Leave Me Alone Windows Media Center
I just got a new (quad core, 9800 GTX+, 8 GB RAM) computer with Vista Home Premium. I've got Media Center set up and my music is imported into it for sharing with other machines. That part was painless.
When I fire up Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), Media Center likes to start up, steal the focus, and KILL LOTRO. WTF? Why would you choose that moment to pop up? Do you think you can record something out of LOTRO? If so, why don't you pop up when I start other games?
Most games have a short intro video at startup, with the developer's logo, etc. The developers of LOTRO decided to use some media playback API that worked in XP, but was changed in Vista to use Media Center. So when the game comes to try to play the video it ends up spawning Media Center. For some reason MC reports an error to LOTRO which causes it to quit.
Because you installed Media Center, LOTRO gets confused and thinks you have vista media center edition installed instead of home premium and is trying to use a 'fix' to work on MCE.
Open the shortcut you use to play LOTRO and remove the -mce commandline parameter.
Sounds more like crappy LOTRO coding than a windows (media center) problem to me.
I had the same issue with Guild Wars. I had to move the Media Center directory to make it stop, resulting in a silent failure and notice in event log that Media Center could not be started correctly. Before moving the files I tried disabling the services (uninstallation was not an option without a third party add-on to facilitate this), but had no effect. Also, I wanted to keep it around for DVD.
And, for everyone playing devil's advocate out there, Guild Wars does not play an intro movie; all cinematics use the in-game rendering engine. It is also fairly new, so we're not talking about some early 90s game using untold legacy functionality. While searching for info on this I ran across a lot of people that had similar issues, not always with games. It was a fairly baffling array that included accounting software and in-house developed business applications.