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Well, you would think that Windows 7's new MediaCenter would be up to the task of recording your TV to a network share/drive. Too bad, it looks like it's just not possible.

I have a windows 2008 R2 server, and a Windows 7 machine with a TV card. Since my server has 2TB of storage, it would be nice to record directly to it's networked drive. (I mounted it as Z:).

I tried the following:

  1. Selecting it in Media Center Itself: Not working. Not available.
  2. Editing the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording , setting RecordPath to Z:\TV. Not working.
  3. Editing the registry: setting RecordPath to \\server\TV. Not working.
  4. Creating a Symlink (mklink \D) to Z:\TV and \\server\TV and setting that in the registry as RecordPath.

Currently I am out of options. I could ofcourse Install Windows7 on my server, but I have no license for that, and my windows 2008 r2 is free from dreamspark.

Are there people that are succesfully recording to a networked drive/storage?

edit
I also need to mention that I need to be able to acces the stored files from other PC's, like my laptop. So iSCSI is great for recording, but it looks like you can't access iSCSI devices from multiple PC's.

Looks like sharing a iSCSI device is out of the question, so: Are there workarounds to get this thing recording to my network drive?

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no, the iSCSI device acts like a local disk to the win-7 system that uses it. which means if you want to share it over the network, share it from the win-7 system like any other drive, not from the win2k8 server. –  quack quixote Feb 20 '10 at 17:01
    
multiple computers writing to the same NTFS filesystem is a good way to hose your data. if you must enable concurrent access, make sure only one computer has write access to the drive. see forums.openfiler.com/viewtopic.php?id=838 –  quack quixote Feb 20 '10 at 17:38
    
@Peterdk: as my first comment says, use iSCSI to let the win-7 system record. but then to share that drive to other PCs you need to share it from the win-7 system as a regular network share. the other PCs don't need iSCSI for the access; they'll just use windows networking and browse to the win-7 computer. –  quack quixote Feb 20 '10 at 18:15
    
@quack: Problem is, mij win 7 system is not always on, and I therefor need to be able to access it from my server. –  Peterdk Feb 21 '10 at 14:11
    
ahhh. that makes sense. more details == good. :) –  quack quixote Feb 21 '10 at 21:00
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4 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

This isn't an exact solution, but at home I record to the local hard drive, then run a robocopy script every 6 hours that moves *.wtv files that are more than a day old to my server, which is also mapped as 'recorded tv' in win7.

this keeps the space on my media centre hdd down.

the reason i have the at least 1 day old rule is i don't want it moving / trying to move a file that is currently being recorded. I doubt i'll find a tv show that has to record for more than 24 hours :)

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That's the solution that is workable, without making large changes to my setup. –  Peterdk Mar 2 '10 at 21:45
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Using your Windows 2K8 R2 installation, you can setup an iSCSI device using StarWind. You can then use your Windows 7 to target the new software iSCSI device to mount it in away that appears to be a native drive to MCE.

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Wow, that's a nice idea. Will try it out. –  Peterdk Feb 20 '10 at 15:18
    
Too bad StarWind does not allow me to share my physical harddisk, but only a virtual disk image that needs to allocate completely. But truth be told: it works, and it looks like it's the only ISCSI Target server that works on Win 2008 R2 and is free. But yes, I can now record with Windows Media Center. So I think this is the best we can get now, until media center just supports network drives. –  Peterdk Feb 20 '10 at 16:34
    
Well, too bad: not really a solution: you can't acces a iSCSI device from multiple PC's. So I can't access the recordings with my laptop. –  Peterdk Feb 20 '10 at 16:47
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I was not able to get WMC Recording Storage Pooler to work, so after a lot of screwing around I came to my own conclusion, which used part of the instructions on that website. Note that I have only tested this on Windows 7 Home Premium N SP1 x64, although I highly doubt it will vary between Windows 7 versions at least.

In the section "Recording using a network drive" it says the following:

  1. Make sure you have an administrator account that exists on both your WMC PC and the network computer with the same user name and password on both computers. For a network with a domain, it will need to be domain account. If this account doesn’t exist, create it.

  2. Change the account that runs the WMC Recording Storage Pooler service (WMCRecordingStoragePooler) to the administrator account.

  3. Change the account that runs the Windows Media Center Receiver Service (ehRecvr) to the administrator account.

I was able to get this working by running the Windows Media Center Receiver Service as a user which had access to write to the network share. (One already existed on my HTPC.) Note that on Windows, a user must exist on both the server and client machines with matching username and password, which must have access to write to the shared directory on the server.

Once that is set up, modify the registry entries:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording\RecordPath

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Recording\LastRecordPathSet

Set them to the UNC name (\\SERVER\ShareName) of your network share. I was not able to get it to work with a network share mapped to a drive letter. I'm not sure if LastRecordPathSet is necessary, but it can't hurt.

Once you've done those two things, saving recordings to a network share should work fine, without a third-party program.

Edit: If you are running any Windows Media Extenders, this solution is not recommended. Changing the user account which the Receiver Service runs under causes Extenders to be unable to play any live TV or recordings. Much to my chagrin.

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NDAS could be the answer which should diff from regular NAS solution. It mounts the share on PC as regular partition just like other local partitions. Also you can specify which PCs can do r/w operation to that partition and which one can only do read operation.

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