Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Setup a Mapped Drive on your MCX with a Domain-based Computer

Abstract: With the development of Media Center Extenders (MCX), you can not join the Media Center PC to a domain. This document will outline steps you can take to create a mapped drive for a MCX when media files are stored on a domain-based computer’s shared folder.

NOTE: This article assumes you have shared the proper folder on the domain computer and set the permissions correctly for the user account on the domain. Within the article, the password will be exposed in plain text in a batch file. If you do not wish to have your account’s password shown, it is recommended to create a new domain account.

NOTE: You may have seen this on  That was my old blog, and I have since taken it down.  Well, I have set it up to redirect to here soon…

Determine User Accounts for Media Center Extenders

You need to determine what user account is associated with the MCX for the mapped drive. If you have only one MCX or want all MCXs to be mapped with the same share and credentials, you can skip over this section.

  1. Open Media Center Extender Manager (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Media Center -> Media Center Extender Manager).

  2. Choose the MCX from the list and click Properties.

    1. If you do not know which MCX is the one you want, you will need to match it up with the Device ID from the MCX.

      1. From the MCX, go to Settings -> Extender -> About

      2. Match the Device ID with the one in the list. Device IDs in the list are in bold print. Also, the status should show Connected for the device.

  3. Write down the user account from the Media Center Extender Properties dialog box. It should be in the form of MCXn where n is a number.

  4. Close out of the Media Center Extender Properties dialog box and the Media Center Extender Manager.

Create the Batch File

You will need to create a batch file to handle the drive mapping process.

  1. Start Notepad (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Notepad).

  2. Enter in the following text:
    net use z: SHARE PASSWORD /user:ACCOUNT /persistent:NO

  3. Replace SHARE with the share on the domain computer using the following syntax:

  4. Replace ACCOUNT with the domain account using the following syntax:

  5. Replace PASSWORD with the password for the account.

  6. Open the Save As dialog box (File -> Save As).

  7. In the Save in drop down menu, choose the drive where Windows is stored (most PCs use C:).

  8. Create a new folder called Scripts.

    1. Click the New Folder icon.

    2. Type Scripts to replace New Folder.

      1. If this does not work, right-click on New Folder and choose Rename.

  9. Select the Scripts folder and click Open.

  10. In the Save as type drop down menu, choose All Files.

  11. In the File name text box, type in MCX.bat

  12. Click Save.

  13. Close Notepad.

Share the Scripts folder

You will need to share the scripts folder as the NETLOGON shared folder. This will help enable logon scripts for the local Media Center PC.

  1. Open the Run dialog box (Start -> Run).

  2. Type in the following:

  3. Replace X with the drive letter chosen in the previous section.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Right-click anywhere in the white space and choose Properties.

  6. Click on the Sharing tab.

  7. Click the Share this folder on the network check box.

  8. Type in NETLOGON in the Share name text box.

  9. Click OK.

  10. Close the Scripts folder window.

Set a Logon Script

You will need to set the MCX.bat file be the logon script for the MCX user account.

  1. Open the Start button.

  2. Right click on My Computer and choose Manage.

  3. Expand the Local Users and Groups tree (click on the + symbol).

  4. Click on Users.

  5. Right click the user account that you wrote down in the first section and choose Properties.

    1. If you did not write one down, choose the first MCXn account listed, where n is a number.

  6. Click the Profile tab.

  7. In the Logon script text box, type in MCX.bat

  8. Click OK.

  9. You can either do this for each MCXn account listed if you want all MCXs to access the same content on the folder or close the Computer Management window.

Add the Folder for a Media Center Experience

Now that you have the drive mapped, you should be able to add the drive using the Add Music, Add Pictures, or Add Videos wizard.

  1. If your MCX is turned on, turn it off and then back on.

  2. Select the experience you want to add media. For instance, My Music.

  3. Press More Info or Details on the remote and choose Add Music.

  4. Select Add folders and choose Next.

  5. Select Add folders on this computer and choose Next.

  6. Select the Z: folder and choose Next.

  7. Choose Finish.


  1. We may be in the minority by running all this in a domain because this is the only site I've found with the right answer!

    Spent a few hours trying every other method you could think of before I found your posting!


  2. Have you been able to do this with Windows 7 RC? I am having issues getting Media Center to work when connected to a domain.

  3. I haven't tried this with Windows 7 RC on a domain. I'll try this out with Windows 7 and report back...

  4. thanks, works nicely under vista ultimate!

  5. check out this post, download the msi it wil work within 2 minutes, worked for me after hours of searching i was glad to find this!!

  6. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll

    love to read your next post too.
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