Windows Media Connect Service Can’t Connect to Domain Shared Folder

I’m trying to connect the XBox 360 to my music, videos, and pictures.

The XBox 360 can connect to a service called Windows Media Connect, which in turn can connect to network shares.  This lets the XBox 360, which can’t be on my domain, connect to a service which is running on a machine which is on the domain, and that service can access shares offered by other machines on the domain.

But you can’t stream video from WMC on Windows XP, only the Media Center Edition.  So I’m setting up a computer as an MCE box, but this brings some new problems.

You can’t add an MCE box to a domain.  Because the MCE box isn’t on the domain, the Windows Media Connect service running on it can’t connect to the network share where my media is stored.

You can fool the Media Center software into finding “My Music”, “My Pictures” and “My Vidoes” on the network by using a profile batch file that runs when the XBox 360 connects.  Each Media Center Extender (which is what the XBox 360 is in this case) has an account on the Media Center, so having a profile for the MCX1 account that maps drive letters to the network shares makes them available to the Media Center software.

But this doesn’t work for the WMC service.  This service (wmccds.exe) runs as “Network Service”, and apparently doesn’t start up if you run it as anyone else.  “Network Service” is a special built-in account with limited permissions – it doesn’t have access to the network share.

Interestingly enough, I tried configuring the WMC service to run as a regular user, and the service would start up and then immediately shut down.  I also got a message in the event log at one point that it was shutting down because an unauthorized window was detected, ‘cmd.exe’.  This was probably the cmd window running the profile batch file that was mounting the network drives - so that technique isn’t going to work.

I’m not sure what to do about this.  It seems my options are:

  • Find some way of giving the process that WMC is running in the ability to connect to the network share; doesn’t seem like this will be easy


  • Put a big hard drive in the MCE box and move everything there.

Admittedly what I’m trying to do isn’t the mainstream case, but still, it doesn’t seem like it should be this difficult.  I’ll probably end up moving the drive that has my music on it into the MCE box if I can’t come up with another solution.  Anyone have any ideas?