I gave the kids a choice, either let their mum have the brand 4Gb, Core2Duo Vista based new computer I bought as our home computer as a media center or suffer her daily shrieks of anger and frustration as the current media center stuttered, failed to record programs and randomly crashed for no apparent reason.



They said they wanted the new computer.  I said I was glad that a family wasn’t a democracy. 


Mum got the new Dell Inspiron desktop as the new Windows Vista Media Center.  (I also bought a new remote control from eBay.  It’s brilliant compared to the original DIVCO one I was using)


The kids got the old media center, which I knew I must cure of it’s unreliable ways, or the kids would start shrieking as well.


On the old media center (named “Angelica”….the new one has been christened “Lothlorien” due to my daughter’s current Lord of the Rings fad) Vista decided to have a cow. 



Angelica’s Vista installation decided at this point to refuse to show the Event Log or Task Manager.  It gave an annoying error which of course noone on the net has ever been able to resolve.  Of course. 

mmc has detected an error in a snap-in and will unload it

Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.
Exception type
Exception Stack trace
at System.RuntimeTypeHandle.CreateInstance(RuntimeType type, Boolean publicOnly, Boolean noCheck, Boolean& canBeCached, RuntimeMethodHandle& ctor, Boolean& bNeedSecurityCheck)
at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceSlow(Boolean publicOnly, Boolean fillCache)
at System.RuntimeType.CreateInstanceImpl(Boolean publicOnly, Boolean skipVisibilityChecks, Boolean fillCache)
at System.Activator.CreateInstance(Type type, Boolean nonPublic)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.FormView.InternalInitialize()
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.View.HandleInitializationRequest(IRequestStatus requestStatus)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.View.ProcessRequest(Request request)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.ViewMessageClient.ProcessRequest(Request request)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Internal.IMessageClient.ProcessRequest(Request request)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Executive.RequestStatus.BeginRequest(IMessageClient messageClient, RequestInfo requestInfo)
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Executive.SnapInRequestOperation.ProcessRequest()
at Microsoft.ManagementConsole.Executive.Operation.OnThreadTransfer(SimpleOperationCallback callback)


See thread’s such as this one for lost of completely useless tips.    The only solution was to “reinstall”.  Sigh.


Foolishly I reinstalled using a Vista Home Edition DVD, which would not accept my Vista Ultimate product key.  Of course. Previously was running a version of Vista Ultimate that someone at my work won at a Teched.  No cd.

I took a deep breath, then went to bed.

Next morning I reboot up and then…the power supply died.



At this point I realised that Angelica was probably trying to commit suicide due to jealousy.  I will NOT leave this till next weekend!

I travelled to Ipswich, bought a new power supply and got her running again.


What now?


According to the game Movie Director, there’s nothing a prima-donna likes more than a makeover, so I decided to install the Windows 7 Release Candidate.


Windows 7 “just works”, quickly prettily.  Love the changing desktop wallpaper, love the new media center (now configured to talk back to Lothlorien’s Recorded TV folder), seems to run everything quickly and nicely.  It’s a beautiful beautiful thing. 


Angelica is now working flawlessly (so far).  I know the kids won’t complain.   Will they?