Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Media Center Studio Installation

by @ 11:59 am on November 10th, 2011 in programs, themes with 29 Comments

As many have likely noticed the Media Center Studio site has been down for quite some time and doesn’t look likely to make a reappearance. Due to the web-based application installation procedure used by MCS this puts us in a particularly hard position as there isn’t a simple installer to redistribute. A few guys (Josh3693, JoshFink and Assassin) at the AVS forums have set forth to provide us with a solution to the problem. It’s actually relatively simple but will still require you to go digging around in hidden folders so not for the absolute novice.


First you’ll need a copy of the files which are mirrored here to spare Assassin the bandwidth but don’t hesitate to visit his blog here. The installation instructions follow:

Assassin’s Instruction for Media Center Studio work around…

1. Download the zipped folder directory “Assassin’s MCS Directory”

2. Unzip the file

3. Make sure you have “show hidden folders” enabled under the folders option in your Start -> Control Panel menu.

4. Move the unzipped directory to C:\users\*your_user_name*\Appdata\local\Apps\2.0\*huge_string_of_junk*\ where “*huge_string_of_junk*” is the name of the directory that you just unzipped and pasted into that folder.

5. Then run the executable : Media Center Studio.exe

A text copy is also available here.

That should be all there is to getting Media Center Studio running as long as the official site stays dark. Should anyone have contact with the owner of adventmediacenter.com we’d love to see the site come back or would gladly host the files here at Hack7MC to make them available to the community.

It may also be worth note at this time that there is another media center theme application available here at Patchou’s Cabana. There aren’t very many themes available for the program currently however, though that may change with the outage of the official Media Center Studio site. Hopefully Assassin’s method to installation eases that pain for now.


Comment #50900 from evorgevol [Reply]

daspannerman on the MediaBrowser forums has made an installer for it here:

Comment left November 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm Permanent Link

Comment #50996 from Arno [Reply]

Thx a lot! Was searching on the internet for more then a week for the tool!!

Comment left November 11, 2011 at 9:05 am Permanent Link
Comment #51309 from bill24 [Reply]

this is nothing new I first posted this on http://www.pcmediacenter.com.au/forum/

Posted 18 October 2011 – 01:28 AM

Comment left November 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm Permanent Link

Comment #51530 from Ahciii [Reply]

Thanks, standalone worked as expected.

But this also pushed me to look at your other mention, Patchou’s Themer. Documentation is not real polished and there is no GUI, but after about ten minutes, I had a personalized theme using a background of mine with all the fonts and controls colorized to a color (rust) that looked good with the theme.

Editing it in text, made me reminisce of the old days of coding webpages in vi. But getting colors and fonts right will really need a GUI.

Thanks again Everyone.

Comment left November 17, 2011 at 12:57 am Permanent Link

Comment #52799 from Alex [Reply]

you might also want to look at MCE 7 Reset Tool that works in conjuctions with patchou’s tools. It allows you to make new menu strips, unfortunately it doesn’t let you edit pre-existing custom strips (such as mymovies). The tool also has several other useful functions for backup and restore and MyChannelLogos like functionality.

Comment left December 1, 2011 at 2:26 am Permanent Link

Comment #53131 from jayTcold [Reply]

Good stuff! Thanks for posting this up Michael…

Comment left December 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm Permanent Link
Comment #55139 from Tres Finocchiaro [Reply]

Thank you for posting this! Great work. Haven’t found a suitable replacement for Media Center Studio, so installing manually is just fine with me.


Comment left December 22, 2011 at 2:14 am Permanent Link

Comment #55235 from Rob [Reply]

Ok, this doesn’t work for me. I try to change the order of appearance and i click save then run media center it doesnt make a difference. What did i do wrong?

Comment left December 23, 2011 at 3:26 am Permanent Link

Bjørn E.
Comment #55527 from Bjørn E. [Reply]

Hi, after days of frustration I finally made Media Center Studio work on Win 7 64bit. Every time i tried to apply a theme in MCS it would crash.
The solution: Install MCS, install Patchou. Now it should be possible to import themes in MCS.
Turn off the registry switch EnableThemer in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Patchou\Media Center Themer (same location on both x86 and x64 systems). (Turns off Patchou, and loads your new theme).
Hope this helps.

Comment left December 26, 2011 at 7:42 am Permanent Link
Comment #58304 from Gary Park [Reply]

I hope someone else has a simpler way to install the Media Center Studio application then these guys did and they should of used a Windows installer. When I followed the instructions you currently posted on your website, I found out there was no file called “Media Center Studio.exe” and I couldn’t install the program. Can you please fix this?

