Foray into the murky world of extenders

Troubleshoot and discuss the XBOX 360, XBOX One, Linksys, and other extenders.
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technodevotee

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Foray into the murky world of extenders

#1

Post by technodevotee » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:22 pm

So, having read all the posts here and elsewhere by people frustrated that they aren't able to use extenders with WMC on Windows 10, I decided it was time to get involved and bought myself an Xbox 360 and a Ceton Echo to play with.

The story so far:

On Windows 7, the Xbox 360 and the Ceton Echo work perfectly.

On Windows 8.1 (using RDPWrap 1.6.2 and WMC V13), the situation is exactly as other have stated: The XBOX 360 Works perfectly but the Ceton Echo just gives the message about needing to use MMC and the only things that work using the remote is live TV, pause, FF, rewind and channel change. Being as I can't find the MMC app anywhere, the Ceton Echo is as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

On Windows 10 (using RDPWrap 1.6.2 and WMC V13), I get past the first two step of the configuration but then it times out or reports an error. The wired thing is that once that has happened it can't even see the Xbox until you reboot the PC.

My hope is to figure out what Microsoft have changed in the O/S that broke it.

Anyone willing to contribute their knowledge to this (admittedly ludicrous) quest?
Last edited by technodevotee on Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

technodevotee

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#2

Post by technodevotee » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:08 pm

I have noticed that when I configure RDPWrap on Windows 8.1 it shows listening, fully supported but when I configure it on Windows 10, is says listening, not supported.
As can be seen, I am running 1903 on the PC I'm testing with.
rdpwrap 1903.PNG
I'm wondering if that is all that is stopping it from working but in addition to 1.6.2, I have tried 1.6.2.1 and searched for updated ini files on the GitHub repository.

technodevotee

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#3

Post by technodevotee » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:48 pm

I tried backdating termsvr.dll to an older version as suggested on the rdpwrap site and although I now get listening, fully supported, WMC still gives the same error message.

The other thing I tried is enabling all the extender firewall rules. I discovered that there are a few that WMC leaves enabled.

They allow windows explorer to see the XBOX and WMC now seems to find the extender every time without a reboot.

Also, WMC takes longer to give the error and seems to get further in the setup because there is lot of disk activity now and the Xbox shows connecting, which it never did before.

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#4

Post by technodevotee » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:28 am

I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the problem:

Windows 10 isn't listening for connections on port 3390 - the registry entries are all there but it seems like the terminal service is ignoring them.

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#5

Post by technodevotee » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:07 pm

As soon as I try to set up an extender WMC disables the firewall rules and sets these registry entries to 0:

Code: Select all

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\ConnectionHandler\8dc86f1d-9969-4379-91c1-06fe1dc60575]
"fAcceptConnection"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\EH-Tcp]
"fEnableWinstation"=dword:00000001
If I re-enable the firewall rules, set the registry entries back to 1 and restart terminal services, it listens on 3390. The problem is that if I try to connect to port 3390, I get the "....there is no licences available...." message.

edit: seems that termsrv.dll had been replaced with new one but because rdpwrap had not been uninstalled and reinstalled it thought it was working properly but it wasn't. having restored the older version that works, and re-enabled everything I can connect on 3390 until I attempt to configure an extender when WMC disables the firewall rules, the handler and the WinStation.

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#6

Post by technodevotee » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:00 pm

I just installed Windows 10 build 10240, stopupdates10 and WMC V13 on a spare HDD. I didn't do anything else to it and it isn't even activated.

I fired up the Xbox 360 and it appeared in WMC but when I tried to configure it, it immediately gave the usual error.

I installed rdpwrap and rebooted but didn't make any changes to the settings. This time, WMC found and configured the XBOX and it is working.

I connected the Ceton Echo and it appeared in WMC but when I tried to configure it, it immediately gave the usual error.

That was always a long shot but I had to try didn't I?

I allowed mcx2prov.exe and mcrmgr.exe in the firewall per the Ceton instructions and that is working as well. When I say working, I mean WMC configures it and it shows the screen telling you to use MMC and that is as far as it gets. But it's a start, right?

