I am trying to consolidate info that i have and guidance folks have posted on the forums into a more standard FAQ. Starting from a rough draft, I would love to get this ironed out and posted in a more visible space. First off though, i want to make sure that it has enough information to help people navigate through their issues.
I'll continue to post on other threads and add guidance to this top post as needed, or feel free to post additional advice you have below. File sharing shouldn't require anything overly complicated on your windows/osx/linux machine, so if you have only had success using something tricky, i'd love to have a chance to troubleshoot with you a bit.
Thanks. Any comments/feedback very much appreciated -
Scanning the local network
When you first power on Boxee, you'll be prompted to configure your network setup. Once you've done this we will start scanning your local network looking for two things:
* Computers and network attached storage devices supporting the SMB protocol
* UPnP/DLNA devices capable of acting as a Media Server
SMB is implemented by Windows, MacOS, Linux, and most network attached storage devices. It is an extremely common and well tested protocol for accessing files over a network. Boxee supports adding SMB servers as a "content source" from which we'll index, identify, and categorize movies, pictures, and music.
Boxee takes a very aggressive approach to locating SMB servers:
* We issue broadcast search queries using the traditional (NetBIOS) method used in MacOS, Linux, Network Attached Storage devices, and Windows versions up to and including Windows XP
* We issue multicast search queries using the more recent (Web Services) method used in Windows Vista and Windows 7
* We send a direct message to every possible node on your home network checking to see if they support the NetBIOS method
This approach helps minimize the impact of misconfigured networks and variations between desktop operating systems. A precondition for this approach is the ability to use NetBIOS to communicate with the server.
After we have searched and located all of the machines we believe support SMB on your subnet, we start indexing shares from these servers so you can browse and add content sources.
If we don't find your network share, there are a few possibilities. First off, our odds of being successful go up if the boxee box is on the same network as the file server. Typically this is as easy as ensuring they are hooked up to the same router.
Second, if we don't see your share in the files -> network section, the odds are not good that we will properly locate and scan it if added manually. The reason is the manual addition of servers is designed to cover cases where the server is not on the local subnet (such as complex home network configurations); if you manually add a server that is on the local subnet, Boxee will try to verify that it is online using similar techniques to how it discovers the servers it shows in the file browser.
If your file share is on a Mac OSX machine:
1) Make sure your shares are exposed via SMB: go to system preferences, sharing, file sharing (ensure this is enabled), options, and check 'Share files and folders using SMB (Windows)'
2) Make sure your shares are available either via a guest account, or via a user account you can enter on your boxee box.
If your file share is on a Linux machine:
1) Make sure you have a netbios name set for your machine (typically in /etc/smb.conf or /etc/samba/smb.conf) and that you have your shares set as browsable.
2) Make sure the nmbd (netbios name resolution, this is part of samba) is running on your server; without this you will need to add your shares manually using the ip address
3) If possible, validate that you can access the shares from another machine
4) Ensure that either a) your shares are marked as guest accessible, or b) your shares are accessible by a user account that you can enter on your boxee box.
5) Ensure you have file permissions set on the share in line with the user account you use; if you use a guest account to access the share, you must ensure that read permissions are available for the guest user
If your file share is on a Windows Vista or Windows 7 machine:
1) Ensure your network interface is marked as 'home'. Windows ties a huge amount of state in file sharing support and firewall configuration to the network type.
2) Ensure you either have guest access enabled and your file shares are marked as readable by everyone, or that you have your folders shared by a specific user account you can enter on your boxee box.
3) In your networking settings, make sure that file sharing is enabled; this should be set by default if your network interface is set to home, but it may be disabled on accident
4) If possible, browse your network using explorer (open an explorer pane, go to the lower left and select network, then choose your workgroup - which is probably 'WORKGROUP' or 'MSHOME' - make sure your machine shows up there)
5) If you are using user accounts, you may need to ensure that security on the folders and files you are accessing allows 'everyone'. It is worth noting that if you configure a homegroup, file permissions are set correctly for your files.
6) Very important - it is worth noting that the security access on shares can show one thing in the 'share ...' section and a completely different thing in 'advanced settings' -> 'permissions' section. You need to ensure that both of these sections are aligned, otherwise you may get access denied issues.
If your file share is on a Windows XP machine:
1) Make sure you either have a firewall exception that covers file sharing, or that you have the firewall disabled. The inbox firewall for Windows XP SP2 and SP3 has a simple configuration for this, as do most third party firewall applications.
Odds and ends for Windows machines:
*) If your windows machine is part of a Windows domain (this is sometimes the case on larger company networks), you'll need to have a local machine user account (preferably not the administrator account) that you can give read access to your shares. This local machine user account will be the one you use from the boxee box, not your Windows domain account
*) If your network is part of a domain configured with IPSec (very rare) you may need to check with your IT administrator to ensure that NetBIOS and SMB are accessible by non-domain devices.
*) If you are still getting prompted for credentials and unable to access your windows share, and you've removed windows live essentials, and you no matter what cannot get things to work, you can try what some wdtv live owners have done to correct windows security policy around file sharing. Please note these are advanced settings and you should set a restore point prior to trying these:
Known issues1. Start > type 'Secpol.msc' .... Navigate to 'Local Policies' > 'Security Options' > 'Network access: Restrict anonymous access to Named Pipes and Shares' ... changed from 'enabled' to 'disabled'.
2. Preform the following registry changes...
a. Navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contr ol\Lsa' ...
i. On the right side, double-click on 'everyoneincludesanonymous' and change the 'Value data' from '0' to '1'
ii. On the right side, double-click on 'NoLmHash' and change the 'Value data' from '1' to '0'
b. Navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servi ces\Lanman Server\Parameters'
i. Double-click on 'restrictnullsessaccess' and change the 'Value data' from '1' to '0' (Note: this value was allready set to 0 for me)
3. Re-boot your PC, then navigate to the network shares on WDTV Live and hopefully this will work for you to.
* When streaming high bitrate content from a Windows 7 machine, i sometimes see rebuffering, but don't see this from Windows Home Server or other file shares
-- Windows 7 appears to significantly reduce the bandwidth for background file transfers when other tasks run by default. Server versions of windows don't do this as they try to keep equal priority for all tasks. You can reconfigure Windows 7 to keep an equal priority for file serving by following steps in this post: http://forums.boxee.tv/showpost.php?...6&postcount=36