Windows 7 Streaming: Media on an External Drive

In an effort to preserve some functionality of not having a dedicated Media Center PC (see this post for more), I have a Windows 7 VM with media streaming enabled. What does that mean? It means that any DLNA enabled device can see my media library and stream its contents. I recently needed to add more storage space to said VM, and in doing so moved all media to the new E:\ drive. Then the problems started – I could not stream ANYTHING. No music showed up… pictures showed up….and only 5 videos showed up. What the heck? The only error I received when trying to stream was No files have been found on this remote library.

Keep in mind that I had configured the library to include the new paths on the E:\ drive for all of the media, so it WAS showing up in the local media library, but it wasn’t streaming. So what’s different? Is it a share? No- the E$ share is active, so it can’t be it. Permissions? Nope…they’re the same…

When all else fails, run ProcMon.

The trace on the local laptop while trying to stream showed nothing, but then on the DLNA server – it showed something quite different:

…multiple, continuous hits by wmpnetwk.exe to a ‘drmstore.hds’ file. Having dealt with DRM in the past, I know how picky it can be. For example, when I upgraded the processor on the MC PC, none of the recorded TV content would play – I ended up deleting a file related to DRM to resolve the issue – as DRM is tied to the processor on the system. So I did the same thing here:

…Just rename ‘drmstore.hds’ to .old, and let it be recreated. A few notes:

  • The entire DRM directory is hidden
  • The file will be locked when you try to delete it, so you will need to kill the wmpnetwk.exe process before you rename the file
  • wmpnetwk.exe is simply the DLNA\Media streaming process, so just restart Windows Media Player, and the process will restart

After that, you should have a new drmstore.hds file, and all files should now stream as before.

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