Now I'm going to try and find out on which build they stop working. Time to make some snapshots for comparison.

Before doing that I wanted to try a few things:

I tried casting a video to the Ceton Echo using the Media Player and it worked. So it is a bit more useful than a chocolate fireguard after all. Wonder if that function works in later versions of Windows 10?

Meanwhile, testing xbox 360 a bit more it isn't working reliably as it get disconnected every two minutes or so and the published workaround doesn't fix it. I've had RDP sessions timed out in the same way in the past so maybe there's a common theme there.

Am I on a hiding to nowhere in this quest?
Last edited by technodevotee on Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#7

Post by technodevotee » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:34 am

I got to wondering if the disconnecting was new to Windows 10 or whether it was an issue before then.

It seems like the problem has popped up now and again since Windows 7 days albeit not so commonly. But in Windows 8 it seems to have been rampant so I stoked up Windows 8.1 and sure enough it does the same thing in that. Looks like I just didn't wait long enough when testing. I wasn't actually using it of course, just playing with it. Forgot to say that the XBox disconnects while I'm casting a video or recorded tv to it as well - it plays for just under 2 minutes and boof, a black screen followed by the disconnected message.

The errors I'm getting are exactly the same as those reported by people on here back in 2012 and it is hard to know if they ever resolved the problem because most people seemed to give up and go back to Windows 7 - sounds familiar, doesn't it.

I can't see any point in continuing unless I can find a way of fixing the problem in Windows 8 so that it can be applied to Windows 10.

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#8

Post by technodevotee » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:33 pm

So, I wondered if the problem is actually the version of WMC I'm using - it is a hybrid of V12 files and V8 installer after all.

I removed V13 and installed V12 on the Windows 8.1 setup and now it plays a whole programme without any problems.

I removed V13 and installed V12 on the Windows 10 setup and now it plays a whole programme without any problems.

I need to find out what is different. Maybe there's something that isn't being configured in the V8 installer?

Maybe a registry setting somewhere? The files are the same but there's obviously something different about the installation.

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#9

Post by technodevotee » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:34 pm

Well, it seems I was bit hasty because although the Xbox 360 seems to work perfectly on Windows 8.1 and works on Windows 10 v1503 (build 10240), it started randomly freezing while playing after 5 to 10 minutes. I tried all the tricks with using a cable between the Xbox and the PC and connecting them to the same switch but it doesn't help.

I compared the settings after installing V!2 and V13 as best I could and the only difference I could see was a change in the security settings for the RDP-tcp winstation registry settings. However, applying them to V13 didn't break anything so that may be a red herring.

I have just installed v1703 (15063) as it was the next version I had to hand and I can't get the Xbox to pair any more now. I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is related to the changes to DRM after v1511.

I noticed there was a firewall rule on v1503 called Media Center Extenders - WMDRM-ND/RTP/RTCP (UDP-In) but that doesn't seem to exist on v1703. nah - its there (and on v1909), guess I wasn't looking hard enough!
Last edited by technodevotee on Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#10

Post by technodevotee » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:23 pm

technodevotee wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:07 pm
As soon as I try to set up an extender WMC disables the firewall rules and sets these registry entries to 0:

Code: Select all

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\ConnectionHandler\8dc86f1d-9969-4379-91c1-06fe1dc60575]
"fAcceptConnection"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\EH-Tcp]
"fEnableWinstation"=dword:00000001
If I re-enable the firewall rules, set the registry entries back to 1 and restart terminal services, it listens on 3390. The problem is that if I try to connect to port 3390, I get the "....there is no licences available...." message.

edit: seems that termsrv.dll had been replaced with new one but because rdpwrap had not been uninstalled and reinstalled it thought it was working properly but it wasn't. having restored the older version that works, and re-enabled everything I can connect on 3390 until I attempt to configure an extender when WMC disables the firewall rules, the handler and the WinStation.
doh, this is nonsense of course because EH-TCP is for port 3391 and it is RDP-tcp that deal with port 3390 (which was also being disabled but that is due to WMC shutting everything back down on connection failure).

