The ability to backup and restore your recording schedule and guide listings in Media Center is something that will be necessary at some point for almost anyone. Unfortunately, up to this point Media Center doesn’t make it easy for the end user. On the bright side it isn’t very complicated either, you just need to know where to look.
Back ‘Em Up!
To begin with, Media Center creates backup files every time you schedule a new show or make modifications to the guide listings, you just need to find them. To get to the files you will need to enable the viewing of hidden folders, then open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome (by default). Inside you will find a folder, or series of folders, for each tuner you have installed marked “mcepgX-X-X”. Inside each of these folders you will find a backup folder containing backup files for listings, recordings, and subscriptions.
For each type of backup there will be a number of files inside named with a timestamp. The timestamp format is as follows:” “year month day – hour minutes seconds”. This makes it very simple to locate your most recent files. Luckily the files aren’t large at all however and you could easily backup the whole lot in most cases. For restoring the recording schedule only the latest file in recordings is needed.
Put ‘Em Back!
Once you’ve completed your reinstall of Windows 7, open Media Center and run through the setup as usual. Assuming no hardware changes or driver changes between reinstalls we should be set to continue. Retrieve your backup recordings file and copy it to your hard disk.
The file doesn’t need to be anywhere specific but placing it in the backups folder in your new “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\mcepgx-x-x” directory is probably a best practice. Now we will need to tell Media Center we’d like to load the information from the file. This is done through a program included in Windows 7 called “loadmxf” located in the “Windowsehome” directory.
You can either open a command prompt by typing “cmd” into the start menu box or create a shortcut with the following text: “C:\Windows\ehome\loadmxf.exe –i FILELOCATION”. Replace the FILELOCATION with the location of the file to be loaded.
If using a shortcut, double-click to execute the command before continuing. Otherwise the recording schedule should be loaded into Media Center now. Loading lineup and subscription data from previous installs breaks things currently, so don’t do it!
Load ‘Em Up!
Once you’ve loaded the files back into Media Center you can see that your shows will be listed under series’ in Recorded TV’s Scheduled Recordings but no shows will be scheduled yet. Before we can load these you should be sure to have your channel lineup completed in the Media Center TV Guide. To get the proper times for each scheduled show you will need to reload Guide data.
To do this go to “Tasks > TV > Guide > Get Latest Guide Listings” and wait for the guide data to finish downloading. Then re-check your scheduled shows in Recorded TV. You should now see shows listed on the schedule to be recorded.
Congratulations. You have successfully backed up and restored your scheduled recordings.
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