WMC 7 Server in a VM

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WMC 7 Server in a VM

Post#1 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:05 pm

I've had a box running WMC for 5 years without an issue, and am now putting in a server to handle multiple other things. It's not essential, but if it's possible I'd like to decommission the Win7 box whirring in my family room, and use a VM to serve the 4 echos in the house. Well, 5 once I remove the WMC server from the family room. Has anyone ever done this successfully with an HDHR Prime and DRM channels? Before I drive myself crazy, I figured I'd ask. The box it will run on will have about 20tb of space, and 32 or 64gb of mem. The head will not display video. All it needs to do is load WMC so I can configure it on the screen.

Has this been done before in this manner? If so, what can I expect?
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Post#2 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:30 am

I have WMC/Windows 7 running on ESXi, it works fine after everything is set up. Make sure to run the DCA Override tool. If you're using ESXi, also make sure to use the vmxnet3 network adapter or high-performance equivalent if you're using something else.

PlayReady was a nightmare to get working. I tried every combination of uninstalling/reinstalling PlayReady, running ResetDRM, running the drm license site: http://drmlicense.one.microsoft.com/Ind ... ndivit.asp and running the easy fix here: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9796875

Some combination of those got PlayReady working, and it works fine and seems to stay working once you get the Update Successful message as long as you don't change any VM hardware (add ram, CPU etc)
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Post#3 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:33 pm

My suggestion would be to go in a different direction.

Either move the Win7 box to the closet or if you are building a new server, install WMC on the new server. Either way, Echo's 1-5 would be installed as normal.

https://forums.mydigitallife.info/threa ... ost1151963
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Post#4 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:30 am

RyC wrote:I have WMC/Windows 7 running on ESXi, it works fine after everything is set up. Make sure to run the DCA Override tool. If you're using ESXi, also make sure to use the vmxnet3 network adapter or high-performance equivalent if you're using something else.

PlayReady was a nightmare to get working. I tried every combination of uninstalling/reinstalling PlayReady, running ResetDRM, running the drm license site: http://drmlicense.one.microsoft.com/Ind ... ndivit.asp and running the easy fix here: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9796875

Some combination of those got PlayReady working, and it works fine and seems to stay working once you get the Update Successful message as long as you don't change any VM hardware (add ram, CPU etc)



Thanks! I'll give it a shot. This is actually going to run on a Freenas Corral VM, so it may prove more difficult. I'll probably try it on VMWare and/or VirtualBox first just to ensure I figure out the puzzle on something more likely to work correctly.
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Post#5 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:34 am

Crash2009 wrote:My suggestion would be to go in a different direction.

Either move the Win7 box to the closet or if you are building a new server, install WMC on the new server. Either way, Echo's 1-5 would be installed as normal.

https://forums.mydigitallife.info/threa ... ost1151963


It's not so much the noise. The box is fairly silent. It's the electricity and space. Mostly the electricity. If I'm already running a NAS that does VMs, I figure save the power on the WMC box and use that for a mirrored NAS box. However I do realize how flaky VMs can be, so the WMC box won't get tossed or repurposed. It will get placed in a rack above the NAS servers, so if there's a problem all I have to do is turn it on and bounce the extenders. Not that I NEED redundant tv, but hey, why not. The content on TV has been redundant for years, so, lol.
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Post#6 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:40 pm

Crash2009 wrote:My suggestion would be to go in a different direction.

Either move the Win7 box to the closet or if you are building a new server, install WMC on the new server. Either way, Echo's 1-5 would be installed as normal.

https://forums.mydigitallife.info/threa ... ost1151963


Well I got it running on VirtualBox, and connected my Echo in my office to it.

I was going to do FreeNAS, but now I'm going to use something else for a NAS called "UNraid", which also does VMs. I'll post the results when I get that done, but wow, that was easy.

Not on the VM screen of course, but that's what I wanted. Watching a DRM channel through it right now too.
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Post#7 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:14 am

Crash2009 wrote:My suggestion would be to go in a different direction.

Either move the Win7 box to the closet or if you are building a new server, install WMC on the new server. Either way, Echo's 1-5 would be installed as normal.

https://forums.mydigitallife.info/threa ... ost1151963

The above allowed me to run WMC on WHS 2011 (based on Server 2008r2). Worked quite well except I couldn't connect any extenders to it for some reason. To be honest didn't try very hard. So a couple weeks ago I decided to try something else and am now running a virtual Win7 with VirtualBox running as a service on the same server. Works fine for my needs. Both are good options as far as I'm concerned.

I'm still testing it out and need more stress testing since the server also hosts emby with a large media collection.
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Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

Post#8 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:49 pm

I suppose it doesn't matter now, but, we're you getting the Mcx2Prov error? (During the extender install?)
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Post#9 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:42 pm

Crash2009 wrote:I suppose it doesn't matter now, but, we're you getting the Mcx2Prov error? (During the extender install?)


If you're asking me, no, no extender errors. First the extender popped up on the WMC screen, but I always cancel that and use the 8 digit code. This is Win7 Pro 64 SP1 running on the latest virtual box + tools, bridged NIC, maxed video mem, 8gb mem, 2 cores.

