Simplifying Samba Sharing from WHS

by Damian on November 10, 2009 · 44 comments

in Guides

If you stream from your WHS  to any media player via smb (such at the Popcorn Hour or Myka) you know that one of the biggest PITAs is that you can only mount 1 share at a time. What this means is that if you store all your media in the respective WHS shared folders (Videos, Music, Photos) you will need to create a separate smb share for each shared folder and can only access one share at a time on your media player. Well, forum member Specter over at Networked Media Tank has come up with a solution to allow all your WHS shared folders to appear under one smb share.

  • Enable Guest Account in WHS – best practice is to keep Shared Folder Access at Read only. Any shared folder set to Full could result in files being deleted accidentally (you could do this through the PCH by simply pressing the delete key on the remote)

WHS Console Properties

The rest of the steps can be done by remoting in to the WHS. However, since I have Advanced Admin Console I will do everything through the WHS console.

  • Share “shares” folder – go into your Data (D:) drive, right click on the “shares” folder, go to the Sharing tab, and enable sharing of this folder.

Advanced Admin Console

WHS Console Sharing

  • Add User/Group – right click on the “shares” folder in the D: drive, select Properties, go to the Security tab, and click Add. A box should now pop up. We are going to want to add two new User/Groups (RO_X and RW_X where X represents a letter used by your system). For Specter’s EX485 the letter G was used (i.e RO_G) but for my WHS build the letter I was used (i.e. RO_I). Type in RO_X and hit the “Check Names” names button. You will now be taken back to the Security tab and should see “RO_X (ServerName\RO_X)” in the list of User/Group names. With this selected make sure that “Read & Execute”, “List Folder Contents” and “Read” are Allowed in the Permissions section and hit “Apply”. Follow the same steps again for RW_X, but make sure all permissions except “Special Permissions” are allowed.

Advanced Admin Console-Select User

RO_X screenshot

Advanced Admin Console-RO Properties A

RW_X screenshot

Advanced Admin Console-RW Properties A

You can now go to your media player and set up a new smb share (smb://ServerName/shares). All you media will now show up under one share, no need to mess around with maintaining multiple shares (sorry for the hack job on the last screenshot!!!). 

smb share a

Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Sam Wood November 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Nice username on that last screenshot, Damian ;)

Damian November 11, 2009 at 3:17 am

Yeah, he was nice enough to let me test this out on his server. Unfortunately Clubber Lang wasn’t available at the time :-)

Marty November 15, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I’ve had a single SMB share on my MSS since I started using it at the begnning of this year but I did something by far more simple. All I did was remote desktop and turn sharing on the shares folder. I don’t see why people haven’t done this earlier if this is such a problem. Seems to work just fine on everything in my home network.

Otto December 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

I’m trying to connect PC3 to my HomeServer EX485 and network drives from Buffalo Tech (Network Storage – LinkStation)
but PC3 is no see this network drive
I ‘m looking for option get share drive from Home Server
(If mount my Network drive to Home Server and looking then share media content using home server – this is possible?)
What is a process
I try to install PS3 Media Server (I can’t) (it is java apps)



Jason May 30, 2010 at 9:51 am

“where X represents a letter used by your system.”

How do I know what letter is used by my system?


Jason May 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I figured out the “letter” issue. However, despite what appears to be a correctly configured WHS I cannot get the NMT to “browse” and locate the WHS share under the “network share” tab. Very frustrating.

However, the NMT is, in fact, seeing my WHS. For example on the NMT’s opening screen where you can “circle” scroll —>under the three boxes it sees the WHS and when selected I can browse the selected files. So I’m close here.

Do you need the NMT apps to be installed for this to work? Because I removed the installed HD in the NMT and thus the apps are not installed.

Damian May 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

@ Jason,

An internal HDD is not needed. So when you try to Network Browse you cannot see your WHS (I think under workgroup) or you see it but cannot connect?

Harry July 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm

What is the “letter” issue? Is this a system generated letter or can one use any letter?


Damian July 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm

@ Harry,

Right click on one of the folders that is shared by default such as Videos, Music or Pictures. Access the security tab and make note of the names listed RO_X (SERVERNAME\RO_X) and RO_X (SERVERNAME\RO_X). X is a varible letter that can be anything, for my guide I was the letter

Harry July 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Damian – all OK!

richard October 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm

thanks for all this info. looking at my shares on the server the Photo, video, and music all have different drive “letters” they are 3, 4 and 5??? does that make sense?

Damian October 18, 2010 at 9:17 am


You see drive letters on your WHS for each share? I don’t think I have seen that before. Some of my shares have letters on my PC because I created a map to them.

richard October 18, 2010 at 10:47 am

If I look at each folder that is shared it shows up as RO_5(server1\RO_5). then another folder will be a 3 and a 4… so on. Pictures is different than music and different than video. I think the only one that is a mapped drive is videos which was mapped as V.

Damian October 18, 2010 at 10:51 am

OK, I got you, I thought you were telling me that each of your folders was showing as a number mapped drive.
I would try RO_5 and see if that carries through

richard October 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

will do… thanks

John October 30, 2010 at 7:22 am


I am new to Zappati. I stream all my Films from a WHS, I have set up Zappati, but instead of all covers transfered to al my separate film folders, all the new created covers by Zappati are exported to the Zappati folder in my Shared folder, I would like to set up Zattapi that each cover goes to each separate movie folder.

I have in my shared folder Videos the following subfolders;
Films A
Films B
Films C
Music DVD’s

Has anyone a suggestion to get this working!!!!



