System rebuild with WMC?

System rebuild with WMC?

Post#1 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:40 am

I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with WMC. This is an HTPC I built about seven years ago. (I configured it to prevent the Win10 update since WMC had been terminated.) I also use it for a few games but it is primarily used for watching movies and television.

The system is still working fine in most ways but the OS has become pretty cluttered up over the years and I'm noticing performance issues primarily with streaming. (It is only this system. Others in the house have no issues with streaming so it isn't a general network issue.)

So, I'm thinking of rebuilding the system and wondering what others are doing. Given we don't want to move away and leave WMC behind. There still just isn't anything else as good out there.

Thanks.
RodBarnes
 
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Post#2 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:53 am

Reload Windows 7. Forget about Win 8 or 10.
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Post#3 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:47 pm

Yup - I just did the same thing with my system last month because after several years WMC just started to act quirky. After refreshing the system everything is working great again.
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Post#4 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:14 pm

Thanks for the recommendations to stay with Win7. I'll put this on my list of summer projects for when I'm not recording much.
RodBarnes
 
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Post#5 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:27 am

RodBarnes wrote:Thanks for the recommendations to stay with Win7. I'll put this on my list of summer projects for when I'm not recording much.


If you use something like Acronis, do what I would do when I am rebuilding. As building a custom WMC machine is not a 2 hour project, lots of little stuff that is needed from Codecs to odd ball stuff.

Back up your current system (Image with Acronis, just imaging the C drive), nuke and re-install Windows 7... set everything up, and when you are done for the night, BACK IT UP, then restore your first backup.

So when you want to continue working (say a Saturday after noon when you have an hour or 2) backup your main OS, and restore your project...

And Yes, Windows 7 is the best OS for WMC, as 8.1 was just a modded Win 7 version put in 8....

There are minor perks to 8.1 **IF** you have a WMC KEY, as you get access to the store and if you trying to boot AHCI, it is a lot faster on 8.1 than 7...
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Post#6 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:27 pm

But 8.1 also means no extenders besides Xbox.
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Post#7 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:10 pm

mdavej wrote:But 8.1 also means no extenders besides Xbox.


Right but, the OP didn't say if he was using Extenders... so if you are using anything but a Xbox 360 (and is far better than any extender I played with), no 8.1....

8.1 has it's perks but, If you don't care about the store and are ok with the speed of boot, there is no reason to change from Windows 7.
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Post#8 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:11 am

My experience is Windows 8.1 WMC is MUCH better than 7. It handles cable errors better. The setup is smoother too. Especially if DCA is involved.

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kd6icz
 
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Post#9 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:25 pm

kd6icz wrote:My experience is Windows 8.1 WMC is MUCH better than 7. It handles cable errors better. The setup is smoother too. Especially if DCA is involved.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk


I dual boot my HTPC with Windows 7 and 8.1 (I did have 10 on it but, too many issues)... As I mean dual boot, there is no option on startup, you need to go into settings, system and change the default OS to boot to the other OS.

Over all, Windows 8.1 does boot a little faster than 7 and the desktop scales (I run my 65" tv in 2160p, and it scales the desktop so it's easier to use from a distance). If your using AHCI boot, it will boot a LOT faster than 7.. (7's support for AHCI is questionable). The thing to remember, WMC was DESIGNED FOR Windows 7, and it was patched in to work on 8.1, So if your looking for the MOST stable experiance 7 is the best option.

And with 8.1 you get access to the Windows Store but, the downfall is, I cant find any apps that can be controlled with a remote. There was a way where you could create a shortcut for a 8.1 app on the desktop (tricky but, it can be done) and then you could use ReLaunch to add to WMC. So unless apps could be controlled via remote, there is not really a perk here for WMC.

Using 7 or 8.1 I found no issues activating cablecards or watching DRM shows. The Only differences between Windows 7 WMC and WIndows 8.1 are.. the options for Start WMC with WIndows and ALWAYS on TOP are removed from 8.1.... both of those could be set via the registry with very little effort tho.

The Only problem across the board is Microsoft has killed off WMC as we all know and updates that come down have limited testing, so they could break WMC and it coudl take weeks to fix as long as enough people cry about it. Personally, as it's dedicated HTPC (ONLY for media, NOT anything else), I get updates to a point where it's stable, and I DISABLE updates completely. I do not suggest this if you do other things on your computer.

This disabling updates makes a stable WMC machine... as 95% of the time when WMC is broken for some reason it is a update.
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Post#10 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:44 pm

DavidinCT wrote:This disabling updates makes a stable WMC machine...

I don't think updates have anything to do with that.
mdavej
 
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Post#11 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:50 am

The rated G version isn't funny at all.

All joking aside, I agree disabling updates does make for a stable WMC machine.
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Post#12 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:31 pm

DavidinCT wrote:As building a custom WMC machine is not a 2 hour project, lots of little stuff that is needed from Codecs to odd ball stuff...


