TiVo Desktop 2.8 with Windows 7 (Again, But Maybe Finally?)

2 minute read

In a previous post, TiVo Desktop 2.7 with Windows 7, I thought I’d hit on a fix for getting the TiVo Desktop software running right with Windows 7.  Alas, my joy was premature.

I kept getting errors both in trying to transfer shows from my TiVo to my PC as well as when I tried to play old shows on my PC (“Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file”). Looking into C:\Users\Marc Anderson\AppData\Local\TiVo Desktop\Logs at TiVoTransfer.log, I saw repeated errors like this:

Error 2009-12-25:23-01-01.522-05:00 0x28B0 RegistryHelper.cpp, MediaAccessKeyUtils::HKEYHelper::openPath, 90 |  RegOpenKeyExA(path=Software\TiVo\SharingKeys, samDesired=131097) failed: err=2
Info 2009-12-25:23-01-01.522-05:00 0x28B0 TiVoToGoKeys.cpp, TivoToGoKeys::GetSharingKey, 78 |  key is empty: err=TiVoKeyHelper Exception(SharingKeyHelper::decrypt(58)): "Error: Unexpected!"
TiVoKeyHelper Exception(MediaAccessKeyUtils::HKEYHelper::openPath(92)): "Error: 2 during RegOpenKeyEx!: path=Software\TiVo\SharingKeys"

Info 2009-12-25:23-01-01.522-05:00 0x28B0 TivoTransferApi.cpp, CTivoTransferApi::AddDownload, 167 |  GetMediaKey() returned empty MAK
Info 2009-12-25:23-01-05.204-05:00 0x29B8 DownloaderCb.cpp, DownloaderCb::start, 88 |  started: <a href=""></a>
Error 2009-12-25:23-01-05.719-05:00 0x29B8 DownloaderCb.cpp, DownloaderCb::error, 81 |  <a href=""></a> failed: error=4

As you can see, the issue seems to be with getting the value for the Media Access Key (MAK) and decoding it.  FYI: The MAK is stored in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\TiVo\SharingKeys.

Ok, so now I’m starting to do exactly what there is so much of out there on the Web: speculation about arcane details of the problem, what *might* be causing it, and what *might* solve it.

I spent a lot of time over the last few days Binging for solutions, and it took a lot to finally cut through all of the opprobrium and misinformation to come up with something that a) seems like it works, and b) sounds like it actually makes sense.

The solution that seems to be working is relatively simple: Go to the C:\Program Files\TiVo\Desktop folder and set all of the executables to Run as Administrator.  (Right click each file, choose Properties, then the Compatibility tab.  Toward the bottom of the tab, check the “Run this program as an administrator” option.)  No, you shouldn’t need to do this, but it seems to have solved all of my issues.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.  More Dollhouse episodes are on their way over to my laptop as I type…

Thanks to Nunya_Binnez for the tip in the TiVo forums on this fix.

Have a thought or opinion?