Installing .NET Framework 2.0 breaks Windows Media Center

I got some feedback from Paul Ballard based on my blog post yesterday about why we block users from installing the .NET Framework 1.0 SDK on Windows Media Center and Tablet PC. In it, he noted that he tried to install beta versions of the .NET Framework 2.0 on his Media Center computer and it caused all sorts of problems and asked when this issue would be fixed. I posted a reply in the comments of the other post, but I wanted to post a standalone blog item to make this issue more visible.

The version of Media Center we're currently working on will have this fix so that you can install .NET Framework 2.0 and not have it interfere with Media Center functionality. In the meantime, you can use the following steps to manually fix your machine to work around this issue:

  1. Go to %windir%\ehome on your Media Center machine
  2. Create files named ehrec.exe.config, ehrecvr.exe.config, ehsched.exe.config, ehshell.exe.config and medctrro.exe.config
  3. Open each of these files in notepad and add the following information to them:
    <supportedRuntime version="v1.0.3705" />
  4. Restart your machine so that the config file changes will take effect for processes that might have already been running when you created the files

Also, as a convenience, I created copies of these config files with the correct contents. So if you prefer, you can skip steps 1-3 above and instead simply download the config files from this location and extract the contents to %windir%\ehome on your machine and reboot and you should be good to go.