What I'm trying to do here is take down the 150 watt WMC server, and put it on a new box I'm building that will be a NAS using "UNRaid". As far as I know their VM app is "KVM". So I still have to test it on the destination. But at least I got it working in ANY vm, so now I won't mind playing with it on KVM. It's not a huge expense, but paying about $12 a month to run something I can just stick in a VM is silly.
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Post#10 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:12 am

GreenMachine wrote:
Crash2009 wrote:I suppose it doesn't matter now, but, we're you getting the Mcx2Prov error? (During the extender install?)


If you're asking me, no, no extender errors. First the extender popped up on the WMC screen, but I always cancel that and use the 8 digit code. This is Win7 Pro 64 SP1 running on the latest virtual box + tools, bridged NIC, maxed video mem, 8gb mem, 2 cores.

What I'm trying to do here is take down the 150 watt WMC server, and put it on a new box I'm building that will be a NAS using "UNRaid". As far as I know their VM app is "KVM". So I still have to test it on the destination. But at least I got it working in ANY vm, so now I won't mind playing with it on KVM. It's not a huge expense, but paying about $12 a month to run something I can just stick in a VM is silly.


Have you tried asking around over at FreeNas?


https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?se ... ter&o=date

Search.....Windows Media Center.....gets 174 results

Here is one to get you started....

https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?th ... ble.25320/
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Post#11 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:23 am

Crash2009 wrote:
GreenMachine wrote:
Crash2009 wrote:I suppose it doesn't matter now, but, we're you getting the Mcx2Prov error? (During the extender install?)


If you're asking me, no, no extender errors. First the extender popped up on the WMC screen, but I always cancel that and use the 8 digit code. This is Win7 Pro 64 SP1 running on the latest virtual box + tools, bridged NIC, maxed video mem, 8gb mem, 2 cores.

What I'm trying to do here is take down the 150 watt WMC server, and put it on a new box I'm building that will be a NAS using "UNRaid". As far as I know their VM app is "KVM". So I still have to test it on the destination. But at least I got it working in ANY vm, so now I won't mind playing with it on KVM. It's not a huge expense, but paying about $12 a month to run something I can just stick in a VM is silly.


Have you tried asking around over at FreeNas?


https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?se ... ter&o=date

Search.....Windows Media Center.....gets 174 results

Here is one to get you started....

https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?th ... ble.25320/


That thread is 3 years old, and they keep making changes to their code so it's not terribly relevant. I've also since given up on FreeNAS. Their dev team is in flux and the "Corral" release seems to be a bust. I'm gonna go with UNRaid instead. That uses the "KVM" code for VMs, which is much easier to test. In a year or so FreeNAS could be great, or it could be abandoned. That's how it looked to me anyway. I'm looking to set something up and leave it alone. FreeNAS isn't it. UNRaid is a lot closer to being something I can just use, and not constantly troubleshoot.

But in any case, yes, I did ask at FreeNAS. No one really knows it that well. To tell you the truth I was just being lazy. I managed to get a Win7 VM running WMC going and connected to an extender in under 30 minutes. So I'm not really worried about it at this point. I think it should work. If not through KVM, then I'll load up VirtualBox in a plugin to accomplish it. So given that I'm going with UNRaid, this thread is probably "solved".
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Post#12 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:32 am

FYI, Win7 SP1 WMC is up and running very well on UNRaid's VM system (KVM). Glorious.

I can't believe I have a NAS in the basement currently with 6 drives in it, and it's running at 20w less than my WMC box, that ONLY did WMC.

Well, I guess I'll switch over the rest of the extenders and let this puppy run a few weeks before I start pulling out wires on the old WMC box.

FYI it's running on an SSD (cache drive) using 2 cores from a Xeon E3-1275L with 6gb of mem, recording/buffering to NAS as a local drive. Runs like a champ!
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Post#13 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:21 am

Sounds great!

How exactly did you accomplish all that?

Someone might omega along and want to try it.
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Post#14 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:22 pm

Crash2009 wrote:Sounds great!

How exactly did you accomplish all that?

Someone might omega along and want to try it.


Which part?
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Post#15 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:14 am

GreenMachine wrote:
Which part?


Would the NAS be the best place to start or would you start with the Xeon E3-1275L

Where would you suggest would be the best place to start?
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Post#16 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:54 am

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Post#17 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:11 am

RyC wrote:Lol he's not coming back viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10860&p=116870#p116870


I hope he resolves the issue and returns.

In any event....Thanks for the how to.

Win 7 WMC VM recording to network drive on same hardware

Unread post#1 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:59 am

If you try to record to a NAS over a network with this it's going to give you huge headaches. Network traffic will cause your video to jitter and freeze due to inconsistency in speed. This is why MS doesn't all you to do it. (very easily, lol)

BUT, if you're running Win 7 WMC in a VM that's on top of a NAS, and you're not leaving the hardware with the network drive, this works very well. A heck of a lot better than a dynamic virtual drive, which chokes video as well, and a lot better than creating a static virtual drive which defeats the purpose of a NAS. It's very easy, and this is how you do it.

