Tips Run MediaBrowser 2.6.1 on Windows 8.1

MediaBrowser 2.6.2 does not run anymore on Windows 8.1.

The problem is that it needs the version of the MS libraries "mediacenter". But the version available on Windows 8.1 is Configuring the adequate BindingRedirect fix the problem.

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Simply edit the config files "Configurator.exe.config" and "MediaBrowserService.exe.config" located by default in "C:\Program Files (x86)\MediaBrowser" or "C:\Program Files\MediaBrowser" depending respectively if Windows is a x64 or x86.

Search for and replace each occurrence with (using Notepad++ run as administrator)

It works for me... both for the service and the configurator ;)
This is a workaround for those who don't want to move from MediaBrowser 2.6.2 to 3...

Here is the Configurator.exe.config file:
And here is the MediaBrowserService.exe.config file:

Tips Identify a PCI "unknown device"

When an "unknown device" appears in the "Device Manager", it can be identified thanks to the "PCI vendor and Device Lists" webpage.

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  1. Double-Click the "Unknown Device"
  2. Open the "Details" tab
  3. Select the "Hardware Ids" in the "property" combo
  4. Take note of the value VEN_xxxx and DEV_yyyy or VID_xxxx and PID_yyyy
  5. Type xxxx in the "Vendor" search box
  6. or yyyy in the "Device" search box


  1. Search for VEN_xxxx&DEV_yyyy or VID_xxxx&PID_yyyy on google
  2. Search for VEN_xxxx&DEV_yyyy or VID_xxxx&PID_yyyy on Driver Agent List
  3. Use this list of this site Pci Lookup

Tips Extract DVD's tracks as MKV and merge them

In order to get access from my HTPC to any movie or cartoon at any time (without feeling like a DJ), I extract the content of my DVD as MKV. Sometimes, with some DVD, I obtain several MKV for a single episode. In such case, I merge the MKV's in a single one. My favorite tools: MakeMKV and MKVToolNix (MKVMerge)

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The Beta version of MakeMKV is always free. It's the most easiest tool I have tested to extract tracks from a DVD. Only a few steps are required to analyze and decrypt the DVD, list the content and extract it:

  1. Start MakeMKV.
  2. Insert the DVD. It's automatically detected by MakeMKV.
  3. Press the large "DVD reader" Icon in MakeMKV. If an advanced decryption is required, it will take some times. Once completed, a list with the content is displayed.
  4. Select the titles (tracks) to be extracted (the larger ones are automatically selected as presumed to not be DVD menu).
  5. Select the "Output Folder".
  6. And press the small "Disk with a green arrow" icon titled "Make MKV".

One MKV is produced by selected title. This MKV contains everything: not only the video and the various audio tracks of the title but also the definition of each chapters.

To merge MKV, I use a tool installed with MKVToolNix: MKVMerge. The process is also easy and straightforward:

  1. Start MKVMerge
  2. Drag and Drop a first MKV into the "Input files" zone
  3. Press the "append" button to add a second MKV for merging purpose!
  4. Possibly change the "Output filename"
  5. And finally press "start muxing".

By default, the various audio tracks and all defined chapters are kept in the output MKV.

Tips Volume of my HTPC was extremely low

Although the volume of Windows was still 100%, I recently had to push the volume of my surround system from 8 (as used usually) to 28 to ear the sound of movies and cartoons played on my HTPC.

The problem was Windows 8 did (mysteriously) lost the configuration of the speakers. They used to be configured as 5.1 and appeared to be now configured in stereo.

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I recently tried to upgrade Media Browser from version 2 to version 3 on my HTPC. It was not a success because Media Browser 3 comes with a client part and a server part. If the server part is not running (locally on on the LAN), the client part can't run either. And the server part might not run on my HTPC because it may only start if the windows shell starts (it's not a Windows Service but a Startup Program instead) - shell that is not running on my HTPC as it has been replaced with Windows Media Center.

After this trial, I did re-install Media Browser 2. Although I would be quite surprised if that would be true, this is maybe why the configuration of the speakers went back to "stereo" instead 5.1 ?!

To check what was wrong, I had to close Windows Media Center using F4 (as not only it replaces the Windows shell, but it is also run without any "close" feature thanks to the option /mediamode).

I did call the Task Manager (CTRL-Shift-Del) and run a new Task: Explorer, to get a Windows Shell. I was next able to check the Sound System Properties.

  1. Right-Click the "Speakers" icon in the systray.
  2. Select "Open Volume Mixer".
  3. Click the "Speakers" icon in the "Device" column of the "Volume Mixer" window. This is going to open the "Speakers Properties" window

The Speakers where configured in stereo. I did reconfigured them as 5.1.

Next, in the "Enhancement" tab of the "Speakers Properties" window, I did re-enable the "Loudness Equalization" and "Speaker Fill".

Spearkers Enhancements

Spearkers Enhancements

I did next log-off and restart a session. The issue was solved.

