Recently I bought EMC 10, and installed it, and I had problems. I have two laptops - an HP dv9233 and a Dell D810. Both run Vista Ultimate. Both had EMC 9 on it, which I uninstalled (not a "clean install", just the "Add/Remove Programs" uninstall) prior to adding EMC 10. The Dell is my "primary" machine, and it had problems when I installed EMC 10. Basically nothing ran. Both support and the forums directed me to the "clean install". The clean install got me pretty far, leaving me with just the MPEG-2 activation issue. Both support (directly) and the forums (with a bit of wandering ;-) ) directed me to the "extended clean install" (the one that involves removing the EMC activation module with Windows Installer Cleanup.) That resolved the last problem, and my Dell was up.
I then turned my attention to the HP, expecting to have to go through the same stuff there. Interestingly, my second computer experienced NONE of the problems above. EMC 10 "just worked" right out of the box. Deployed, activated, ran, no problem. I was expecting to have to fight it - but there wasn't a battle in sight. Everything just worked.
When something doesn't work, especially a piece of software, we as users tend to get upset. I've read lots of posts on here chastising Roxio ("Roxio should do better"), vaguely threatening them ("any good lawyer would")... and so forth, and I understand where that upset comes from. I've felt it too, and I've said things like that in the past. I've also heard people saying things like "defective product," "Support is useless", etc., and I understand that as well.
Now I have no emotional buy-in to Roxio. I bought their software because I like Costco, and I buy what Costco buys. That's just me. But I just want to report, for those who are interested, that the support process actually worked pretty well.
When I had the problem, I went to the website. I "contacted support" and sent them email. I found the forums, and posted there as well. I got the "clean install" instructions from both places, and followed it. I had the activation problem. Tickets to both places got me answers from both places. My problem was solved. And my other computer didn't even have these problems in the first place.
So, what I learned was:
1. EMC10 is a pretty good product, but it's not perfect. It's no more perfect than Windows is, or than computers are. If you expect it to be perfect, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment, stress, and anger.
2. Roxio support, and esepcially the forum members who chime in, is quite good. They were responsive, and they tried to help. They are not gods. Rarely, someone will have a problem that can't be solved. That happens. But I think it's rare. Of course, if it's YOU it's happening to, it seems hideous.
3. EMC10 is not "defective". If so, it would fail for everyone. In my two almost-identical scenarios, it did fail on one... but worked perfectly on the other.
4. The "clean install" procedure IS a pain in the butt, but IS worth going through.
Yes, prior versions of Roxio's products were sloppy on the uninstall. Yes, the uninstall "should" clean up the code, erase the directories, and fix up the registry on its way out. Yes, the "activation module" should be removed.
If I could make one request to Roxio, it would be: Please fix your uninstallation scripts! Make them really do their job, and clean up the messes on the way out.
Likewise, a request to the community: Be patient. It DOES SUCK when something doesn't work. It DOES SUCK when it's you. We all DO have a need to vent. But venting and abuse on the forums just wastes everyone's time. There are some good people on this forum - both in and out of Roxio - that give of their own time to try to help. Give them all the benefit of the doubt, and let them help.
Thanks to both Roxio and the forum for EMC10, and helping me to get it to work.