MCE Reset Toolbox Thread

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jachin99

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MCE Reset Toolbox Thread

#1

Post by jachin99 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:23 pm

Because there is a documented workaround for the MCE Reset Toolbox, I figured I would dedicate this thread to some questions that I have, and hopefully others can chime in and possibly contribute their Q&As also. Before I say anything else, its probably helpful to describe exactly what the program does. The MCE reset toolbox is a GUI that lets users perform customization that were only possible via a combination of manual registry tweaks and external guide editors. The MCE Reset Toolbox also enables theme editing via a graphical front end to the Media Center Themer. Custom theme files with the .mct extension can be loaded into WMC via the MCE Reset Toolbox however themes with the file extension were only compatible with a deprecated WMC theme program, Media Center Studio.

For full view of what the software does see here https://web.archive.org/web/20160312091 ... e-log.html
To download the program, look here http://downloads.informer.com/mce-reset ... /download/ The last version to be released was Version 14.5.9.0 - 28/10/2014

Now some bad news, Because the developer seems to have abandoned the software, the software will not activate even after successful payments. In order to extend the use of the program past 30 days, you can perform these steps taken from user buddahkat:
"if you go into the program directory ("Program Files/ACS Digital/MCE Reset Toolboox"), you will find a file named 'Trial.dll'. if you simply delete this file and then attempt to start the program it will give you an
error message but after hitting cancel the program loads and appears to function normally. i was able to change and save my menus no problem. hope this helps!
*** just fyi I'm not trying to cheat the developer, i was planning on purchasing the program but the register link appears to be dead as others have noted"

To the best of my knowledge the program is still fully functional on Windows 7

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#2

Post by jachin99 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:25 pm

To start things off, has anyone had any success moving tiles from the extras menu onto something like the movies tile?

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DavidinCT

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#3

Post by DavidinCT » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:46 pm

jachin99 wrote:To start things off, has anyone had any success moving tiles from the extras menu onto something like the movies tile?
Neat, in that web archive, you can download themes there !

Yep. When you install a single app, it normally shows in Extras. I have moved a few apps into another strip. In fact a bunch of them.

What type of problem, are you having and what did you try doing ?

This is what Mine looks like with the menu edits (don't mind the grainy I did it over RDP), you can see in the movie strip, I have Blu-ray software and rip and compress
Attachments
My WMC.JPG
-Dave
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Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#4

Post by jachin99 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:50 pm

I sat down and played around with MCE Reset Toolbox last night for about an hour in order to sort out a few problems I had with it. Problem 1 was that changes I had made to the start menu through MCERSTB would not reflect on in WMC, or WMC would just crash after I made changes. The BEST fix i saw for this was to use the fix start menu button located in the program, and another option would be to run the MCSFix.exe file floating around these forums. This allowed me to create new menu strips, and add tiles to them BUT I ran out of time, and I wasn't able to move anything from the extras menu to a new start strip. I also noticed that MCERSTB and WMC both become unstable after making multiple changes, and the machine needs to be reset.

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#5

Post by DavidinCT » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:29 pm

jachin99 wrote:I sat down and played around with MCE Reset Toolbox last night for about an hour in order to sort out a few problems I had with it. Problem 1 was that changes I had made to the start menu through MCERSTB would not reflect on in WMC, or WMC would just crash after I made changes. The BEST fix i saw for this was to use the fix start menu button located in the program, and another option would be to run the MCSFix.exe file floating around these forums. This allowed me to create new menu strips, and add tiles to them BUT I ran out of time, and I wasn't able to move anything from the extras menu to a new start strip. I also noticed that MCERSTB and WMC both become unstable after making multiple changes, and the machine needs to be reset.
Ok,

Make sure you apply the settings. Try minor changes, like adding a new Strip, or moving one program, apply and check WMC, add one change a time. Once you play with it, there is rules, you cant have too many items or too many strips, One needs to be highlighted, etc (There is a list of them I forget exactly, as things just wont work if you do it wrong). I remember my first time with MCS, I tried to change EVERYTHING and MCS saved it, WMC crashed on startup. I have not seen that in years though and was a very early build of MCS

MCSFIX.exe is a godsend for modifying strips in WMC. It does nothing but, re-apply your settings that you saved. I learned that when the scheduled task MCupdate runs, it breaks your custom edits. So by going into the scheduled task (in Win 7...Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools\task scheduler..Scroll down under Microsoft look for Media Center) If you look over the tasks, mcupdate_scheduled runs daily this is the one you want to edit. Go to the Action tab. Select NEW and browse to your location of MCSFIX.exe (put it somewhere safe) and hit ok. In the list, you should have mcupdate and right after it in the next line running the MCSFIX.exe.

This affects MCE Reset Toolbox as well as Media Center studio.

This will stop your menus from disappearing. I discovered this trick back early in the Media Center studio days, where it would just randomly disable your menus but, with this in place, they always are there.
-Dave
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#6

Post by jachin99 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:03 pm

Thats wierd because I have MCS on another machine, and I haven't added any custom strips but I have moved a few tiles around, and the changes stick without the mcsfix.exe. Have you tried using registermceapp.exe with MCERSTB installed? I'm thinking this coming monday I'll have to spend some time with my machine figuring more out.

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#7

Post by DavidinCT » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:28 pm

jachin99 wrote:Thats wierd because I have MCS on another machine, and I haven't added any custom strips but I have moved a few tiles around, and the changes stick without the mcsfix.exe. Have you tried using registermceapp.exe with MCERSTB installed? I'm thinking this coming monday I'll have to spend some time with my machine figuring more out.
They will stick but, time to time they will disappear. I've run into the same thing. I set mine with out the MCS and after a while they disappeared (all my menu changes),It could stay for months and just one time they will disappear.

I didn't enable the exe till about 2-3 weeks ago. I spent about 2 hours custom editing my menu and it was listed for a 3-4 weeks with no problems, then one day after a reboot, the custom edits were gone, so ran MCSfix.ex and they all came back. No matter if you use MCS or MCE toolbox, they edit the menu the same exact way (MCS was first on the market, and I think MCERSTB took it and expanded on it and charged for it).

Back in the day, when the eHome team was still together (2008-2010 time frame), they were always updating more in WMC, internet TV, or Sports strip, so the menus would go away more often. That is why this MCSfix.exe was created. I was a MVP back then and had contacts on the eHome team....was a fun time.

So that exe file is just a "security blanket" to make sure your menu changes start the mcupdate runs every day, so if they disappear after a reboot they will come back pretty much right away.
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#8

Post by Wilky13 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:29 pm

I've used MCE Reset Toolbox since 2011. In fact I paid for it back then, so it is still registered on my Windows 7 HTPC even today.

I mainly use it to add Emby for WMC and Emby Theater to my Movies strip as well as adding Recorded TV HD (fantastic program by the way) to the TV strip.

Even though I have windows update turned off in my HTPC since 2015, WMC will still actually update itself. If it's a major enough update it resets the strips to default. However, all you have to do is open MCE Toolbox, your setting will still be there, just hit "Fix MCE Menus" or something like that that's up in the top ribbon when you are on the Menus tab and it will re-engage your strip changes.


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#9

Post by jachin99 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:47 pm

I'm starting to doubt MCE Reset Toolbox also but it works well enough to get the job done for the time being. Last night I was able to move a few things out of my extras menu BUT something is getting screwed up somewhere. I started out with a start menu that had been modified by media center studio, and I had used media center studio to add an entry point to my music strip that launched spotify. I also had a few entry points that launched MS office programs in my extras menu and all of these had been added with MCS. After installing MCE Reset Toolbox, and without using MCSFix.exe i moved my office products out of the extras menu and on their own newly created custom strip. i don't know if the xml got out of whack somewhere BUT somehow in the process of moving my office tiles onto their own strip i got to a point where spotify had been moved from music and appeared on my MS office custom strip when I never actually moved the tile for spotify. Afterwards it took a weird combination of adding and removing things from my start menu, and moving tiles with MCEReset toolbox that I can't possibly describe to get my start menu to a point where I was happy.

@Wilky13 how were you able to move emby? i can move the icon but then it becomes a dead link. I also haven't had any luck actually adding a new program to an existing strip in MCERSTB. Now I know for sure that I can move things out of the extra strip, and into another strip. What I have not been able to do is move a tile generated by Relaunch from the extras menu. Patchou's MCT is starting to look really attractive. I also confirmed that the registermceapp.exe utility will not work under the default MCERSTB or MCS installation.

