MCE Remote Drivers for Windows XP

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NOTE: This document assumes you have read the MCE Remote FAQ parent page.


A reasonable number of models of MCE Remotes do not come with drivers for Windows XP (e.g. the Philips SRM5100), and if you talk to the manufacturer's technical support, they will tell you that you need to use Windows Vista, or Windows XP MCE (Media Center Edition). This is not the case - they can be used easily and happily in Windows XP.

Windows XP MCE (Media Center Edition) included the "eHome" MCE Remote drivers, and they have also been included in Windows XP (possibly only in XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) and later). However, some MCE Remotes have device identifiers (VIDs and PIDs) that are not included in the original eHome drivers, therefore, they are not 'Plug n Play' - they are not automatically recognized as MCE Remotes, and no drivers are installed. But that is not a big problem - these MCE Remotes can use the eHome drivers, and it is not too hard to tell Windows to use the eHome drivers for them.

This information has been tested with a "Philips SRM5100 Vista MCE IR Remote", and partially with an "Anyware GP-IR02BK Vista 2 channel IR Remote Control". The Philips SRM5100 will be used in the examples, but this is largely able to be translated to other Remotes.

NOTE: This page largely summarizes the 11 forum pages at the MediaPortal-Forum (and information from elsewhere), but there is a bit more information in the above link for people with other versions of Windows (64-bit, etc.).

Option 1: Download and Install Edited Drivers

This is the easiest and most effective solution, assuming someone has gone to the trouble of editing the eHome drivers and making them available for your MCE Remote.

For the Philips SRM5100, 'jike' has been kind enough and clever enough to do this.

This is the option I would recommend for people with Windows XP and the Philips SRM5100 because if you just use the eHome drivers, the typematic keypress rates are not correct. This results (in HID Device), in a brief button press on the remote having the effect of it being constantly held down. Jike edited the drivers to fix this (and other little things). Technically, if you are going to disable the HID Device anyway (and use the MCE Device instead), this is of little benefit.

Option 2: Manually Point to the eHome Drivers

Even though Windows XP may not automatically recognize the remote, it will allow you to use the existing eHome driver for it. You can do this either when it is first plugged in, or once it has appeared in the Device Manager as an unknown device (just double click on it and go to the drivers tab).

Procedure from the MediaPortal-Forum

  • In Device Settings update drivers on the SF+ Dongle.
  • Install from specific location --> Don't Search I will choose --> Human Interface Devices --> Microsoft --> Microsoft eHome Infrared Tranceiver (for me ('nosignal') it was actually listed as "Microsoft eHome Remote Consumer Controls", but it had an Error: "Driver File Missing a necessary Entry." and failed)
  • Ignore the warning, then reboot.

The other procedure is to manually browse to irbus.inf (in c:windowsinf folder).

There is a chance these methods will not work, and with the SRM5100, even if they work, it does not work in HID mode properly (though HID Mode can be disabled).

Option 3: Manually edit the eHome Drivers

As mentioned, the core problem is that some MCE Remotes have device identifiers (VIDs and PIDs) that are not included in the original eHome drivers. It is possible to edit the eHome Driver ini file manually to add in your Remote's VID and PID.

  • Make a copy of irbus.inf from c:\windowsinf folder. You can rename it if you wish.
  • Plug in the USB receiver
  • Get the PID and VID from Device Manager (open Device Manager, double click on the device, click on the details tab, search for relevant IDs). For the SRM5100, VID_0471 PID_060D.
  • Open irbus.inf in Notepad. Under the [MicrosoftHw] section, copy a line and replace the PID and VID with your Remote's ones. E.g. %USBVID_045E&PID_006D.DeviceDesc%=IrBus_V1, USBVID_0471&PID_060D ; Your Remote
  • Save and exit Notepad. Ensure the file still has the .ini extension.
  • Update the Remote's driver in Device Manager - manually browse to your edited irbus.inf.

This has been tested to work with the SRM5100, however, it does not work in HID mode properly (though HID Mode can be disabled). In Option 1, 'jike' essentially followed this procedure, but made a few extra edits to the ini file to change the typematic rate, so if you can, I'd recommend using his version.

NOTE: This procedure also works for the MCE Replacement Driver (described in MCE_Remote_Bruno), if your Remote is not included in the Replacement Driver's ini file.

Disabling the HID Device Driver

If the HID Driver works properly for you, and you are satisfied with the limited selection of buttons that are converted into simulated keypresses, then all you need is the Remote's drivers installed - you don't even need EventGhost.

However, as mentioned, the HID Driver can be a pain for a number of reasons (can have the wrong typematic rate, resulting in repeated keypresses, can also result in one button being acted on twice - once via the HID Driver and once via EventGhost using the MCE Driver). For more info, see Details about the MCE Remote Drivers

There are a number of ways of removing the HID Driver:

  • In EventGhost, you can add the "MCE Plugin" and tick the "Disable HID..." box. Reboot for "Disable HID..." to take effect. This is the easiest and most effective solution. As far as I understand it, this edits the registry entry mentioned below:
  • You can manually edit the registry to:
    • Load "regedit.exe"
    • Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServic esHidIrRemotes745a17a0-74d3-11d0-b6fe-00a0c90f57da
    • Then delete the keys from "CodeSetNum0" to "CodeSetNum3".
    • To make sure you can recover these keys easily should you want to you should save them by using the export function in the file menu.
    • Once the registry has been changed you will need to reboot for the change to take effect.
    • This same process can be applied to disable automatic keyboard handling. Just look at the other registry sections under the "Remotes" sections.
    • Now if you ever want to re-enable the automatic handling of the MCE Remote and MCE Keyboard you just need to put those registry keys back.
    • NOTE: You can recover those Registry keys by reinstalling the eHome driver, just go into Device Manager and uninstall the eHome receiver USB device and then go to the Action menu and select "Scan for hardware changes", this will bring back the driver and the registry keys with it.
  • In Device Manager you can right-click on the HID Device and click 'Disable'. Not that recommended.
  • The MCE Replacement Driver (described in MCE_Remote_Bruno) disables HID mode, but as described on that page, it is no longer very recommended.