Normally I have no troubles with installations of Windows, and I have very little trouble with drivers (the main cause of crashing on Windows) since I purchase mainstream brands (Creative, ATI, etc).

So I finally bit the bullet and purchased the OEM version of the above-mentioned software to replace the Windows 2000 Professional which I have been using for the past 6 years. That was what my previous post was alluded to. The oem version of MCE comes with 3 cds. These are Windows Media Center Edition Disc 1, Windows Media Center Edition Disc 2 and the Windows Media Center 2005 Update Disc.

Halfway through installation it asked for Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD. Umm…I didn’t get that with the OEM. I tried all CD’s that came with it but it still kept asking for that non-existant CD. Fortunately I have another machine so I did searches for the Service Pack 2 ISO, but only the x64 version is available in ISO form. I then downloaded the web distributable form and burnt the extracted software out to CD. This too failed. So I cancelled and it continued installing. The result was less than pretty: It was a mix of classic interface and the normal XP fisher-price one. I then used the CD I had burnt to install the Service Pack 2 – I had the forethought to include the original 266mb executable installer too. This too failed to work – it was complaining that the RPC server was not running. However a trip to Administritive Tools->Services showed it was going to start.

So I reformat and reinstall again. This time while I was waiting to get the ‘Insert SP 2’ message I looked on the net for similar problems – someone has had to have had this happen to them before, right? Well I was but the answer was in an unexpected source:

Apparently the answer was to insert CD1 again. Eh? But I already tried that! But it was correct – that was the solution.

Then I spent the next few hours running updates and rebooting. Until Windows decided that all the critical installs were complete. Then it was on to the optional ones – one of which was software for my Audigy. When it came to the install it bluescreen. Nice.

Reboot showed no ill-effect, but no sound. Device manager said everything was running smoothly and the trouble-shooter also never helped.  Another few hours passed and I finally get sound working, but everything is loud, even when turned down to the 2 notch on Volume controls. I just wish audio would work. It took me ages to get W2K configured and I can see this taking a long time too – and I haven’t even started the actual Media Center yet…

Note: When collating the links for this post I see that they have discontinued MCE and suggest Vista Home Premium which I also looked at but couldn’t justify the £20 extra and the extra strain it will put on my ancient AMD 1600+. It now is cheaper than MCE by a couple of quid and probably easier to install too…

Update 2009/01/21: Since this is rapidly becoming the most visited page on my blog I thought I would put a summary of what to do here so you can get on with your life: When the installer asks you to put the SP2 CD in the drawer, place CD1 in the tray.