Comment left January 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm Permanent Link

Paul Mace
Comment #60510 from Paul Mace [Reply]

Here is the Installer My Son made it for me

Comment left January 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm Permanent Link
Comment #61333 from EDMOND DIAB [Reply]

I lost all software delivered with ACER-ASPIRE 7530G and i am looking for the wonderful media center containg a great 3D CHESS anf HEART games.
Any help or advise link



Comment left February 3, 2012 at 6:34 am Permanent Link

Comment #61987 from saxnix [Reply]

OT, but thought this would be a good place as this is the most recent article.

Hi Michael,

Curious to know if you plan to have a Hack8MC site (or a section of Hack7 devoted to Windows 8)?

Your site has been an absolute god send for me along the way – it is the one place that you can find pretty much all things needed for a high functioning Media Center. From what I am hearing there aren’t necessarily too many changes coming in the next version of Windows, but who knows?? Either way, it would be great to have your take on things Windows 8 Media Center.

Thanks for the work you have put into this site.


Comment left February 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm Permanent Link

Comment #64917 from saskia [Reply]

hi, i already been using this tool, before the reinstall of my computer. now this tool doesn’t work anymore, and the media center has a own skin with japanees trees in blue en green text. can anyone help me to get this tool working again, because i miss the flying wales theme.

greetz saskia

Comment left March 9, 2012 at 5:15 am Permanent Link

Comment #66449 from Nates [Reply]

If I change my theme using media center studio, should it change the theme on my xbox 360 media center extender? Right now it’s stuck on that stupid Bokeh theme with the bubbles, and it’s impossible to read anything.

Comment left March 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm Permanent Link

Comment #74348 from John [Reply]

Has anyone figured out how to get MC studio working in windows 8? The file structure where the install is to go has been changed.

Comment left June 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm Permanent Link

Comment #86097 from 尹培阳 [Reply]

Is there anyone who would like to tell me more about Windows Media Center?I am a newer and I come from China.Thanks first!

Comment left October 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm Permanent Link

Jason Lim
Comment #88700 from Jason Lim [Reply]

I cant find C:\Users\USRNM\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0
Im using Windows 7 Ultimate x86(x32)
Help me please Im dying not customizing my stuff!!!

Comment left November 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm Permanent Link

Comment #89298 from thefutureworks [Reply]

Has anyone got this working on windows 8 yet???

Media Themer does work either…

Comment left November 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm Permanent Link
Comment #90658 from how to install and uninstall windows 8 apps and games [Reply]

I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Studying this info So i am happy to exhibit that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I so much unquestionably will make certain to don?t omit this web site and provides it a look regularly.

Comment left November 24, 2012 at 5:50 am Permanent Link
Comment #95428 from http://Lazezweb.com [Reply]

This posting Media Center Studio Installation, provides truly excellent info and I actually learned specifically
what I was basically looking for. Many Thanks.

Comment left December 20, 2012 at 4:56 am Permanent Link
Comment #98655 from Jim Dunn [Reply]

I have a question for all. If Media Center is truely going away? Why not create a formum to create our own, like open source. There are many people willing to code and make something better. This might take awhile but if the IT community will work together we can produce, a new product and not rely on Microsoft. Anyone agree?

Comment left January 11, 2013 at 2:44 am Permanent Link
@Reply #103802 from shane [Reply]

keep a look out for mediabrowser 3

Comment left February 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm Permanent Link
Comment #99884 from Trik [Reply]

Hope, will support windows 8 mce too…

Comment left January 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm Permanent Link

Evil E
Comment #101216 from Evil E [Reply]


Comment left January 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm Permanent Link

Comment #104729 from SmileyWitchFaerie [Reply]

Hi, I’m still using windows 7 and slow to the scene , I just discovered windows media center! Go figure, I didn’t bother to explorer it when I got it and busy working. Now I’m at home and found it just there. I’ve been trying to find that \Apps\2.0 in the local folder , but it just doesn’t exist in windows 7 premium on my computer. Any ideas on how to install this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Comment left February 15, 2013 at 2:09 am Permanent Link
Comment #106373 from Cor Bryant [Reply]

You rock. Folks like you deserve a pat on the back. Had been looking for MC Studio for a minute, and well, I appreciate the effort! Works like a charm!

Comment left February 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm Permanent Link

Comment #414134 from Max [Reply]

This is actually very easy, thank you. My only suggestion would be to remove the huge_string_of_junk part of your tutorial, because it kinda just creates confusion, and wasn’t completely necessary.

Comment left February 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm Permanent Link

Leave A Comment

Post Anonymously, Fill in your details or Use one of the Social Networks below to login and post a comment!