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#11

Post by technodevotee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:42 am

Current state of this project is: Stalled

Xbox 360 works fine as an extender with Windows 8.1 using WMC V12. As far as I know, it also works with native Windows 8.1 WMC.

It also works fine with Windows 10 v1503 (after a reinstall) using WMC V12.

No other versions I've tried work properly and I haven't had any breakthroughs yet.

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#12

Post by technodevotee » Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:50 am

Just to be clear, anyone trying to set up extenders on anything other that Windows 7 or Windows 8 with WMC installed by using add features or media center pack (or whatever it is called), will need to install RDP Wrapper. It needs to have an ini file entry that exactly matches the version of RDP that the system is using (note that this is not always the same as the Windows version) as shown in the configuration utility.

There are a few websites that offer ini files to support different versions of RDP and I would recommend searching for RDP Wrapper together with the full version number of RDP to find them. Note that there can be a delay in new ini files becoming available because it takes a lot of skill to create them.

There will likely be instructions for replacing the ini file or inserting the required entries into the existing one. Following a reboot, the configuration utility needs to show listening and fully supported otherwise, there is no point in trying to configure the extender in WMC.

From my experience, if RDP isn't working properly, then attempting to configure an extender will fail immediately but if WMC shows that it found the extender and fails later in the configuration process, there is most likely a different problem.

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#13

Post by DavidinCT » Fri May 08, 2020 7:57 pm

I've been watching this project with some hope but, others have tried and failed.... A NON 360 Extender on Windows 8.1 or 10...

As I understand FROM Microsoft when 8.1 came out(I was a beta tester...oh, I am sure there still a NDA...lol), it was because of RDP versions. Once 8.1 came out, they had a more secure version of RDP, this is what broke 3rd party extenders.

If you could...in a way, use the same version of RDP from Windows 7 and get it running under 8.1/10, even if as a 2nd RDP connection.... that might lead you down a road that could do this...

Of course, the holy grail of Windows Media Center, Getting a RDP session running full screen, with full use of Windows Media Center would be prefered... I wonder if you could emulate a Xbox 360 for this use... Ah the dream, a $40 PI that kicks off RDP full screen as a full Media Center Extender that will play everything... sigh..
-Dave
Twitter @TheCoolDave

Windows Media Center certified and WMC MVP 2010 - 2012

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#14

Post by jachin99 » Tue May 12, 2020 11:28 pm

Its completely a wild guess but among the improvements for RDP in win 8, there is something about RemoteFX. RemoteFX from my understanding has always been something to pass 3d graphics for VMs but whatever its something to try. Here is a post on a completely different forum explaining how to do that https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/3313 ... mpression/

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#15

Post by technodevotee » Sat May 16, 2020 10:21 pm

I think it is more that just changes to RDP because if you look at the registry entries for RDP in Windows 8 and Windows 10, there are two Winstations defined. RDP-Tcp which listens for connections from clients and Xboxes on port 3389 and EH-Tcp, which listens for connections from Third Party Extenders like the Ceton Echo on port 3390.

Using WMC V12, an Xbox works perfectly on Windows 8 and Windows 10 V15xx but won't work on anything later than that.

On Windows 8, a Ceton Echo actually establishes a connection to RDP and to WMC and you can configure it but something that is present on Windows 7 is missing somewhere and the Echo defaults to a really dumb mode where only a few functions work.

On Windows 10 (including V15xx), a Ceton Echo establishes a connection to RDP and WMC can see it but it fails when you try to configure it.

I don't have any other kind of Third Part Extender to try but I assume that the same sort of thing would happen on Windows 8 and Windows 10.

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#16

Post by technodevotee » Wed May 20, 2020 7:46 pm

@jachin99

is this helpful in relation to what you were talking about?

https://forums.mydigitallife.net/thread ... st-1218360

From what she is saying, this isn't enabled by default or even available on Windows 10 Pro,

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#17

Post by jachin99 » Sun May 24, 2020 3:58 pm

That was exactly what I was talking about. I wasnt sure if remotefx was playing some part in breaking traditional extenders. It sounds like if you want to create the "ultimate" extender though that tutorial is the way to go. I wonder if Android TV has a Windows RDP client as that would be even better.

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