I use Windows Vista Media Center with a digital TV card. It had been working fine for a year, until last week.
Then it started playing up. Browsing TV recordings would raise an error: “A critical Windows Media Center process has failed. Please restart the computer and try again.” In addition, one particular TV program was reported as still recording, days after it had ended. Nothing was being written to the drive, but nothing else would record.
Needless to say, restarting the computer fixed nothing. For all the song and dance about self-healing applications, Windows Error Reporting, and the rest of it, the reality is that Google searches and fiddling with the registry and configuration files often remains the only way to fix things.
After a couple of a false trails, I found the help I wanted on the Green Button site. Stop the Media Center services, delete the files recording.xml and recording.bak in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\Recording, restart Media Center. All is fine, except that any existing recording schedules are lost.
A small price for domestic harmony.