didn’t implement any of the Windows Media Center services. I was able to get the scheduler service and receiver service working but not the other two. Atleast some progress has been made.

      • #45538

        🙂 Hello, I noticed everyone has been trying to get Windows Media Center to work on 2008 Server. I have the fix for this problem.

        I recently installed Visual Studio 2010 on my Windows Ultimate machine. It did an update and .NET 4 was installed. Previously I had a Haupague WinTV-HVR-1600 ATSC/NTSC TV card installed in the machine. It came from an HP Touch Screen (circa 2007 – I smashed the touch screen and scavangered the parts). The TV capture card worked perfectly until Visual Studio 2010 and NET 4 update. The system was sound and very powerful. I only use HP machines. This one has 8 gigs of ram 6 TB of raid (JBOD) and 12 – 2TB external usb drives. total storage of 30 TB. One DVD multi by LG. Quad core Intel processors 2.5 I believe. All of this is housed in a Sniper case. This is a huge over size case with all kinds of fans.

        After spending 3 days looking for a solution to fix Windows Media Center I found none. All the solutions online did not work. Microsoft was not even close to helping. The Card failed like a chain reaction. First the recording, then the guide, then the library, then the pictures library. I installed XBMC and it worked fine. However there is no DVR-MS recording feature. I need this format for our AVID editor and NAS/SAN array. Ulimately, I got boned by the .NET 4 update and the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The Visual Studio was nearly $13,000. Yes I purchased it for our media company Movie Star Web. I am just warning other to expect problems with your Windows Media Center and .NET 4 until Microsoft figures out a series of patches.

        I scrubbed the machine and bought a copy of 2008 Server Data Center edition. It works great but no media center. The operating system is much faster and stronger than Vista. I installed Windows Media Player, Windows Media Encoder and all the codecs and utilities that Microsoft has to offer for their media platform technology.

        I did extract Media Center from a Vista Ultimate disk only to find that there are tons of problems with installing it directly on 2008. That ultimately lead me to this forum.

        The work around I found was very simple. I installed VMware on the 2008 server. After configuring the utility I created a VMware package of my original Vista Ultimate operating system from my Vista Ultimate CD. I opened VMware and loaded the Windows Ultimate operating system. I had to install the Haupague drivers in the Windows Vista Ultimate to get it to recognize the TV card. I also installed the normal drivers associated with Visa and performed all the updates. I resaved the VMware Vista Ultimate operating system disk image. Shut down VMware. Then Shut down (not reboot) Windows 2008 server. After a I powered up Server 2008 I ran an update check. I installed the last few updates on 2008 server. Then I started VMware and loaded the updated Windows Vista Ultimate disk image. I opened Windows Media Center and began capturing DVR-MS streams from the Haupague TV capture card. I set the capture to an internal drive on my raid JBOD. It has 3 GB of thru put at 10,000 rpm.

        I have been capturing the channels from cable tv with no problem. There has been no malfunctions.

        As an experiment I opened another VMware window and loaded my Vista Ultimate. I started Windows Media Center and selected a diferent chanel to record from cable TV. I selected another internal drive on my raid JBOD. I did this so there would not be any conflicts. Capturing two streams to one disk is hard on the drive and you get errors eventualy.

        I repeated this process 4 times. I now have 3 Windows Media Centers capturing three seperate channels from one TV card. I also have an ATSC (digital antena broadcast) being captured to one of my USB drives. All four streams are being captured by 4 VMware windows and one Windows 2008 Data Center server. (One Box to Rule Them All ! – Lord of the Geeks)The system works flawlessly. 😀

        💡 I use MAC and Final Cut Pro to rough edit the streams. I then send them to our AVID video editor system. This is a professional movie rendering machine built by AVID and it is in a colocation cabinet. Once I have the final edit the content is stored on our NAS (built on FreeNAS). When it comes time to publish the content the NAS sends the content via fiber optic cable to our data center hosts. We use AT&T, XO Communications, West Host (Utah), Just Host (UK) and APT Host (Seattle Washington) to distribute the content to mastering houses and digital distributors like iTunes.

        I am a computer science engineer. Movie Star Web .com is a 13 year old company that produces streaming video solutions and social networking applications for the entertainment industry. It has been a real bite in the azzz when the Media Center decided to go under. Microsoft should realy test .NET 4 on real world situations instead of dumping it on the public so they can fix it. I fixed this problem in 48 hours.

        I charge $565 an hour 😮 if Microsoft would like to hire me for trouble shooting.

        James Black CSE :ugeek:
        Computer Science Engineer
        Movie Star Web .com

        I hope this helps some people out there to get their Windows Media Center going.

      • #45539

        @Day2Die wrote:

        We finally got Windows Media Center install on Windows Server 2008 but a last minute show-stopper bug emerge due to software restriction policy. If you would like to help complete the product you can download it here:

        1. run MCE from Vista.bat on Vista
        2. copy C:MCE from vista to C:MCE in server 2008
        3. run MCE to Server 2008.bat (or you can copy all files in C:MCE to C:)
        4. run Media Center – Add.reg

        If you run Windows Media Center you will get this error: Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy. For more information contact your system administrator.

        If somebody find a solution, let me know.

        Original post:

        This is most wanted feature in Windows Server 2008 and we need all the help we can get. You can contribute here:

        There’s a text file in the folder called “Adjust Permissions for import”. Open up the text file, go to File > Save As, and under the save as type: select All Files (*.*) and type in the extension .reg into the file name. The following file name should be written as “Adjust Permissions for import.reg” and click Save. Then, double-click on the registry file and do the changes. It might work, but I’m not sure.

      • #45540

        Did someone tried to setup Windows Media Center useing VMWARE ThinApp?
        Would that help. Just an Idea…


      • #45541

        Any update for R2?

      • #45542

        @swampdonkey wrote:

        Any update for R2?

        So?,any uptade?

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