WDTV : How to make Windows shared folders available in network shares

I recently bought a new computer with windows 7 but I was unable to access my shared folders from WD-TV Live player as they were not showing on Network Shares.

I checked the web for solutions and discovered that this issue is quite common. So I tried the most popular suggestions how to solve this problem, which are listed below:

  • First I tried to name workgroup as WORKGROUP. In windows 7 you do that by going through the following steps:
    1. Go to Control Panel > System
    2. under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings click on Change settings
    3. Under tab named Computer Name click on Change.
    4. Rename the workgroup to WORKGROUP and click OK
  • Next I tried to set various settings at Advanced sharing settings located in Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center. It is located on the left side. I chose to Turn on network discovery and Turn on file and printer sharing.
  • Then I tried to Create a shared folder by following these steps:
    1. right-click on a folder and then choose properties
    2. Choose Sharing tab
    3. Click on Advanced Sharing then check Share this folder and click Ok.
    4. Clicked on Share button which is located above Advanced sharing
    5. There choose Everyone under drop-down menu and clicked Add and then finally click on Share.
  • When I was using Win XP, I had the same problem with Network Shares not being visible, but I solved it by turning on following two services
    • Network DDE
    • Network DDE DSDM

    Unfortunately in Windows 7, those services do not exist anymore, but if you have WinXP, give that a try. In WinXP you find services by going to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services.

Even after doing all of the above, my WDTV player was still not able to find my shared folders on windows 7. After hours of trying to figuring out, what could cause the problem, I found about something called Master Browsing.

What is Master Browsing?

Domain Master Browser coordinates browse lists from all the local browsers in a workgroup. The information, called a Browse List, is held by the browser and primarily consists of the computer names and the services each of the computers offer.

This sounded like it could be source of the problem I was having.
Only one computer will take  a role of the master browser. To determine which computer in the network has that role go to Command Prompt and type:

nbtstat -a YourLocalIP 

You can also use your computer name instead of Your Local IP.
Computer name / Local IP do not need to be only for the computer that is running Command Prompt, but can also be for all the other computers on the network.

This command will show you a list that will contain your workgroup name, computer name and if the computer has taken the role of Master Browser, it will also show you a line with __MSBROWSE__ under the name as shown below.

output example of nbstat command

In my case, no computer in my network had this __MSBROWSE__ line. And then I typed IP address for my router:

nbtstat -a

And surprise, surprise, __MSBROWSE__ was there.

I am not sure why my router (Cisco WRT610N) takes this role, but I am guessing it might be due to its ability to be a server as it has USB port. Since I turn off all of the computers every night, the router is only device still working and it always takes the role of Master Browse.

Since it was doing such a lousy job as a Master Browser, I wanted that one of my computer takes this role instead. First I tried removing the USB Hard Drive from the router and then I tried turned off Media server but that did not do anything. In the end I solved the problem by renaming Workgroup name for router to be something else than WORKGROUP.

I hope you found this article useful. Feel free to drop a comment. Did you have same issues with network shares on WDTV? Were you able to solve the problem differently and if so, what did you do?

One Response

  1. Ryan Pierce
    July 18, 2014

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