Damian November 12, 2010 at 5:12 am

Hi John,

Zappiti does not put covers in individual folders, it only exports to your designated output folder. You can try using a metadata program like YANFOE, YAMMM, etc… to get covers in your individual movie folders (that is what I do)

parman December 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

as always great tutorial.

Wayne December 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

Wicked cool solution to a problem I was having with the HP console. A+

mbat4022 January 17, 2011 at 6:17 am

When I get to the “Add user/group” part of this and I put in “RO_I” and click “Check Names” I get a pop up box that says the following:

“An object named “RO_I” cannot be found. Check the selected object types and location for accuracy and ensure that you typed the object name correctly, or remove this object from the selection.”

It then asks if you want to “Correct this object information and search again” or “Remove “RO_I” from selection”

FYI, “I” isn’t a drive letter in use for me. I’m dead in the water at this point. Any info you can pass along would be much appreciated. I’ve had my A-200 for about a week now and still haven’t been able to get it to read any files of any type right now!


Damian January 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

“I” may not apply to your system, you need to use what your system shows. Try this:

Right click on one of the folders that is shared by default such as Videos, Music or Pictures. Access the security tab and make note of the names listed RO_X (SERVERNAME\RO_X) and RO_X (SERVERNAME\RO_X). X is a variable letter that can be anything, for my guide I was the letter

mbat4022 January 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

Thanks for the reply. After my post I found Specter’s article on NMT and figured out what you mentioned above (I thought I was creating a new drive letter, not using one that was already there – perhaps a simple mistake for a newbie like me!), and I am happy to say I am up and running and watching movies on my PCH!! Now I’m off to tackle YAMJ+Aeon to get the true experience I have been looking forward to!!

Damian January 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

Try using the SabishGT All-in-one package for Aeon/YAMJ:

Jim March 6, 2011 at 10:11 am

Thanks for the guide. I’m able to browse my folders and their sub folders, but is there anyway to make the popcorn hour go directly to the “Videos” folder directly(and/or its sub folders) without starting at the “shares” folder?

I’ve tried to make the source “smb://mss/shares/Videos/Movies/High Definition”, but it doesn’t work. Sharing is enabled up to the “Videos” folder, but I can’t even get it to start there.

Damian March 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Easy one Jim :-)

Change your path to:

smb://mss/Videos/Movies/High Definition (i.e. lose the “shares”)

Mark August 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Hi Damian

I am trying to follow this guide using WHS2011 but when I come to the (SERVERNAME\RO_X) part there is no RO_X in any of the names in the security tab, for any of the folders? It looks different to your screen shots in WHS2011. Any ideas how to do this with WHS2011?

any help would be much appreciated.

Damian August 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

Hi Mark,

Honestly I am not sure. I have taken my WHS 2011 off line, but if I can get it back up and running I will look closer at for setting up smb. I am not sure how well it would work since the shared would only be specific to the one drive you have connected to your WHS 2011 (as each additional drive would be its own share)

scott January 21, 2012 at 9:33 am


Thank you very much for this tutorial. I am running WHS v1 and was trying to connect my new tablet to the centralized data. This worked perfectly. I appreciate you taking the time.


Damian January 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm


Always great to hear success stories :)


Mathelo January 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm


Why do you use Samba for SMB shares? Is is better than the Microsoft SMB?


Damian January 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm


Actually smb is short for Samba ;)


Mathelo January 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm

So, are you saying it comes preinstalled on my HP MediaSmart Server? If not, how are my videos streaming to the DUNE?


Damian January 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Samba is part of Windows (so it is already with your HP Mediasmart Server). This guide is not installing samba, just adjusting some settings to make sure it works best for the various devices


Mathelo January 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Got it. Thanks for the explanation.

SteveT July 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

What a hive of information this is! Thank you for all the time you have put into this site Damian!

I’m just stepping up my media streaming knowledge. I’ve had WHS (original flavour) for a couple of years now, mainly to serve Sonos, which I absolutely adore. Looking now at the Dune D1 hoping that it will do for my movies what Sonos has done for my music.

Very interested to read this issue over shares in WHS, but not sure I entirely get it. You say: “you will need to create a separate smb share for each shared folder and can only access one share at a time on your media player.” Could you explain this a little further please before I follow this tutorial. Do you mean that, if I was watching a movie on my Dune (coming from the video share), my kids wouldn’t be able to listen to music on Sonos via the music share.

If this is the case, what a bummer – your tutorial becomes a no-brainer. Or is the restriction on shares more subtle than this and something I wouldn’t notice in normal useage? Don’t want to go to the hassle of potentially breaking something that is working well for me if I don’t need to.

Thanks in advance of any advice.

calaf1982 October 21, 2012 at 1:17 am

Dune Prime 3.0 cannot show Optical bluray in network browser
How to set up.


Jon January 22, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Ok, the write up is pretty straight forward, but I do have a question. I looked at the Videos, Photos and Music folders for the RO_”X” information. Does it matter that Videos is RO_G and RW_G, Photos is RO_E and RW_E and Music is RO_F and RW_F? Does it matter which set of letters I am entering into the “new User/Groups” box? Or am I missing something obvious? Thanks!

Damian January 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I only checked my videos but no issues (and it applies to all my shares, Music, etc…)

Jon January 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Thanks Damian, That is what I thought, but I wanted to double check since I was able to test the SMB connections until today. After a little trial and error, I got it working a few minutes ago. This was a great write-up. Thanks to everyone!

Comments are closed, visit the forums to continue the discussion.

{ 5 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: