Vista Media Center Operating System & Drivers

So everything is put together and connected up…

Install O/S - blitz main partition/primary drive. (If this is a re-install you’re fine, because all you media is on the second drive.)
Nothing to say about this bit. Follow the prompts and make a brew in between.

Start up and deal with any primary drivers not installed automatically.

Obviously the main focus here is the Motherboard, Graphics card and Sound. Though in my current set-up the Vista install picked up everything straight away and correctly.
(Even the BIOS, which though wasn’t the latest, was up to date for the processor I was running.)

NB Initially I answered yes to ACHI SATA configuration, but felt latter that this may have been the cause of the system occasionally freezing. I hadn’t pre-installed a specific windows driver for this first, which seemed (from reading around) to be required. The feature wasn’t something I particularly wanted at present, so it was easier just to go back to IDE mode.
The only hardware element I needed to install was the TV Card.
I went for the latest drivers straight from the Black and Gold website.

As things currently stand, the most irritating bit of an install is with the Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (Fiji). Not because it’s difficult, just because it’s not seamless. Despite it being a legitimate and supported OEM update (at least most of it and you can’t just get it from legitimate channels) , it does feel a little messy, though saying that, installing MCE form the original media was even less well strung together.

As ever, the green button and av forum has the low down on the TV Pack.

Prerequisites:
A PC meeting the minimum hardware requirements for Windows Vista
Clean install of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate with Service Pack 1

Installation Instructions:

  1. Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 (x86)
  2. Install the PlayReady PC Runtime (x86)
  3. Install the following patches from the Download Center (both of these are included in the ZIP file)
    • KB951685 - The video playback application stops responding when you watch video or Live TV on a Windows Vista-based computer
    • KB950754 - Noticeable problems occur in the video when you use the DirectSound renderer on Windows Vista\
  4. Install any required or recommended Windows Updates

And even when you’ve installed that, you need to re-enable HD content.
HD Driver Hack H.264

Move “My” folders to the second drive.