WMC has lost all guide data with EPG123

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WMC has lost all guide data with EPG123

Post#1 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:56 am

I converted to EPG123 in July. This week I have had two instances where my Win7 WMC has lost all guide data and says something like "WMC had to fix a problem with the guide. Please check your recordings." If I manually click "Download All" in EPG 123, data comes back. I am on Charter digital. Where can I look for advice?
Lfox
 
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Post#2 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:01 am

Lfox wrote:I converted to EPG123 in July. This week I have had two instances where my Win7 WMC has lost all guide data and says something like "WMC had to fix a problem with the guide. Please check your recordings." If I manually click "Download All" in EPG 123, data comes back. I am on Charter digital. Where can I look for advice?

Couple questions first. Did you perform a clean start by doing Step 1? and are your mcupdate related tasks still enabled to perform database cleanup?

MODERATOR: Could we move this to a new topic? This has happened to a couple folk and it may be easier to find for users.
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Post#3 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:51 am

I should also say that I did a "Save and Execute" function as well as "download all" to bring it back. When it came back my previously working scheduled recordings would not trigger record events in the new schedule that loaded. I had to build them again.

In reply, at first install I did a "clean start" deleting the old stuff as recommended and everything appeared to update properly for a month. Is the "database cleanup" in EPG 123 or WMC? Is it described in the installation guide? I will dig into the guide to see if I can find it as I really don't know if "mcuupdate related tasks" are enabled or not. I love EPG123 when it works which is most of the time but it seems to lose data just when I have a critical recording scheduled which in my case is an F1 race.

I this gets moved to a new topic string please let me know where it ends up.
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Post#4 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:58 pm

Sorry, been a busy couple days here.

There have been reports of "WMC has to fix a problem..." in the past. I think IT Troll reported it a couple months back and it was similar to yours. No problems at all and suddenly it happens a couple times. I'll have to search to see if he did anything or the problem still occurs.

Here's my theory:
Something got corrupted in your database to such an extent that WMC attempted to rebuild it. I usually find that database corruptions are more likely to occur when there is a lot of disk activity while accessing it. This can be something like an AV scan, disk defragment, search indexing, file copying/moving, garbage collector, etc. When WMC tries to do a rebuild, I think it tries to salvage your existing database and just leaves out the guide listings (empty guide). When you performed a Save&Execute, that re-imported the listings to restore your guide. Until that is done, there will be no recordings since WMC has no idea what to record when. The fact that it happened to you twice tells me either the same thing happened again, or the first rebuild didn't do so good.

My suggestion is 1 or both of the following:
1) change your scheduled update time. The scheduled update may have been occurring during another disk intensive task.
2) perform a database rebuild using the EPG123 client. If there is still some kind of corruption in the database, this will take care of it (delete it).

Lfox wrote:Is the "database cleanup" in EPG 123 or WMC? Is it described in the installation guide? I will dig into the guide to see if I can find it as I really don't know if "mcuupdate related tasks" are enabled or not.

The database cleanup is a WMC thing and you would have to go into the Task Scheduler to disable it. For some reason, some people want to disable the tasks which I don't advise. I think you're safe.

BTW: the "download all" button will just download all the channel logos from Schedules Direct. Nothing to do with the guide listings.
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Post#5 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:00 am

Thank you for the great tips. I will change the update time and if it happens again, perform a database rebuild. Not giving up.
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Post#6 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:46 pm

Yeah, I had two of these in quick succession (well, four weeks apart):
viewtopic.php?f=99&t=10989

Running the PvrSchedule task will rebuild any scheduled series recordings, but not any single show recordings:

When it has happened the EPG123 logs look fine. But I do still wonder if it is linked to the EPG123 import process in some way. I've never experienced this before in many years of running Media Center (XP/Vista/7/8). I do already run my update in the early hours, out of the way of anything else. Could some bad data in a listing cause this?
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Post#7 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:09 pm

I don't think it's caused by the EPG123 import. That may somehow expose the system to higher probability of the problem. I definitely had this happen at least once or twice before I switched to EPG123.
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Post#8 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:45 pm

I have had this happen too many times to count, but only a few times since switching to epg123. I found 3 things that really effect how susceptible you are to this error:

1) Older versions of epg123 would import program data while a recording was happening. That definitely made it more likely to get this error. Current versions won't merge guide data if a recording is happening, so that helps stability. So make sure you're using a more recent version of epg123.

