Monday, July 07, 2008

How to reset your Vista Media Center Extender media library

I recently added a Windows Home Server to my home network. This machine was intended to be my new media server, so I moved my photos (all 19,000 of 'em), music, videos and some other files onto the box. Once all the files were moved, I set out to re-point my Media Center libraries to the new locations. In order to keep things as simple as possible, I wanted to start clean. Besides, the links to just about all of the media in the library were invalid anyway.

To clear out a media center library, you need to delete the library database files (or move them to another folder if you want to back them up). These files can be found here:

C:\Users\Mcx#\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player

Replace the # sign with the number Media Center Extender user whose library you wish to reset. In this case, we'll use Mcx1, so our path will be:

C:\Users\Mcx1\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player

Sidenote: Not making any sense? A word about extenders...

Media Center Extenders work by logging onto your Media Center machine using an account created when you first set up an extender to access your Media Center. This account has its own password that is unknown to everyone except for your Media Center Extender device. A unique account is set up for each Media Center Extender device in your network, so that they can all access your Media Center at the same time. The user name is numbered based on the number of Media Center Extenders in your network, starting with 1. For example, the first Media Center Extender user is called Mcx1, the second Mcx2, and so on. Each Mcx user has it own profile, and therefore, its own media library.

Make sense now?

Make sure that your extender is not logged in, then open the folder I described above in Windows Explorer. If you want to back up your database, create a new folder in this directory called "backup". Highlight all of the files with the .wmdb extension (which should be all of them). If you're backing up the files, move them to the backup folder. If not, delete them. Don't worry. Media Center will recreate them the next time you connect your extender.

Click the image for a larger version.

Next, log into your Media Center Extender. Don't go to your music, photo or video libraries yet! Once logged in, go to Tasks > Settings > Library Setup. Since your Media Player database has just been re-created, it will likely only have your default folders. Add additional media folders as needed in Library Setup. Once you finish with the wizard, the "Adding Media" dialog should pop up. I recommend letting it run until it's finished, as this will be the fastest way to rebuild your library. The scan will continue to run if you close the dialog by clicking OK, but it will do so in the background and will take longer.

That's it! You've just rebuilt your Media Center Extender library from scratch.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you this was exactly the info I was looking for.

Fri Oct 10, 11:20:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bob Beers said...

Been trying to figure this out for four years. Thanks!

Mon Nov 24, 07:20:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bob Beers said...

I have a Sony VGC-RA826G shipped with MCE (never again, by the way, the video card/driver combo is still unstable thanks to Sony engineers not being able to read the MCE book which must have been in English) and on my machine the .wmdb files are here:

C:\Documents and Settings\MCX1\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player

Mon Nov 24, 07:50:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

Wed Apr 22, 03:27:00 AM PDT  
Blogger brad77 said...

Anon, glad to help! Bob, thanks for pointing out the folder used by XP.

Wed Apr 22, 07:46:00 AM PDT  
Blogger OsolocoAZ said...

Wow, great info. Thank God i found this. Was getting frustrated!

You are the man.

Fri May 29, 07:57:00 PM PDT  

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