Resetting Windows Vista Media Center

I’ve begun shifting away from using my file server to store media/files to a drive enclosure holding 1TB of storage – I’ve moved over about 600GB of data, which will probably increase to at least 850-900GB by the time that I leave for Victoria. Then it’ll be time to get more file storage space, I guess grin. The shift to a drive enclosure has been brought on by the fact that I need to move my stuff halfway across the country, and don’t want to be bringing any more computers that we need to.

The Problem

In the process of trying to redirect my home theatre PC to the new networked drives in my drive enclosure, I ran into a problem: there is no way to delete all of the file location information in Windows Vista Home Premium’s Media Center (WVHPMC; isn’t that an ugly acronym!). This meant that, when I pointed the Media Center to the new location of all of my files, I was left with duplicate entries of my files, only half of which actually led anywhere (once the server was turned off).

The Solution

There are two main steps that are involved in resetting the library data for WVHPMC. First, we need to temporarily stop a Windows service, and second we need to actually delete the library files.

Disabling the Service

  1. Open the Start menu and type ‘services.msc’
  2. Accept the UAC warning
  3. Find the service called Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service, right-click on it, and select Stop from the drop-down menu
  4. Close the Services window.

Deleting the Library Files

  1. Open the Start menu and select Control Panel
  2. Click Folder Options and then the View tab
  3. Click Show hidden files and folders
  4. Unclick Hide protected operating system files
  5. Click OK
  6. Navigate to C:Documents and Settings**username**Local SettingsMicrosoftMedia Player and delete all of the files in the directory. DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDERS IN THIS DIRECTORY – ONLY THE FILES THAT ARE LOOSELY CONTAINED IN THE FOLDER

Congratulations – you can now reindex your media library by pointing WVHPMC to the appropriate directory/network share that you’re now storing your media on.

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