My Windows XP Media Center 2005 desktop (an HP Pavillion a1355c) was suffering for months now with a problem I’ve never seen adequately documented and/or fixed: ehrecvr.exe harrasses my CPU.
Right after booting up (and logging in) the process ehrecvr.exe would consume about 50% of my CPU cycles. And since this computer is a dual core setup, I’m guessing that it would be 100% on computers with a single CPU. It would continue for about 10 minutes and then mysteriously stop.
During that 10-ish minutes, Media Center would report “Tuner Not Installed” if I tried to watch live tv.
In the last couple days I had installed some new games and they installed a new DirectX version (9.0c?) and suddenly Media Center quit displaying video when watching live tv or recorded shows. Audio still worked fine. So I suspected the new DirectX had tweaked some necessary codecs and I needed to re-assert Media Center’s dominance in the codec pecking order (Codecs are the decoders computers use to interpret various kinds of files to play them in your audio/video applications).
I took a chance and googled for Media Center, ehrecvr.exe and codecs. Lots of the usual results appeared, but a few that I hadn’t visited before so I checked them out. One of them mentioned problems with Cyberlink codecs. Another mentioned Nero.
How about that? I have Cyberlink and Nero software here… pretty sure I tried it out while trying to author dvds of my recorded tv programs. Didn’t like it, but never removed it.
I uninstalled every Cyberlink and a Nero program and rebooted… Voila! No more ehrecvr.exe problem. I started up Media Center right away after logging in (right after reboot) and it worked! Except for the video issue… that still didn’t work. Audio was fine, but no video. Obviously the ehrecvr.exe and the video display are separate issues.
Now I knew I was just missing needed codecs (or the correct choices from already-installed codecs). I tried doing a search for Media Center codecs, but you won’t find anything useful there. I tried GSpot to analyze the dvr-ms files on my computer, but that didn’t really tell me which codec I was missng. Eventually, I ended up at http://www.cole2k.net/. I downloaded the “Advanced” codec pack. Rebooted. Video now works fine.
I’m documenting this whole process here because I’ve run into this ehrecvr.exe thing in the past… and various things made it better but never made it go away. I doubt I’ve seen the last of it. These notes might help me again in the future.