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#10

Post by DavidinCT » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:28 pm

Wilky13 wrote:
Even though I have windows update turned off in my HTPC since 2015, WMC will still actually update itself. If it's a major enough update it resets the strips to default. However, all you have to do is open MCE Toolbox, your setting will still be there, just hit "Fix MCE Menus" or something like that that's up in the top ribbon when you are on the Menus tab and it will re-engage your strip changes.
Or you can use the MCSfix.exe as I said above. The WMC update that breaks it, I listed above. So if you add an entry for MCSfix.exe right below the scheduled tasks, you will never see your menu changes go away... It works like a dream.
jachin99 wrote:I'm starting to doubt MCE Reset Toolbox also but it works well enough to get the job done for the time being. Last night I was able to move a few things out of my extras menu BUT something is getting screwed up somewhere. I started out with a start menu that had been modified by media center studio, and I had used media center studio to add an entry point to my music strip that launched spotify. I also had a few entry points that launched MS office programs in my extras menu and all of these had been added with MCS. After installing MCE Reset Toolbox, and without using MCSFix.exe i moved my office products out of the extras menu and on their own newly created custom strip. i don't know if the xml got out of whack somewhere BUT somehow in the process of moving my office tiles onto their own strip i got to a point where spotify had been moved from music and appeared on my MS office custom strip when I never actually moved the tile for spotify. Afterwards it took a weird combination of adding and removing things from my start menu, and moving tiles with MCEReset toolbox that I can't possibly describe to get my start menu to a point where I was happy.
Ah.... Go into MCS and reset settings to factory. If you get an error and it cant.... from a command line do sfc /scannow This will replace the changed files in WMC and erase all the settings back to factory settings. Then go into Reset toolbox and do your changes. I remember this back in the day. They do things in different ways and conflict. I ran into this issue before.

I bet this would fix your problem.

Note: This will reset all your menu changes and your theme back to factory... FYI...
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Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#11

Post by Wilky13 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:12 am

jachin99 wrote: @Wilky13 how were you able to move emby? i can move the icon but then it becomes a dead link. I also haven't had any luck actually adding a new program to an existing strip in MCERSTB. Now I know for sure that I can move things out of the extra strip, and into another strip. What I have not been able to do is move a tile generated by Relaunch from the extras menu. Patchou's MCT is starting to look really attractive. I also confirmed that the registermceapp.exe utility will not work under the default MCERSTB or MCS installation.
I use the program relaunch to point to the Emby Theater exe file.

Then in MCE Toolbox, go to the Start Menu tab, and at the bottom under 'entry point' create one that points to where you saved the relaunch Emby theater. You can then add that entry point anywhere in the start menu.

I learned about it in this thread: https://emby.media/community/index.php? ... entry81776



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#12

Post by jachin99 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:49 pm

David, I did as you suggested and I noticed a dramatic improvement BUT i still had the wierd issue with MCERSTB randomly moving a tile. This ony happened once though, and I think as long as this is as bad as it gets then I can accept that behavior. A good bug i've found is that on my machine that has had MCS installed THEN MCERSTB the trial.dll file is never created so I'm not prompted with an error. i still get a prompt asking me if I want to start my trial but when I click try nothing happens. In MCERSTB there is also an option to run the fixmce menu as a scheduled task.

Wilky I will try as you suggest and see if I have any luck. When it is all said and done I still think I'll end up preferring a combination of Patchou's media center themer, the registermceapp.exe utility, and another method of editing WMC dlls I haven't been able to try yet. But for ease of use and quick start menu editing MCERSTB could be the best way to go about this.

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#13

Post by DavidinCT » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:08 pm

jachin99 wrote:David, I did as you suggested and I noticed a dramatic improvement BUT i still had the wierd issue with MCERSTB randomly moving a tile. This ony happened once though, and I think as long as this is as bad as it gets then I can accept that behavior. A good bug i've found is that on my machine that has had MCS installed THEN MCERSTB the trial.dll file is never created so I'm not prompted with an error. i still get a prompt asking me if I want to start my trial but when I click try nothing happens. In MCERSTB there is also an option to run the fixmce menu as a scheduled task.

Wilky I will try as you suggest and see if I have any luck. When it is all said and done I still think I'll end up preferring a combination of Patchou's media center themer, the registermceapp.exe utility, and another method of editing WMC dlls I haven't been able to try yet. But for ease of use and quick start menu editing MCERSTB could be the best way to go about this.
If your talking about themeing Patchou's media center themer is the better option over MCS or MCETB, as Patchou's media center themer does not modify system files and is almost a perm change.

If your really new to editing the start menu in WMC, it's not fluid to do, you have to wedge a new tile in-between tiles. It can be tricky till you figure it out, it's why I said try a single change and save to see your change, do one step at a time to make sure the changes stick.
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#14

Post by jachin99 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:24 pm


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#15

Post by jachin99 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:23 am

After taking ownership of ehres.dll, and with MCERSTB installed, I was able to use the registration sample included in the WMC SDK v6 to add a strip to my start menu. This makes me believe that it is possible to change said .dll even after installing programs such as MCS or MCERSTB. This is helpful because at times it is actually quicker and a lot less quirky to use the API to change the start menu. Being unable to modify ehres.dll could be a big deterent for some users in terms of installing MCERSTB.

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