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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'm in a bit of a quandary. I recently parted out my old HTPC to help off set the cost of both an upgrade and purchase a DirecTV DVR. The frequent missed episodes of my wife's favorite shows using the DVR feature in Media Center became to much, so I final broke down and went with DirecTV's box.


Long story short, I sold my old system but still have my OEM copy of Windows Media Center 2005. Knowing the headaches that will ensue if I try to use it on all new hardware, I am wondering if it would be worth while to upgrade to Vista, or get another copy of MCE2005. If the recommendations are to upgrade to Vista, which version x32 or x64?


My new system is very simple and will be used to stream music, ripped DVD's and Xvid encoded AVI's, along with pictures from a dedicated server in another room. For now, or at least until there are some real HDTV options. I won't be adding a tuner card, or using the machine to capture live TV. That being said, I am wondering if with my components or lack thereof, maybe an adventure into x64 might not be a bad idea.


The system I am building will comprise of:



MSI K9AGM2-FIH motherboard


Update AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Brisbane CPU


2GB Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400c4 Ram


Silverstone LC19 1U HTPC case


Seagate SATA 250GB HDD


Pioneer slim mount DVR-K17 DVD Burner


With these components I am using, would the x64 issue of driver support be a non-issue? In looking at MSI's website, the only driver not listed with an X64 version is the AMD HDMI Audio Drivers. Which in reality would be an issue for me since I want to run everything off the one cable solution of HDMi. Assuming I could get audio and video working over hdmi without, or they come out with one soon, might I be a candidate? Or are there other issues with x64 Vista that might come up while streaming my content across the house?
 

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why don't you keep your MCE, and use a third party DVR like SageTV. I have been using it for a while now, and it doesn't miss episodes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My problem wasn't really with the software, bt more with the way the IR hardware changed channels, or didn't when necessary. All is done now, have the new DVR from directv and it works flawlessly and I can record any HD channel I want. How or why the DVR feature of MCE isn't my iproblem any longer.

My issue now is with Microsoft and their policy of only allowing you to make very minor hardware changes on a system when you use an OEM version of their software. Even though it is a totally different system my issue is can I justify to MS my reinstallation of the OEM OS on a totally new system from what the software was originally installed on? Since they key each install to a particular hardware profile, there is no doubt I will be on the phone with India trying to get them to activate it on my new system.


Thus my original question... should I go through this hassle or just buy a new OS? And if I am investing in a clean copy of an OS, should I go with 32 or 64 bit Vista, or buy another copy of MCE2005?
 

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do you have your copy of the OEM software? If you are building a new system, and have taken it off the old system, you can reload it.


I have done this many times, including having to call MS to validate my copy w/ no problems
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I save the disc and everything. I just had to call them on my gaming rig b/c I replaced the CPU and VGA card on the same mobo. I didn't know, if all new components meant I would have additional problems reactivating or not.


Hypothetically though... if I was to upgrade to Vista, would I kick myself later if I wanted to experiement with the 64-bit version on this system, instead of using the 32bit?
 

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i'm not familiar enough w/ the differences between 64bit vs. 32bit.


I will say that I love Vista. Have been using Ultimate on my laptop now for about a week. Not terribly different from XP, but so many little improvements.
 

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I've reactivated OEM copies about 4 times now without any problems. It's kinda tedious dealing with the long numbers over the phone but other than that it's no big deal.


As for 32 vs. 64 bit, my question would be what benefits do you plan to get out of going 64bit? 64bit gives you addressability to more than 4GB of RAM and better security. Both may be important in a business environment, but for home use the reduced software and driver compatibility aren't worth it in my mind. It also sounds like in typical applications the performance of 64bit is a touch worse than 32 bit.


If you do want to try Vista 64 bit I'd highly recommend installing it without activating it so you can test it for your configuration. Once you activate, supposedly, your 32 bit key will no longer be valid. And vice versa, if you activate your 32 bit key you can't activate the 64 bit key.
 

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I would not go for the 64bit version of vista, you will be plagued with more driver problems than with vista 32, most manufactures software does not support a 64bit enviroment, therefore drivers your hardware will be very hard to find.
 

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Hi, hopefully not high-jacking the thread, but I have a Q re re-installs of MCE. I have 2 laptops and 3 htpcs. Both laptops have MCE OEM, and two of the three HTPC have it (third has XP pro). I've tried using the activation key from my laptop to install MCE on my third HTPC (I don't use MCE on my laptops, so figure I should be allowed to use it on the HTPC). However, when I use my old MCE disks to load it onto the HTPC, It doesn't ask for the second disk, and after an hour long loading, I still only have XP pro, instead of MCE. Am I missing something here? Is there a place to download MCE 2k5 and then install using the authentication key?

Any help totally appreciated, thanx,

Joel
 

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Backup data, format drive and fresh install windows, i believe it is just repairing the installation as they are almost the same operating systems.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey895 /forum/post/0


I don't use MCE on my laptops, so figure I should be allowed to use it on the HTPC

Microsoft would disagree with that.
And the answer is no, you should not be allowed to do that. You have an OEM copy of MCE that was installed (and meant for) on that laptop. It is not supposed to be installed on ANY machine other than that machine, whether you use any of its functions or not.


And, the key probably won't work on another system anyway (unless it's an exact replica of that laptop). OEM MS keys are tied to OEM hardware.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone /forum/post/0


Microsoft would disagree with that.
And the answer is no, you should not be allowed to do that. You have an OEM copy of MCE that was installed (and meant for) on that laptop. It is not supposed to be installed on ANY machine other than that machine, whether you use any of its functions or not.


And, the key probably won't work on another system anyway (unless it's an exact replica of that laptop). OEM MS keys are tied to OEM hardware.


If I am not mistaken, you are allowed to remove MCE2005 OEM from a machine and install it on another. It is only with Vista OEM that the OS is married to the original hardware for life.


ETA: After doing some research, it seems that this was perceived as a gray area by many for Windows versions prior to Vista, but MS actually forbids transfer of OEM license with XP as well.
 
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