How to edit 7MC menus and whatnot

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Joined: 11 Mar 2010
How to edit 7MC menus and whatnot

So after listening to the latest podcast I heard several of the crew in the last section (about family-friendly HTPC) talk about editing the menus in 7MC. I never messed about much with Media Center Studio, partly because I was never to clear on 1) how it really worked except for loading preconfigured themes; and 2) the hacks/patches/edits/etc that needed to be applied to make configuration changes somewhat resistant to Msoft updates. So...any advice on how to do things like this? One thing I would like to do is use MediaBrowser to partition some of the movie content for the boys versus me and my better half, but since the native movie library is well, right there under movies, I could never sell them clicking through MediaBrowser strip, then enter MediaBrowser, etc. 

Anyways, that's one option I was looking into. Any others customize their menus and want to share?

Best,

NitDawg

 

Aaron Ledger's picture
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Joined: 6 Aug 2010

I use MCS. I've never used it to theme WMC because I like the standard theme myself. I do utilize the tool for modifying the menus. It should be pretty straightforward when you use MCS for modifying the menu. One thing that you have to do to make the change is open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the following hidden folder: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\Packages\MCEClientUX

In that directory, you will find one or more directories with the prefix dSM. Underneath any directory with that prefix, a file named StartResources.dll exists. Rename the file to StartResources.bak and create a blank text file named StartResources.dll. Rename the file under all dSM directories.

Senior Editor | @swoon_

mikinho's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2007

I use my Hide Media Center Menu Strips to remove native strips and another tool of mine to add\remove menu items.  MCS gives you the most flexibility though.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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Joined: 11 Mar 2010

Aaron, thanks for the tips, I'll give it a shot!

Aaron Ledger's picture
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Joined: 6 Aug 2010

No problem. One thing to keep in mind about the StartResources.dll file is that on occasion, the file will get restored back to default and a new dSM directory will be created. It happens so infrequently that it's no big deal for me to rename the new file. When the file does go back to default, WMC will display the menus in their default locations.

I believe it happens during some sort of guide update. To give an idea of the frequency, it has only occurred once after the initial week when I last installed Windows 7 to my primary HTPC last November.

Senior Editor | @swoon_

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mikinho wrote:

I use my Hide Media Center Menu Strips to remove native strips and another tool of mine to add\remove menu items.  MCS gives you the most flexibility though.

Yo mikinho, I've used your Hide app before...doesn't get much easier than that Laughing. I tried the Start Menu Plus, but was never really sure how to do anything with that one...although I thought I tried another app from you that sort of did it all, maybe I was just dreaming...

How to either of these approaches (mikinho or MCS) "extend" to the 360? As always, I appreciate the cornucopia of HTPC info from you guys at MR.

 

mikinho's picture
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I did have an application that did it all but it was only available for a short time as I had a bug in it that I haven't gotten around to fixing yet Undecided

In terms of extenders.  Anything you do w/ MCS will extend to extenders since it uses the same resource dll which is "edited".

For my app you can either make the changes at the machine level or per user including extender user accounts.  Just run it as an administrator and you'll have a drop down to pick what user.

Mikinho | Missing Remote | Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP

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