1. Build your Win 7 VM, and create an extra virtual drive for recording. Dynamic is fine, because with this it won't grow anyway. At least 100gb, because whatever size you create is the size Windows will believe it has to record/buffer with. Once you have Win 7 running, connected to your tuner, and recording to that second virtual drive, which for our purposes today we'll call "F", move to step 2.

2. Close the WMC gui, and go into the Ctrl Panel/Admin Tools and open "Services". Go down to the Windows Media services, and stop them all. Once they are stopped, go to step 3.

3. Go to your F drive and delete the folder "Recorded TV". This will only delete if you stop those services.

4. Open an elevated DOS window. (Start > Type CMD, right click on it, and Run as Administrator.

5. In the dos window, input this line....
mklink /D "F:\Recorded TV\" "\\yourserver\yourshare\"

6. Start WMC. To start WMC, just go to the Start menu and click the icon like you always would.

7. Find a program, and try to record it for a minute or two. Once it stops, check the network folder directly. Meaning, browse to the share on your NAS, don't double click the symbolic link you just made on your F drive. If the recording is there, you're done.

FYI security is your issue. I tested this with a wide open NAS share, and it worked. What I'll probably do is set the VM to automatically login as a user, create that user on the NAS, and then lock the share to just that user. But security is up to you.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME trying to do this over an actual network. VM to the host NAS is nothing like your local network other than you're using the TCP stack to accomplish the task. You can try it, but don't come crying here about it because I'll laugh heartily at you. No, not just a giggle. Think big belly laugh like Burl Ives dressed up as Santa Claus. Good luck!
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Post#18 » Sat May 06, 2017 3:50 pm

Crash2009 wrote:
RyC wrote:Lol he's not coming back viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10860&p=116870#p116870


I hope he resolves the issue and returns.

In any event....Thanks for the how to.

Win 7 WMC VM recording to network drive on same hardware

Unread post#1 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:59 am

If you try to record to a NAS over a network with this it's going to give you huge headaches. Network traffic will cause your video to jitter and freeze due to inconsistency in speed. This is why MS doesn't all you to do it. (very easily, lol)

BUT, if you're running Win 7 WMC in a VM that's on top of a NAS, and you're not leaving the hardware with the network drive, this works very well. A heck of a lot better than a dynamic virtual drive, which chokes video as well, and a lot better than creating a static virtual drive which defeats the purpose of a NAS. It's very easy, and this is how you do it.

1. Build your Win 7 VM, and create an extra virtual drive for recording. Dynamic is fine, because with this it won't grow anyway. At least 100gb, because whatever size you create is the size Windows will believe it has to record/buffer with. Once you have Win 7 running, connected to your tuner, and recording to that second virtual drive, which for our purposes today we'll call "F", move to step 2.

2. Close the WMC gui, and go into the Ctrl Panel/Admin Tools and open "Services". Go down to the Windows Media services, and stop them all. Once they are stopped, go to step 3.

3. Go to your F drive and delete the folder "Recorded TV". This will only delete if you stop those services.

4. Open an elevated DOS window. (Start > Type CMD, right click on it, and Run as Administrator.

5. In the dos window, input this line....
mklink /D "F:\Recorded TV\" "\\yourserver\yourshare\"

6. Start WMC. To start WMC, just go to the Start menu and click the icon like you always would.

7. Find a program, and try to record it for a minute or two. Once it stops, check the network folder directly. Meaning, browse to the share on your NAS, don't double click the symbolic link you just made on your F drive. If the recording is there, you're done.

FYI security is your issue. I tested this with a wide open NAS share, and it worked. What I'll probably do is set the VM to automatically login as a user, create that user on the NAS, and then lock the share to just that user. But security is up to you.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME trying to do this over an actual network. VM to the host NAS is nothing like your local network other than you're using the TCP stack to accomplish the task. You can try it, but don't come crying here about it because I'll laugh heartily at you. No, not just a giggle. Think big belly laugh like Burl Ives dressed up as Santa Claus. Good luck!


This is a Win 7 Pro VM running in KVM on unRaid 6.3.3, with 5 extenders running concurrently. 4 Echos, and 1 Linksys 2200. 3 using an HDHR Prime, and 2 are using the HDHR original OTA box.

Image

Which makes me wanna go....
Image

Yes, it works, and it works very, VERY well. My extenders connect faster than they ever have before, and now I've got a potential 24tb of recording space. Deletions on MY terms, lol.
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Post#19 » Sat May 06, 2017 4:00 pm

...and by the way, the mapped drive in registry caused a problem after I tried to secure it. When I tried to open it up again it kept caching the share as a secure share, and wouldn't go into it. As a result WMC kept creating a recording folder on C. What I ended up doing to resolve it was NOT put a mapped drive in the registry, and instead a network path. Worked like a charm. So your registry entries would be...

\\VMHost\sharename

Like I said the catch is they have to be wide open. BUT, they CAN be hidden shares.
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