How to transfer guide data from one Media Center to another

Given the number of people that I have heard from who have been having trouble getting guide download functionality to work correctly with their ISP (particularly the Direcway satellite internet provider), I thought it might be useful to post some steps that can be used to transfer downloaded guide data from one Media Center PC to another.

First, you will need to copy all of the values from the following registry hive from a machine that has downloaded guide data to the one you want to transfer it to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Services\EPG

This only needs to be done once, and can be achieved using the following steps:

  1. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then Software, then Microsoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Media Center, then Services in the tree control
  3. Right-click on the EPG sub-key and choose Export
  4. Save the contents of this sub-key to a file with a .reg extension
  5. Copy the .reg file to the computer you want to transfer the data to
  6. Double-click on the .reg file and choose Yes to merge it into the registry on the second computer

Note that the source computer and the destination computer must have the same directory structure and system drive (meaning the OS is installed on the same drive letter and the Documents and Settings and Windows folders are all in the same path on both computers, etc)

After you have performed this one-time transfer of the registry settings listed above, you will need to perform the following additional steps each time you want to transfer the guide data to the destination computer:

  1. Close Media Center
  2. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type cmd
  3. Type net stop ehsched
  4. Type net stop ehrecvr
  5. Look at the registry value named currentEPG in the above listed registry location to determine the full path to the guide database file
  6. Copy the file from the location listed in the currentEPG registry value from the source computer to the same folder location on the destination computer
  7. Restart Media Center

Note that you will need to repeat this second set of steps at least once every 2 weeks if you want to continue to have valid guide data on the destination computer.