Building an XBMC 13 Home Theatre PC with a Mini-ITX motherboard
By By - version 1.2
Posted on July 22, 2014
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Boot from your USB Stick

Connect your Mini-ITX system to a monitor or TV and keyboard.

Insert the prepared memory stick into the system.

Power-on the system and boot from the memory stick. This is most-easily achieved by pressing the "boot menu" key during initial boot-up.

The Boot Menu is usually accessed by either the F8, F10 or F12 key when booting, depending on your motherboard. For instance on the Gigabyte E350N use F12.

Some BIOSes do not have boot menu, so the first boot device will need to be temporarily changed in the BIOS to your USB Stick.

Earlier Zotac ION board users can follow this guide.

Install OpenELEC

If you have successfully booted into the OpenELEC installer you will be presented with a large logo and 2 options on a 5 second timer, defaulting to "Run OpenELEC Live".

Press a key within 5 seconds to stop the countdown.

Choose "Run OpenELEC Installer" and wait for the installer to load.

Press OK to agree to the warning message.

Choose "Quick Install of OpenELEC".

Choose the disk you wish to install OpenELEC to - it will be something like /dev/sda/.

Say No to "use GPT partitions" unless you have a UEFI BIOS *and* boot drive larger than 2TB... if you select Yes and do not have a UEFI BIOS then your drive could become unbootable until it is reformatted as MBR.

Say Yes to "Enable SSH Server on Start"

Agree to the next two warning messages.

OpenELEC will now be installed.

Once this is done, choose "reboot" and remove the USB key.


Your system should now boot into OpenELEC.

Once booted, proceed to the "SYSTEM" menu, press the down key and choose "System Information".

Now choose the "NETWORK" section and make a note of the IP Address, it will probably look something like

Make a note of this address.

Copying media from Windows to your OpenELEC box

OpenELEC makes it very easy to copy files to your system

  • On Your Windows system, press Windows-E.
  • In the address bar of your explorer window type \\ followed by the IP Address of your system (gained from the previous section).

  • The folders you will be most interested in are:
    • Pictures - For your photos and other images
    • Music - For your MP3/FLAC/AAC Albums
    • Videos - For movies and other videos
    • TV Shows - For TV Shows.

    Remember - XBMC can playback a vast number of video and music formats.

  • Simply drag and drop your chosen files into the correct folder.

Allowing your OpenELEC box to playback media from a shared drive (such as a NAS or another machine)

Follow this section in our Our XBMC ION Guide

Enabling Automatic Updates

OpenELEC can perform automatic updates to itself, this ensures you always have the latest version installed.

  • Go to your SYSTEM menu.
  • Press the down arrow and choose OpenELEC.
  • Under the "System Update" section, change "System Update" to "auto".
  • Now push the down arrow and choose OK.

Configuring your audio output device

Follow this section in our Our XBMC ION Guide