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Can't open media files in shared folders RRS feed

  • Question

  • Issue(s):
    I'm having two issues that are occuring separately that are described in much greater detail in "Steps Taken" below
    1.  Lost connection to server during Backup
    2.  Errors trying to open media files in shared folders

    Experience:  Although I've built a couple PC's previously, this is my first WHS build and my first true experience with home networking (never really knew much about port forwarding, DHCP, etc... previously).  It has been a big headache as I've been using most of my free time for the past 4 days trying to get the server to work properly!  Any help is appreciated.

    Related PC's and Hardware:
    WHS
    OS: Windows Home Server (attempted on PP1, PP2, PP3beta)
    Motherboard: ECS GF8100VM-M3 (Nvidia 720a chipset)
    CPU: AMD Athlon X2 5050e
    NIC: Netgear GA311 (installed yesterday to see if Nvidia integrated NIC was the issue)
    4GB RAM
    2 Samsung Ecogreen HDD's (500GB and 1TB)

    Client PC
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RC
    Motherboard: Gigabyte P55-UD4P
    CPU: Intel Core i5 750
    NIC: Motherboard integrated
    4GB RAM
    60GB OCZ Agility SSD

    Router: Netgear WNR3500

    All NIC's have a Gigabit connection with Cat6 cables.


    Steps Taken
    -First fresh install of WHS OEM I hastily updated to PP3beta immediately before testing (probably my first mistake).  Transferring videos(avi's) to shares worked and would sync with Media Center.  I could open files directly from shares.  I installed a printer on the server and was able to connect to it with my Client PC and print.

    When attempting backup the WHS Connector would lose connection to the server part of the way through, try to reestablish connection and would fail.  Could not connect to the server through Remote Desktop and when logging onto server directly it could not connect to the network or the internet.  The server would lock up when trying to restart and ultimately required a hard reboot.  Because the server had all these issues and completely lost connection to any network, I determined that this was probably a server issue and not a client issue.  I never had to restart the Client PC or change anything to be able to reconnect to the server.

    After troubleshooting with my router settings and reading through this forum I discovered that it may be an issue with my Nvidia drivers.

    -I decided the best way to test my theory on the Nvidia drivers was to start from scratch and I did another fresh install of WHS OEM PP1.  I made sure not to install the Nvidia graphics drivers and that the latest ethernet drivers were installed (both Network adapter and enumerator).  I was able to do one manual backup.  I updated to PP2 and then any subsequent backups lost connection at around 94% completion.

    -I decided that my Nvidia ethernet was too flaky to deal with so I went out and bought a Netgear GA311 as it was the only router available locally that people seemed to have success with.  I didn't bother with the drivers on the Netgear CD and installed the latest Realtek 8169 WinServer2003 drivers as recommended.  I just added the card to my current WHS installation (PP2), this was NOT a fresh install.  Backup worked for two manual backups.
    I thought everything was fixed but I went to play a 350MB AVI video from my Video Share Folder in Media Center and it locked up.  I opened the Shared Folders in Windows Explorer directly from my desktop.  I could see all the folders and files in my video and music shares and the correct album art and first video frames were displayed as previews when clicking on files.  When I double clicked on a music or video file Windows Media Player would open and it would pause for a long time before giving my an error.  I received a couple different errors, I unfortunately don't have the exact wording but they were along the lines of:
    "Server execution failed"
    "Windows Media player cannot open file... broken or missing link..."
    I could copy, paste and delete and move files from the server to client and vice versa.  Files copied from the server played perfectly on the client.  I tried deleting all the files in the shares and reuploading.  After reuploading I still could not play the files.  There were a couple instances where some music files would play off of the server, but only after a long pause when loading them.  This makes me think that it might be related to file size?  I reinstalled WHS and left it at PP1 and still have the same issue (backups still worked).

    Current Status:
    I have not progressed any further than the last step in Steps Taken.  Again, I'm a novice at networking but am a quick learner.  Thanks for taking the time to read through all this.  Let me know if you need any more info.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 3:46 PM

Answers

  • Installed the Intel PCI PRO/1000 GT NIC and everything works perfectly now!
    • Marked as answer by jcl3341 Monday, September 21, 2009 5:37 PM
    Monday, September 21, 2009 5:37 PM

All replies

  • Another note:  My next plan of action is to get the Intel PCI PRO/1000 NIC.  This seems to be the NIC of choice as I read through more posts.  Does this seem like a reasonable next step or am I going down the wrong path?
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:29 PM
  • If the media files playback is the only issue, could it be a DRM problem? Have you tried it with a different player like VLC or something?
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:00 PM
  • Its not a DRM issue as none of my media files are copy protected.  I did try VLC and it actually opened a couple video files but they took a LONG time to open.  Other times I still got the same type of error I got in Windows Media Player "The specified network name is no longer available."  I tried copying a non-media file over to the server (as I realized that's the only type of file I'd tested so far) and it took a LONG time to copy over a 100MB program install file and it would pause the transfer for long periods of time.  When I tried to execute it off of the server it again took an abnormally long amount of time but it did eventually execute.  Maybe the Netgear card just doesn't want to play nice with the server?
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:30 PM
  • Its not a DRM issue as none of my media files are copy protected.  I did try VLC and it actually opened a couple video files but they took a LONG time to open.  Other times I still got the same type of error I got in Windows Media Player "The specified network name is no longer available."  I tried copying a non-media file over to the server (as I realized that's the only type of file I'd tested so far) and it took a LONG time to copy over a 100MB program install file and it would pause the transfer for long periods of time.  When I tried to execute it off of the server it again took an abnormally long amount of time but it did eventually execute.  Maybe the Netgear card just doesn't want to play nice with the server?

    It certainly sounds like some sort of network issue (NIC, driver, cabling, etc.)  My suggestion is to start swapping out all network-related parts (one at a time) and see if it clears up (making sure to test after each part is replaced).
    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:09 AM
    Moderator
  • As there are a very limited number of configurations I can do with my hardware I'll be ordering the Intel NIC so there is more variety.  It seems like a good piece of hardware to have around anyways.  I'll update with my results once I get it in and have tested everything (probably middle of next week).

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:47 PM
  • Installed the Intel PCI PRO/1000 GT NIC and everything works perfectly now!
    • Marked as answer by jcl3341 Monday, September 21, 2009 5:37 PM
    Monday, September 21, 2009 5:37 PM