Microsoft Windows Media Center software in my humble opinion is ok at best. I call it an "over glorified windows explorer program." It isn't as bad as Windows ME (mostly erratic) since it's built on Windows XP but do you really want your entire media center on your computer? I have a nice 36" hdtv so I prefer to watch directv on it than my small monitor screen but to each their own...
Now down to the good and bad. The good first: If you have to restore your media center software off a recovery partition on your hard drive, Microsoft says you "may not have the problems listed below" but be ready just incase. Laptop-notebook systems may not have the problems either but you'll know when you try it out...
Now the bad: If you are reinstalling media center off cds-dvds, then Microsoft states you have to do the following or you will get a blue screen of death with an error code similar to "000000xc7" and yes I tried it and I got the errors. So here is what you have to do:
The computer (desktop system) must be put into it's basic set up state. This means:
1. No more than 512 of ram installed
2. Only the cd-dvd drive that you are using can be hooked up so disconnect the other one from the ribbon cable
3. Unplug the usb cables
4. Unplug the media card slot cables
5. Remove the expansion cards such as sound, modem, network, usb, etc.
6. Unplug any peripherals such as printers, scanners, cameras, joysticks, ipods, etc.
After installing Windows Media Center software, Microsoft says to install one item at a time and reboot the system between each item installed. Install the extra ram last. Then install your drivers, programs, back-up data files etc.Even though Microsoft is making service packs for media center, that won't matter when doing a "clean install" since you don't install them until after the basic software is in.