Friday, January 28, 2005

MVP's: You saved my entertainment system!

So late last week, I had lunch with one of the SBS MVPs (Jason for those of you who are definitely going to ask...). We talked about SBS (naturally), but conversation strayed to another Microsoft product: Windows Media Center Edition. I have been working on setting up my media center PC for about 2 weeks now. While typically an easy task, I wanted to do some things at my home that aren't actually ... sanctioned :o)

My first issue was that Media Center 2005 is not supposed to be able to join a domain. I say not supposed to be able to, because I know it's possible through some hacky methods. I'm not advertising you join your media center to a domain by any means, tons of things can go wrong, one of those being the Extenders.

You're probably wondering at this point how Jason fits into all of this. Well, he hooked me up with another Microsoft MVP, Andy. Now I haven't had the pleasure of actually meeting Andy, since he's not an MVP for SBS, but rather for Media Center. Just the man I'm looking for!

On January 22, Andy posted to his blog on How to Setup a Mapped Drive on your MCX with a Domain-based Computer. The exact problem I was experiencing with my data redirected to my SBS server.

I won't bother typing out the instructions on this blog, since Andy did an excellent job at making the instructions "SBS Simple". I just finished setting this up last night and it works like a charm.

Andy, thank you for your time and effort as a Windows Media Center MVP. Jason, thanks for putting us in touch.

MVPs Rock!

Apparently this post needs an update, since the link to Andy's blog site appears to be broken. I'll include the steps here for completeness.

Determine User Accounts for Media Center Extenders
You need to determine what user account is associated with the MCX for the mapped drive. If you have only one MCX or want all MCXs to be mapped with the same share and credentials, you can skip over this section.

  1. Open Media Center Extender Manager (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Media Center -> Media Center Extender Manager).

  2. Choose the MCX from the list and click Properties.

    • If you do not know which MCX is the one you want, you will need to match it up with the Device ID from the MCX.

    • From the MCX, go to Settings -> Extender -> About

    • Match the Device ID with the one in the list. Device IDs in the list are in bold print. Also, the status should show Connected for the device.

  3. Write down the user account from the Media Center Extender Properties dialog box. It should be in the form of MCXn where n is a number.

  4. Close out of the Media Center Extender Properties dialog box and the Media Center Extender Manager.

Create the Batch File
You will need to create a batch file to handle the drive mapping process.

  1. Start Notepad (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Notepad).

  2. Enter in the following text:net use z: SHARE PASSWORD /user:ACCOUNT /persistent:NO

  3. Replace SHARE with the share on the domain computer using the following syntax:

  4. Replace ACCOUNT with the domain account using the following syntax:

  5. Replace PASSWORD with the password for the account.

  6. Open the Save As dialog box (File -> Save As).

  7. In the Save in drop down menu, choose the drive where Windows is stored (most PCs use C:).

  8. Create a new folder called Scripts.

    • Click the New Folder icon ( ).

    • Type Scripts to replace New Folder.

    • If this does not work, right-click on New Folder and choose Rename.

  9. Select the Scripts folder and click Open.

  10. In the Save as type drop down menu, choose All Files.

  11. In the File name text box, type in MCX.bat

  12. Click Save.

  13. Close Notepad.

Share the Scripts folder
You will need to share the scripts folder as the NETLOGON shared folder. This will help enable logon scripts for the local Media Center PC.

  1. Open the Run dialog box (Start -> Run).

  2. Type in the following: X:\Scripts

  3. Replace X with the drive letter chosen in the previous section.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Right-click anywhere in the white space and choose Properties.

  6. Click on the Sharing tab.

  7. Click the Share this folder on the network check box.

  8. Type in NETLOGON in the Share name text box.

  9. Click OK.

  10. Close the Scripts folder window.

Set a Logon Script
You will need to set the MCX.bat file be the logon script for the MCX user account.

  1. Open the Start button.

  2. Right click on My Computer and choose Manage.

  3. Expand the Local Users and Groups tree (click on the + symbol).

  4. Click on Users.

  5. Right click the user account that you wrote down in the first section and choose Properties.

    • If you did not write one down, choose the first MCXn account listed, where n is a number.

  6. Click the Profile tab.

  7. In the Logon script text box, type in MCX.bat

  8. Click OK.

  9. You can either do this for each MCXn account listed if you want all MCXs to access the same content on the folder or close the Computer Management window.

Add the Folder for a Media Center Experience
Now that you have the drive mapped, you should be able to add the drive using the Add Music, Add Pictures, or Add Videos wizard:

  1. If your MCX is turned on, turn it off and then back on.

  2. Select the experience you want to add media. For instance, My Music.

  3. Press More Info or Details on the remote and choose Add Music.

  4. Select Add folders and choose Next.

  5. Select Add folders on this computer and choose Next.

  6. Select the Z: folder and choose Next.

  7. Choose Finish.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Any chance of resubmitting the links?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Any chance of resubmitting the links?

Sean Daniel said...

Thanks for those who said the links were broken, I've included the steps directly in the post to make sure they don't go down again.

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to get this to work for almost 2 weeks!

Anonymous said...

Very cool information. Been wanting to do exaclty this for a long time.

Anonymous said...

I just used this information along with this, (, to connect a XBOX 360 extender to a Windows 7 Media Center (WMC7) with a Windows Server 2012 back end (upgraded my WHS 2011) using storage spaces (and de-dupe!)! Works perfectly! Hope this helps someone else, because it sure worked out for me! I use a HyperV VM to run WHS 2011 for the system backups, and now I'm in Media Center heaven!