Home > Canada, Media Center > Missing Guide Data from Windows Media Center–Workaround

Missing Guide Data from Windows Media Center–Workaround

It appears that there is a widespread issue causing certain channels to have no guide data in Windows Media Center.  The ball is pretty clearly in Microsoft’s court, but as far as I can tell there are no more players on team Media Center so I expect this one to take a while to fix.


Like me, many Canadians set up Media Center using a nearby US zip code to enable all of the high-definition TV features.  Unfortunately it seems that the zip code closest to Toronto has been particularly hard hit by this bug.

I’ve updated my Media Center hack to help work around this issue by running a single batch file.  Full updated instructions and zip file are located at the Windows Experts wiki here.

Essentially, this will supplement your buggy US listings with additional listings from Canadian cable and satellite providers.  Canadian providers tend to carry lots of US stations as well, so this may also be a decent workaround for some of our friends to the south.

Early reports from users at Digital Home Canada indicate that this workaround has been successful for everyone who has implemented it.

Finally, I’ve logged the bug with Microsoft (click here).  Please vote it up and mark “I can too” stating that you are able to reproduce the bug as well.  This might help to speed up the official fix.

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Categories: Canada, Media Center
  1. January 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm | #1

    You are awesome Peter! Thanks!

  2. February 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm | #2

    Hello Peter, thank you for your hack. I tried it and there are a couple of things I wanted to point out. By the way, I used the custom option (#9) because I have an HDTV antenna.

    1) In lines 111 and 112 of the CanGuide batch file, it says CANImportCustom instead of ImportCANCustom), Are these two typos?
    2) Are the arguments at the end of ImportCANCustom.xml reversed? US CA in lines 46 and 54 respectively.
    3) When using mc2xml.exe, I entered my Canadian zip code and the Antenna(TER) option, but that particular guide ID seems to be missing at least one channel (which by the way, is present when selecting the same options on the zap2it website).
    4) In any case, I keep on getting an error from Schtasks saying that the XML is malformed (but it seems fine, all I changed was the guide ID using TextPad).

    Needless to say, I am still missing some Canadian channels on my “US” WMC setup. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • March 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm | #3

      The Custom batch file is still doesn’t work (I even tried again from scratch). But I used one of the other guides (for a random supplier in my city), and even thought it was kind of annoying to find my missing channels among 400+ channels, it worked. So, thank you!

  3. chrismemento10@hotmail.com
    April 11, 2013 at 10:12 am | #4

    Is there any possible solution for us Vista Media Center users? Thanks!

  4. chrismemento10@hotmail.com
    April 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm | #5

    Sorry to post again, I tried creating a little script to get it to work on Vista based on your work with no luck, any suggestions?

    %windir%\ehome\loadmxf -i MXF\RogersToronto.mxf

    %windir%\system32\reg.exe ADD “HKLM\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\media center\service\EPG” /v country /t REG_SZ /d ca /f

    %windir%\ehome\mcupdate.exe -ds !Loaders!Wmis!Subscriptions!28490385

    %windir%/system32/reg.exe ADD “HKLM\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\media center\service\EPG” /v country /t REG_SZ /d us /f

    Is the loadmxf and mcupdate the same Vista vs W7? Do you think those are the right registry changes for vmc? Thanks!

  5. January 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm | #6


    Just an FYI, been having an issue with US guide data in Win 8.1 using your script. Finally got to the bottom of it and wanted to share.

    Issue: Win Event when processing guide data: “Failed to retrieve EpgListings (Error: HeadendId 189831480 is invalid.)”

    Resolution: You have to call the xml file before updating guide data. Created new batch file to run on login with the following lines (set to US, update, set back to CDN, update) …
    %windir%\system32\reg.exe ADD “HKLM\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\media center\settings\programguide” /v strCountryCode /t REG_SZ /d US /f
    %windir%\ehome\loadmxf -i MXF\189831480.mxf
    %windir%\ehome\mcupdate.exe -ds !Loaders!Wmis!Subscriptions!189831480
    %windir%/system32/reg.exe ADD “HKLM\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\media center\settings\programguide” /v strCountryCode /t REG_SZ /d CA /f
    %windir%\ehome\loadmxf -i MXF\28512331.mxf
    %windir%\ehome\mcupdate.exe -ds !Loaders!Wmis!Subscriptions!28512331

    Thanks for your hard work!

    Nick (fellow Miltonian)

    • Tristan
      January 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm | #7

      Hi! I have the same issue since a fee days, it wont update anymore the listing. Although I don’t understand what the fix is, I wish I was more into programming…! should we update the .bat file with the code you wrote Nick? THanks!

      • January 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm | #8


        Here is a link to my SkyDrive folder: http://sdrv.ms/1aoQGbO.
        There is a file here “ATSCCanada-Win8.1.zip” which you can extract all .mxf files to the “C:\Windows\ehome\MXF\” folder on your computer. When the .bat file in the file downloaded is run it will find these specific .mxf files and load them as needed.

        You can put the .bat file anywhere (I like using “C:\ProgramData\”) and create a scheduled task. I have a link to it in my “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp\” folder so that it runs whenever anyone logs into the computer.

        Feel free to customize the .mxf files and .bat file as needed using notepad. There is nothing special about the files other than the number which matches the .mxf file needs to be the same within the file as well as within the .bat file. To get the correct numbers, went through the TV setup in Media Center and choose different Zip Codes near me, then copied the number next to “ID:” in “Settings – TV – Guide – About Guide Listings”. I have quite a few there based on what’s near me as I found that just one didn’t get all the channels I had available.


      • Tristan
        January 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm | #9

        You are a genius! You have no idea how much I would like to thank you! It has been days I’m trying to make this work..

        So it seems to be working, although i still have the ”error during last update – will retry at…..” in windows taskbar, although the .bat file prompt window says 100% successful to all of the guides you’ve listed. Do you think that’s normal?

        Also have you set up in media center a close US postal code or a Canadian one? Does that change anything with your method?

        Thank you then million times :)

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