ProgrammingTips Programmatic access to "Print Dialog" of my network printer is really slow

In a .Net application, I am using the standard “Print Dialog” of Windows 7 x64 to print PDF document on a network printer named "\\Server\Printer". It noticed on most test machines that the dialog window was taking up to 8 seconds only to open (I.e.: before doing the actual print). Configuring the printer "\\Server\Printer" as a "local printer on port \\Server\Printer" instead of configuring it as a "network printer" is solving that issue.

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I will post the .Net piece of code I am using to open the "Print Dialog" asap. It's really the most simple one.

I experience the issue with a network Printer "Ricoh Aficio MP C5000". I didn't try with another model as all printers I have access to at my Office are the sames.

I looked for a solution to solve this issue without upgrading the network drivers or the firmware of the printer (as far as this could solve the issue as sometimes reported for HP printer) as I don't have the required privileges to do so.  Here is the trick I found:

  1. If removed the current network printer via Control Panel > Device and Printers.
  2. Add a new Printer
  3. Choose  “local printer” on port  "\\Server\Printer"
  4. Choose the drivers in the list of available ones. Notice: I chose Ricoh Aficio MP C6000 PCL 6 as C5000 was not available.

Next, the “Print Dialog” opened immediately on all workstations where I did test the trick.

As soon as I re-install the printer as a "network printer", the performance issue is back… Notice however that the dialog window always opens immediately when called from, e.g., MS Office (Word, Excel, ...) whatever configuration mode I use for the printer.

Tips "Authentication Error Occurred" with my Samsung Galaxy - Android 4.1.2 - due to Wi-Fi

Depending on the place where I was located at home, when trying to connect my Galaxy via Wi-Fi, I could got or not this infamous message "Authentication Error Occurred". I did possibly solve it by changing the channel of my access points.

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My experience with this error message is that it really depends on the received signal(s) and possibly having several network with the same SSID.

I have 3 Wi-Fi Access Points in my house. All are configured with the same password and encryption (WPA2/AES), the same SSID and the same channel. This is creating a large and stable wireless network in the house.

But at some locations where I get either a poor signal or two signals of quite the same strength, I get the infamous "Authentication Error Occurred" message with my Galaxy SII (Android 4.1.2) just after enabling Wi-Fi. And I get this message whatever Access Point I am trying to connect from those locations.

At those very same locations, my laptop "Sony Vaio" (Windows 8) can connect without any issue, as well as my tablet "Nabi 2" (Android 4.0.4). Reason why I conclude it's probably an "Android/Galaxy issue" and not a "Router/Access Point issue".

Moving from those locations just a few meters away, I can successfully connect quite immediately after enabling the Wi-Fi. But in such cases, although I only moved a few meters away, I get at least one signal much better than the others.

My access Points are "Devolo DLAN 200 Wireless N". From security/encryption point of view, they only support WPA/TKIP and WPA2/AES. I tried both mode without success.

I also tried to use shorter password (minimum being 8 chars) without success. But I admit I didn't try to connect using WPS (which is supported by my Devolo and reported by some users on various blog to solve this issue).

I finally tried to completely disable the security/encryption. I did enable the MAC filtering instead. In that mode, the connections succeed really more often, but still not always. And there is at least one location where I can never connect with my Galaxy SII although I can with my laptop and my tablet: my bed :(

During my tests, I was monitoring the wireless signals using "Wi-Fi Analyzer", to be sure that the signal was kept "fair". So, loosing the signal for any reason is not presumed to be the issue either, especially as far as I was doing the same test (I.e.: I enable the Wi-Fi and wait for a connection) simultaneously with my Galaxy SII Android 4.1.2 and my Nabi 2 Android 4.0.4.

As the quality of the signal was "fair" and as far as I had no issue in most other locations with free Wi-Fi, I started to consider that the problem was possibly related to some small signal disruptions in my area.

Here in Europe, the frequency 2450 MHz is used by microwave ovens. Those could possibly disturb the Wi-Fi channels 9 and 10. But if your does, change it immediately ! Radiation that escapes from a microwave oven while it is in use may not exceed 5 mW (per cm2 at a distance of 5 cm ). So, if your experience Wi-Fi issues when using your microwave oven, the leakage radiation is probably exceeding a lot that limit (It happens as some of my colleagues already experienced). But I don't have any special device turned on when I do my tests...

Looking for more information about Wi-Fi signals, I discovered that frequencies from 2400 to 2450 MHz (Wi-Fi channels 1 to 8) are used by "radio amateur". Those could effectively impact the Wi-Fi signal as their radio signal goes up to 120 Watts while Wi-Fi is usually around ~18-30 mWatts. It would therefore be advisable to check within the neighborhood if anyone has such a hobby. This could likely be the case if the Wi-Fi issues are only experienced during certain period of the day (e.g.: the evening) or during the weekend.

I finally read that channels 1, 5, 9 and 13 are known to be used by some wireless transmitter and camera (at least here in Europe). As I don't have such devices, and taking into account the info about the frequencies used by "ham radio", I decided to use the channel 9 or 13.

Concretely I did switch from channel 6 to channel 13 on all my access points and could immediately connect flawlessly from all locations where I was experiencing issues previously. That being said, there are possibly some other locations still to be discovered where I will experience again the problem. But for sure, changing the frequency has an impact on the connection!