Monday, January 05, 2009

Windows SBS 2008, Windows Media Center and the XBox 360

[This post courtesy of efforts by Matt Clapham and Adam DePue]

First of all, Happy 2009!  I trust the holiday season was fun for everyone.  It certainly was for Matt who finally got his XBox 360 working with his Media Center and SBS 2008 server at his house over the holiday’s.  We wanted to share his experiences to benefit the community.  While Windows Home Server is designed for this scenario, and no work-arounds are required, Small Business Server doesn’t expect a media center or XBox in a work environment. 

None the less, it will work should you choose to either run SBS 2008 in your home, or have a Media Center or XBox in the office.

Step 1: Ensuring the XBox 360 Extender can connect to the Media Center PC

To ensure that the XBox 360 can extend media from the media center edition for content *on* the media center itself, you need the media center to be classified as a server on the network.  To do this the media center must be located in the Server’s OU within the Active Directory.  This changes the group policies that apply to that machine, allowing the XBox to connect to the Media Center PC.  To make this change:

  1. Click Start, Administrative Tools, and open Active Directory Users and Computers, and agree to the UAC prompt.
  2. Expand <domain>, My Business, Computers, and click on SBSComputers.image
  3. Find the Media Center computer in the list of domain joined PCs (note, Vista Media Centers can be domain joined, but XP Media Centers cannot) and drag it from the SBSComputers OU into the SBSServers OU.
  4. To make changes take effect immediately, on the Media Center PC, run gpupdate /force.

At this point, your XBox extender should be able to access the media center, and play content from the Media Center PC.  This work around was also discussed on The Green Button.

Enabling the XBox 360 Extender to access content on the SBS 2008 server

Due to the fact that the XBox extender software creates new accounts on the media center (“MCX”), these accounts do not have access to the SBS 2008 server.  As a result, the XBox will fail to access content stored on the server.  While you could create these accounts in the domain, there is no hope to make the passwords match, because the MCX password is a randomly generated long password known only to the XBox and and the Media Center.  Instead, you have to create a logon script for these MCX accounts to map drives to the SBS server using a domain user account which has access to the content you want to access from the XBox.

To create the logon script for the MCX account, you’ll want to create a batch file with the following contents:

net use * /d /y

net use x: \\SBS\Shared_Videos /user:SBS-Domain\AccountA "Password"

Where “SBS” is the server name, “Shared_Videos” is an example share name, “SBS-Domain” is your SBS domain name, “AccountA” is the domian user account name and “Password” is the password for AccountA.  Once you’ve created this script, you need to edit the user account on the Media Center to tell it to run that script on logon.  The script would of course add the “net use” line multiple times for different shares you want to connect to.  For more detailed steps, see my previous post on this issue.


DWAnderson said...

After taking the steps described in your post, I'm getting pretty consistent BSODs referencing RDR_File_System errors caused by mrxcmb20.sys.

Any idea why this would be occurring?

DWAnderson said...

BTW, here's how I solved the problem mentioned above:!71C238B5E0E3724D!1760.entry

Sean Daniel said...

Good investigative work DWAnderson! thanks for posting the fix here!

Anonymous said...

Any ideas on why I wouldn't be able to connect an Xbox to a Windows 7 RC extender in a SBS 2008 domain? Vista works great using the steps you listed however Windows 7 won't work at all for some reason.

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!