2) The size of your guide also seems to be a factor. If you can disable extraneous channels (channels you never watch, SD channels that have duplicate HD channels, music channels, pay-per-view channels), then your database will be smaller and less susceptible to corruption. Disabling those channels in WMC just hides the channel - the program data is still downloaded and stored in the database. You need to disable those channels in the epg123 interface - then the program data won't even be downloaded. (Added bonus - IF you get this error again, you won't have to go through the drudgery of customizing your lineup in WMC again - epg123 will do that for you!)

3) Say you have scheduled lots (50+) recordings of a syndicated show (Law & Order: SUV on any channel, for example) or have a broad keyword recording (College Football on any channel that's live). If you go into the Scheduled Recordings for the next 2-3 weeks and delete lots of upcoming showings, the database tracks the delete and seems to get confused and then corrupt. In the case of Law & Order: SUV, it seems that setting up several different recording targeting a few channels is a more stable approach. I have yet to find a good solution for College Football.

Unfortunately, I've never found a way to recover from this error. I've just learned to chalk it up and move forward.

One bonus tip - keep a list (on paper, in a text document, or a spreadsheet) of all your season passes and their priority. Should this error happen in the future, it will be much easier to set all those recordings up again if you have a list.
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Post#9 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:28 am

I just had this problem and don't have EPG123. It said something like it recovered the database and it had to re-download the guide, however it already had downloaded the guide earlier on its' own.

All my Series were still there, however it appears to have cleared out the episode recording history, since the "view scheduled" showed that WMC was set to record a bunch of episodes that were repeats and were not in the list the day before.

Because of this issue, WMC also recorded a bunch of episodes before I noticed the problem, and caused it to run out of disk space earlier than expected. So I also missed recording something I actually wanted to record. Luckily I noticed that the HDHomerun light was not on, and I knew it was supposed to be recording so I was able to limit the damage by deleting the repeated episodes before future recordings had a problem.
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Post#10 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:08 am

ghostman wrote:One bonus tip - keep a list (on paper, in a text document, or a spreadsheet) of all your season passes and their priority. Should this error happen in the future, it will be much easier to set all those recordings up again if you have a list.

The two times this happened to me, the series list was retained and the recording schedule will regenerate. I just lost any one-off scheduled recordings. Recording history is lost though, so that will likely cause some re-records.

I have added an explicit exclusion to the Media Center database folder (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome) within Windows Defender. I am note sure if that will help, but I bet MS are not testing Windows Defender against Media Center anymore...
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Post#11 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:19 pm

IT Troll wrote:...
The two times this happened to me, the series list was retained and the recording schedule will regenerate. I just lost any one-off scheduled recordings. Recording history is lost though, so that will likely cause some re-records.

I have added an explicit exclusion to the Media Center database folder (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome) within Windows Defender. I am note sure if that will help, but I bet MS are not testing Windows Defender against Media Center anymore...

My one-off records were there after the problem occurred.

It's my understanding (although I don't really know for sure) that the Series and one-off recording info is loaded from the XML backup file after the database is "fixed". This file includes one-off recordings.
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Post#12 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:22 am

Space wrote:All my Series were still there, however it appears to have cleared out the episode recording history, since the "view scheduled" showed that WMC was set to record a bunch of episodes that were repeats and were not in the list the day before.

I had suspected as much but wasn't sure. Thanks for verifying that the history disappears when this happens as well. When we perform a database rebuild with EPG123, the same thing will happen ... I just have more faith in EPG123 to rebuild it correctly. ;)
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