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Common Tasks


Index of Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Register Commercial Skip Add-In.
  2. Verify Rollup 2 for MCE 2005 is installed (if you're using 1.1.x.x).
  3. Verify XML files are being created.
  4. Verify Add-In is installed correctly.
  5. Verify Add-In is registered and starting up properly
  6. Vista/7 only: Add debug keys to the registry
  7. Vista/7 x64: check your keys

1. Register Commercial Skip Add-In (XP only)

This is the first thing that should be checked when the Add-In doesn't work.  Run RegisterCommercialSkipAddin.cmd from the Programs menu.  It's OK to run this multiple times.  In Vista, you must right-click and select "Run as Administrator"; it is hard coded to run from the default installation directory, if you've installed to a different folder you must modify the cmd file.

2. Rollup 2 for MCE 2005 (1.1.x.x build)(XP only)

The addin requires that Rollup 2 for MCE 2005 be installed.  The rollup isn't part of the "Critical Patches" section on Windows Update, so it will not be installed automatically.  You must use Windows Update to install Rollup 2.  NOTE: Please check, double check, and triple check that Rollup 2 is installed.  Most people who have "tried everything" have eventually found that this is the problem.  I don't know why Microsoft makes it so hard to find the Rollup.  It appears that you can download the update directly from here, but no guarantees.

3. Verify XML files are being created

Next, verify that the XML files containing the commercials have been created and that they exist in the directory specified in the Commercial Path setting (see above).  If there are no XML files, then the add-in does not know what to skip.  This would indicate a problem with FileWatchercreate it, CS/SA (see below), or the Profilecreate it you are using to detect commercials.

4. Verify Add-In is installed correctly

If it's still not working, check to verify that it has installed properly.  Look for the following files in the c:\windows\assembly\ directory:

  • CommercialSkipAddIn.dll (version should equal current version of DTb)
  • Memmapfile.dll
  • MceStateConsumer.dll
  • MceStateInterfaces.dll

If any of these files are missing, uninstall DTb and then reinstall DTb (note: you do not need to reboot between uninstalling and installing, but you will need to reboot after installing).

5. Verify Add-In is registered and starting up properly

Assuming it is installed properly, check to see that it is registered and starting up properly.  The add-in runs within Media Center, so the only way to check to see if it is registered properly is to turn on logging.  and startup Media Center. 

Doing this is easy.  Run DVRMStoMPEGSettings.exe (from the Programs Group) and select the Commercial Skip Tab.  Check Write Events, and then click Save:

Now go open up the Event Viewer (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer), and select the Application from the list of Log names.

OPTIONAL: I like to change the size of the Logs, so they can hold more data, and configure it to auto overwrite as needed so I don't get errors.  If you don't take this step then make sure to turn off Write Events when you're done.

Right click on "Application" and select Properties from the context menu that opens.  Then change the maximum size and "Overwrite events as needed" properties, then click OK to save the change.

Now you're ready to start up MCE.  When MCE starts up, the CommercialSkip addin will write an event that notifies that it was successfully initialized, if it cannot initialize an error message detailing what went wrong will be written.  If you don't see something at this stage, either rollup 2 wasn't installed, or the addin isn't registered. 

As an example; this is the message that is written if the MSASSink isn't registered or initialized properly when MCE opens. (You shouldn't ever see this, it's just an example of something that can go wrong)

Any time something interesting happens an event is logged (this is the reason it's a good idea to change the configuration properties on the Log).  And when an error is written, it's the key to figuring out how to fix the problem.

6. Vista/7 only: add debug keys to the registry

Run regedt32 in an escalated process to have ehmsas.exe write a log file add HKLM\Software\DvrmsToolbox, DebugMceState = 1 (DWORD) to have the addin write a log file add HKLM\Software\DvrmsToolbox\CommercialSkip, Debug = 1 (DWORD).  Then either reboot or kill ehmsas.exe and ehshell.exe.  Logfiles for ehmsas.exe and ehexthost.exe (the addin hosting process) will be written in %PUBLIC%\DvrmsToolbox.

7. Vista/7 x64: check your keys

Sometimes MCEState.dll doesn't register properly.  You can run installutil on it, or a manual solution can be found here.

@2008 andy vt
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