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Revision as of 23:06, 25 May 2006 by >Pike (added mp4 explanation)
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Before starting troubleshooting it's always a good idea to enable DebugLog in XBMC. This provides more detailed info on what's going on, this is done like this: link

1 Lost control

Why did my XBMC freeze? There is a new item on the rightside of the top of the screen and my controller isn't working.
That is the volume control or seekbar popup menu. It is assigned to the right thumbstick on the controller (up and down for volume, left and right for seeking). Try recalibrating your analog sticks by moving them in full circles several times. If this does not fix the problem, your controller may simply be more sensitive than others. Increase the value of <deadzone> in XBoxMediaCenter.xml.

2 Audio related issues

The volume level in XBMC is down really, really low – I can't hear anything!
The right thumb stick (push up or down) alters the volume level. Sometimes a second controller is tucked away and could be lowering the volume.
Help! My Music visualization doesn't change!
Milkdrop and Vortex support a locked mode where presets don't change automatically. This is toggled using controller and the File:2d btn back.png button. Notice that little padlock ?

3 Video output issues / Issues with video playback

I changed to another skin, and the screen went black. Now, whenever I boot XBMC it stays black and I can't do anything!
Hold down both thumbsticks (clicked) when launching or booting XBMC. This will cause a screen to pop up asking you if you want to reset your settings (including the active skin) to the defaults. The only setting not reset by this method is the Master lock code.
I use XBMC in 1080i, and when I try and watch videos it fails. What can I do?
The Xbox comes equipped with 64Mb of unified RAM, which means that system and graphics memory are shared (unlike a standard PC where they are separate.) This means that when you use 1080i you have to be mindful of things that can take up memory:
  • Cache sizes
  • Skin used
  • Enabled services (Webserver, Ftpserver, Python)

Due to the shortage of RAM, it may be a wise idea to turn off all of the listed services at first until you know what can be sustained. A video cache size of 1Mb is more than enough for playback over a wired local network. If you use wireless, then you may need it slightly higher, though expect problems with streaming over wireless - wireless very rarely runs at it's advertised speed - often it is significantly slower, so experiment with placement of access points and the like.

When I play videos, they display using the wrong aspect ratio. What can I do to fix this?
XBMC has built-in aspect ratio control, as well as zoom control. This can be changed by use of the File:Btn y3.png button during video playback. When you press File:Btn y3.png you will also see which resolution it is using. If you find your 4x3 movies play on your 16x9 screen stretched out, instead of with black bars either side of the image, it may be that you have selected "Auto" as the video output resolution in the Video Player settings, and your TV does not auto-switch to it's 4x3 mode. Set it to 16x9 in this case. See Movie Playback & OSD for more information.
I can't seem to be able to select Widescreen/HDTV modes. How can I fix this?
You must enable Widescreen/HDTV Modes in the Microsoft Dashboard. Once this is done, the options will appear in XBMC.
Note: For HDTV modes you need two things. The xbox must be in NTSC mode and you also need a suitable AV cable.

4 XBMC won't start

I recently upgraded my XBMC and now it loads with a XBMC Fatal Load Error – Q
\XboxMediaCenter.xml, Line 0 – Failed to open file. I don't even have a Q: drive?
The Q: drive is the temporary drive that XBMC sets up in it's own directory. You probably did an edit to XboxMediaCenter.xml that broke the file (forgot to close a tag perhaps?) A good practise is to always verify the integrity by opening XboxMediaCenter.xml in a Webbrowser before uploading!
I try to launch XBMC from a dashboard and it does not start (freeze or black screen), why?
If you have a very old BIOS in your modchip, make sure that XBMC's XBE (executable) is patched from DEBUG to RETAIL, as old BIOS's can't run DEBUG executeables. You can patch it with xbepatch or deXBE. If you get same problem again try another build of XBMC, if still same issue follow EvoX FAQ.

5 XBMC won't play a file

I got one or several AVI files that plays choppy and/or ends in the middle of playback, what could be the cause?
There's basically 2 types of AVI files, AVI and AVI2.0. AVI2.0 is also known as OpenDML. If your file is encoded with XviD (or another MPEG-4 Codec) video and MP3 audio (use GSPOT to findout) this is almost certainly the cause to the playback problems. The issue can be resolved by RE-MUXING the video to old AVI format using a tool like AVIMux-GUI. If the file is a .MP4 file, it could be streamripped or just created as a Stream. Then you need to enable No Cache in Video OSD Settings.
Why can't Xbox Media Center read/play files larger than 1GB from a UDF DVD-R/RW media?
This is due to a Xbox™ limitation reading UDF128 (this is not a XBMC failure or our fault).
Why can't Xbox Media Center read/play files larger than 4GB from the Xbox™ harddrive?
This is due to a Xbox™ limitation in the FAT-X format (not a XBMC issue that can be fixed).
Why can't XBMC read/play AVI video files after 2GB or play/read a 2GB+ AVI video file?
All AVI files over 2GB in size are OpenDML AVI's and XBMC does not yet support OpenDML. PS! We know that XBMC also has other problems with OpenDML AVI's that are under 2GB in size. A couple of such problems are that XBMC cannot FF/RW in OpenDML, and/or video distortions. Note! Reason for this is that MPlayer which XBMC is based upon do not yet support OpenDML.

6 Annoyances

Where did the Record Button go?
It's in My Music OSD now
When I start the XBOX and XBMC there is a startup music that plays every restart or when I enter xbmc. How can I disable this music?
There is a script running on startup (scripts\ that is loading another script and causing playback to start. Remove the script (or rename it) to stop this. It was put there by whoever created your build. Furthermore, there is also a startup sound that can be played (a file named media\start.wav) which is normally played when the splash screen is displayed. Remove this file if you don't like it.
After I deleted some albums from my harddisk, they are still visible when in My Music Libary. How can I delete these empty albums?
Go to Settings->My Music and choose "Clean the music database".
I'm using XBMSP or SMB to share my music to XBMC, and whenever I go to browse the shared folders it takes a while and presents me with the message scanning media info...what is it doing and is there anyway to remove this scanning?
It is scanning the media files for tag information, so that it can display artist, title, year, genre, album information, as well as any embedded thumbnails. This takes a while over a network connection. You can turn this off completely by disabling ID3 tag reading in Settings->My Music. A better thing to do is to perform a Scan on the folders from My Music. This will store the retreived tag information in the database, allowing you to take advantage of the database views (using the Switch View button). See My Music for more information.
When XBMC loads, it always starts in My Music (or some other screen). How can I get it to start on the home page?
The most likely reason for this is you have altered the <startwindow> tag in XBoxMediaCenter.xml, or via the Appearance Settings. Set it to Home via the GUI, or 0 in <startwindow> to start on the homepage.
I get an error message Error: Out of memory loading picture when running slideshows
Running slideshows uses a large amount of memory – particularly when loading images. You could try freeing up memory by turning off any music you have running. See here under the section “How it works” for more information.
I upgraded XBMC and now I can no longer access my F partition?
You possibly upgraded from a build prior to 19th of March 2005, to a build made after this date. You also use an old Bios. A possible fix to this issue is to disable <AutodetectFG> (set to no) in XboxMediaCenter.xml.
Why can't I access X, Y or Z partition using eg. My Files or by FTP?===
Early on a deciscion was made to make it a little 'harder' for new unknowing users to access X, Y or Z due to the fact that these are "cache partitions" and no data put there stays there. You can make a bookmark yourself for My Files or edit Filezilla Server.xml yourself and add these!