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August 30, 2015

HP Pavilion Vista PC could have problems with Media Center extenders

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 15th 2007 11:40AM
HP Pavilion M7775 Here's a cautionary tale about all that crap that PC makers load onto a computer before shipping it to retailers.

A user over at The Digital Lifestyle forums reports that he went and purchased a new HP Pavilion M7775 PC runnings Windows Vista, figuring he'd be able to use his Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender. After all, that's what he'd been doing with his old PC running Windows Media Center 2005.

But no, every time he tried to pull up the extender software on his Xbox 360 it crashes. According to Ian Dixon, the likely culprit is software HP loaded onto the computer before shipping. Particularly, an add-in called Picasso steals focus from the Media Center, meaning your remote tries to control Picasso instead of Media Center. Removing Picasso fixes the problem, as does pushing the green button on your remote to bring Media Center back into focus.

But the larger issue here is why the heck are PC manufacturers loading so much software that you don't need onto your computer before shipping? If there was actual value added, that'd be one thing, but software that actually makes it more difficult to access some of the built in functions of the operating system, like Vista Media Center? Come on, HP.

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You could blame HP however it is really an issue that Microsoft wrote the MCE software without an understanding the some PC applications will try to take focus. Instead of dealing with it gracefully it crashes. This is Microsoft's problem because they own the OS, know all the tricks developers use to get their apps to work and they should have anticipated these types of conflicts. MCE is broken if it can't handle one little app trying to take away focus.

February 17 2007 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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