Windows Media Connect doesn’t share my files from a network share

So, all of the issues from the previous post apply here.  The file must be the right type, have the right permissions, and be parsed.  However, there are a couple of different things to consider that are unique to network shares. 

There are a couple of ways that you can get access to data on the network in Windows.  Two of the most popular are “mapping a network drive” and “UNC Shares”.  WMC only supports UNC Shares.  These are share names of the form \\alanlu02\media for example.  If you go into the WMC UI and attempt to share out content on a network drive then WMC will attempt to figure out the equivalent UNC path and share that instead.

The big problem that comes in to play with network shares are all permission related. You have to grant the right permissions. The easiest case is for a Windows XP box that is not domain joined. In this case, you must set the file and share permissions to be READ for the NETWORK account.  That’s great, but what about files that are on a version of Windows Server?  I got the full scoop from Mukul, who worked with me on WMC.  Among other things he wrote the file scanner and added the network share support.  Here is what he shared:


  1. Your media is in a share on a W2K computer in a workgroup (for example: \\W2KServerName\FooShare) and
  2. You want to access this media on your devices using WMCv2.0 running on a WinXP machine in workgroup

Continue reading below about the permissions requirements for W2K machine:

  1. ADD READ permission for "NETWORK" account in the W2K share permissions

    For example: On W2K machine, If you are sharing C:\Foo as "FooShare", then open properties of C:\Foo, go to "Sharing" tab on properties windows. It will show you the information about "FooShare". Click "Permissions" button there (which is used to set permissions of this share) and add READ permission for NETWORK account

  2. ADD READ permission for "NETWORK" account in the security permissions of underlying folder (folder that is being shared). 

    For example: On W2K machine, if you are sharing C:\Foo as "FooShare", then add READ permission for NETWORK account in the Properties->”Security” of folder C:\Foo.

  3. Enable guest account on your W2K machine (it is disabled by default on W2K machines). See this link for information on it (;en-us;258938)

    In general, WMCv2.0 should be able to access contents on W2K share after the steps given above.

  4. If it is still not working, try one more step. Some W2K machines have ANONYMOUS sessions explicitly disabled on them. To allow anonymous access on these shares, see this link:;en-us;289655
Comments (2)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the information. Its interesting to see how many different ways something that seems so straighforward can fail.

    At long last my Xbox 360 has arrived and thankfully I had no trouble getting both WMC streaming and MCE Extension working out of the box.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that though you can share out multiple folders from both local drives and network shares there is no way to select which file types to share from each folder.

    I’ve shared out my main Music and Photo folders from my NAS device. However since the Music folder has lots of ArtistAlbum sub folders which also contain WMP-fetched album art I get over 400 redundant picture folders showing up on the Xbox.

    This makes it very difficult to navigate to those folders that actually contain the pictures I want to see.

    If I could somehow tell Windows Media Connect to only share music from the music folder and pictures from the pictures folder I would have a much better experience on the Xbox side.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content