Help me start over - software - AVS Forum
Home Theater Computers > Help me start over - software
xosubuckeyex's Avatar xosubuckeyex 02:43 PM 12-23-2013
I used Assassin's guide as a total noob with no experience building or touching internal components (but lots of heart) to build my first HTPC a couple of years ago.

I've kept it pretty clean, software wise, but you know how things pile up and others become outdated...

So I was wondering if I could get some advice on how to start over with the software side of things...

why?
  1. I am having trouble with some of the audio (LAV split) drivers using WMC/Media Browser to play a few movies
  2. I could never get the subtitles to work properly after a month (when they stopped working)
  3. I am growing tired of Media Center and want to try XBMC (it seems much better since a couple of years back)
  4. I am modding an old xbox original that I had laying around, and thought using XBMC on the main HTPC would help interface better, with what would essentially be an extender for another room
  5. it's the holidays and I have time, so why not??tongue.gif


preferably, while doing this, I would like to wipe up windows 7 and re-install fresh.

The main problem I see with this is that I'm running everything from a 2TB HDD, and I don't want to lose 1.6TB of media

I have a subscription to Assassin's blog, so I'll use his guides and other info on here to get me going into XBMC once I have a fresh slate... but I'm confused about how to create a fresh slate without putting my media data in danger.
I'm also afraid my family will mutiny if I essentially take away the TV and don't return it within a reasonable amount of time.

Lastly, I was wondering about possibly automating the process of deleting the existing metadata being utilized by Media Browser and then replacing it using Media Center Master with the XBMC metadata. (MCM is how the metadata was first downloaded, btw... so maybe I don't need to do this)

Thanks!

Dark_Slayer's Avatar Dark_Slayer 04:43 PM 12-23-2013
I don't really know how to get you from
  1. 2TB HDD with W7 / Data

to
  1. SSD with W7
  2. 2TB HDD with data (system and boot portions removed)

What you want to do is trivial if you buy an SSD and additional HDD, but difficult if you only have the 2TB HDD and no other place for that data to go. Also, 1.6TB full? Maybe you need one more anyway?

The easy way is to copy the 1.6TB to a new HDD, install Win to SSD, and then reformat the 2TB HDD and mount it as a GPT data disk.

You can also install windows to the SSD, boot, and then hotplug the SATA HDD's data cable. It will show up as D or E, but I'm not sure how you would convert it to a data disk in place since Windows doesn't typically create boot and system partitions that can be easily deleted. I'd be interested to know if someone has this knowledge. My half arsed google search didn't provide any worthwhile results
Dark_Slayer's Avatar Dark_Slayer 04:54 PM 12-23-2013
Other notes. . .

How do you want XBMC setup?
  1. Are you using WMC for DVR with a tuner
  2. Are you with a cable provider other than Comcast/Fios and wish to use DVR
  3. Movies organized by top-level genre folders or just top-level being movies

For metadata migration you have two options (both easy)
  1. Go to MCM preferences, check the XBMC metadata boxes, let it churn
    • If you have folder cleanup options it can add/remove metadata based on which players installed
    • Not really any reason to remove metadata in case you want to go back
  2. Get the Universal Movie Scraper (preferred by me) or use the default TMDB.org scraper in XBMC
    • make sure your folders are named correctly (should be if using MCM - use option to let it rename)
    • Use the artwork downloader and let it scrape all artwork in the background as well (good for discart, clearart, clearlogos, etc)

    Either way, you need to let MCM or XBMC churn for a while. Even if you do the process in MCM, XBMC will take a while to read the nfos and write them to the videodb (shouldn't redownload anything but takes a while).

    I don't use the trailer option in MCM, since the youtube search builtin to the "Info View" section of XBMC is preferable (to me) and usually higher quality than what MCM finds. I don't use MCM anymore at all really. Also, for box-sets install the web-addon in XBMC called XWMM. You can create, remove, and edit box sets from any browser on your network.

    I've got a guide on a lot of XBMC stuff on the way (but sadly it's been on the way for a while and I can't promise it will be here before new years)

LastButNotLeast's Avatar LastButNotLeast 05:06 PM 12-23-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by xosubuckeyex View Post

I'm also afraid my family will mutiny if I essentially take away the TV and don't return it within a reasonable amount of time.
 

I tried earlier this year and found that XBMC's TV scheduling functionality was horrible, so, before you do a full install, you may want to check. It is possible to run both, but I thought that was more trouble than it's worth and stuck with WMC. A clean install will probably do wonders, especially since you now have more experience with what you have and know how it works.


xosubuckeyex's Avatar xosubuckeyex 08:39 PM 12-23-2013
I figured it would be easier to reply with your quote and answer your questions within...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Other notes. . .

How do you want XBMC setup?
  1. Are you using WMC for DVR with a tuner Yes, currently
  2. Are you with a cable provider other than Comcast/Fios and wish to use DVR no cable, we're going native. I've got about 6-10 over the air HDTV channels
  3. Movies organized by top-level genre folders or just top-level being movies top level is movies, box sets are in one extra level of folder

For metadata migration you have two options (both easy) This is great to hear!


Thanks for your input so far. I guess being "out of the game" for 2 years is practically an eternity in this arena.

I also understand this would be MUCH easier if I dropped $50 on an SSD. But practically speaking, that's $50 more than I want to spend on an SSD.
You're right about needing more space, though... so I am considering picking up another 2TB. I believe that would make this one cleanup pretty easy, but not sure how it would work in the future ?
LastButNotLeast's Avatar LastButNotLeast 08:13 AM 12-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by xosubuckeyex View Post

You're right about needing more space, though... so I am considering picking up another 2TB. I believe that would make this one cleanup pretty easy, but not sure how it would work in the future ?

You need a better antenna. http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx

 

The easiest approach for you would be to buy an external 2TB (often <$100: http://www.avsforum.com/f/201/computers-and-parts-great-found-deals) and copy everything to that. That drive will then become your backup, which you should have, anyway. Reformat your internal drive, reinstall your OS and software of choice, then copy back the movies/shows you plan to watch soon.


xosubuckeyex's Avatar xosubuckeyex 11:12 AM 12-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post

You need a better antenna. http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx

haha, yes I know. If not for the fact that we barely watch TV, I'm sure it would have been demanded by now.

I would love to have a better solution for choppy reception (during bad weather). The problem is that we are renting, so I can't mount anything on the roof. The best I can do is access the attic through the access point in the bedroom, but this would force me to run a coaxial wire all the way up my house, down to the HD Homerun tuner in the main room. Alternatively I could run an ethernet cable from the HD Homerun down to the router.
I have a Netgear WNDR 900n, which I hear doesn't play well with extenders. An extender would be $60 anyway.
It's not far, but I don't know of a standalone wireless card/apparatus solution to plug the HD Homerun into.


back on topic, I think we're still waiting for a savior solution to fresh installing on the same drive. Losing hope frown.gif
If I do go with a new 2TB, It would be internal, since i have the space for 2 more full size HDDs in the case (no optical drive)
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