Definitely. This won't be the first time I've done this, though the first time on this system. It is a long project -- typically, one can get the first 80% working within a few hours but that last 20% can take a long time as you encounter it when needed. Plus, given the age of Win7SP1, all the updates could take forever.
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Post#13 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:03 pm

DavidinCT wrote:Over all, Windows 8.1 does boot a little faster than 7... If your using AHCI boot, it will boot a LOT faster than 7.. (7's support for AHCI is questionable).


That is interesting. This system has a three drives -- the boot drive and then two 1TB drives in a RAID 0. The one thing I've always disliked about this particular system is the boot time is horrendously slow, much slower than any other Win7 system I've had or worked with. I wonder if that is due to AHCI?
RodBarnes
 
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Post#14 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:58 am

Some thoughts...

1. Disabling updates is a MUST for a stable system. I run Win7 SP1 with only two KB updates from 2012. It has been solid. There are plenty of horror stories of things just not working after "necessary" or "security" MS updates. Forget them! Not for me!

2. To help with a reinstall, what I do is have all WMC related addons, tweaks in one folder called "Installed". I also keep a text file of what I install or tweak, in sequence. I can refer to that for a step by step reinstallation. Anything I've uninstalled I move to the "Uninstalled" folder, again with its associated entry in the text file.

3. long boot times may be due to the RAID setup. In my main PC system I run an Adaptec RAID card and it is very slow on a reboot. It is the most anxious part of a reboot, which is one reason I never power down that system. Four enterprise drives running RAID6 with two identical ones as spares. Been running 24/7 for over four years with only an occasional reboot when installing software.
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Post#15 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:10 am

Have you given Emby a shot? It does live TV, movies, series, games, music... Its got a web version as well as a theatre version, I stream live TV, and movies &TV shows to my work PC, and tablets with out issue. It's also running on an older PC with win10.


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Post#16 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:59 pm

And what about DRM? Sorry...WMC is the only game in town for that. With cable companies going to DRM for all channels, WMC is still the way to go.

Look, Win7, HDHomeRun Prime and a discrete, generic video card are the currnt solution to my problems. Try that setup and you'll be plesed...until the next attempt by your cable company to screw up your owned-equipment setup and switch to their box!
artm
 
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Post#17 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:25 pm

comatose1978 wrote:Have you given Emby a shot?


Haven't tried that. My HTPC requirements are primarily DVR with a Hauppauge dual-tuner card, running MakeMKV to rip DVDs to the drive for convenience, playing DVDS, and streaming some movies Prime, Youtube, etc., and I play an occasional game but not often.

Does Emby support tuner cards and DVR? Or only streamed TV?
RodBarnes
 
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Post#18 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:06 pm

RodBarnes wrote:
comatose1978 wrote:Have you given Emby a shot?


Haven't tried that. My HTPC requirements are primarily DVR with a Hauppauge dual-tuner card, running MakeMKV to rip DVDs to the drive for convenience, playing DVDS, and streaming some movies Prime, Youtube, etc., and I play an occasional game but not often.

Does Emby support tuner cards and DVR? Or only streamed TV?


If you own MakeMKV, check out Rip & Compress for WMC.. It is a NATIVE WMC app. Go into a WMC, open the app, drop the disc in (DVD or blu-ray) and select with your remote to rip it, it even gives you a notifcation when it finishes.

If you are using a cablecard and have DRM channels, WMC is your only option
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Post#19 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:10 pm

DavidinCT wrote:If you own MakeMKV, check out Rip & Compress for WMC.. It is a NATIVE WMC app. Go into a WMC, open the app, drop the disc in (DVD or blu-ray) and select with your remote to rip it, it even gives you a notifcation when it finishes.

If you are using a cablecard and have DRM channels, WMC is your only option


Thanks for the tip on Rip & Compress, I'll check it out.
I don't use a cablecard -- I'm kind of a throw-back: I cut the cable years ago 'cause, for me, it was mostly crap that I was paying for and didn't use, and I live where all of the OTA are strong signals. Just using tuner connected to an in-attic antenna.
RodBarnes
 
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Post#20 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:39 pm

RodBarnes wrote:
DavidinCT wrote:If you own MakeMKV, check out Rip & Compress for WMC.. It is a NATIVE WMC app. Go into a WMC, open the app, drop the disc in (DVD or blu-ray) and select with your remote to rip it, it even gives you a notifcation when it finishes.

If you are using a cablecard and have DRM channels, WMC is your only option


Thanks for the tip on Rip & Compress, I'll check it out.
I don't use a cablecard -- I'm kind of a throw-back: I cut the cable years ago 'cause, for me, it was mostly crap that I was paying for and didn't use, and I live where all of the OTA are strong signals. Just using tuner connected to an in-attic antenna.


Well, if your not using a Cablecard than any software package that supports a DVR like other suggested. Personally I have tried a few and WMC's guide is still one of the better ones out there.

Rip and Conpress needs a little config and a little trial and error testing but, once you get working, it does work pretty good, I use it to rip most of my DVD and BLu-ray movies and an error is pretty rare.
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