Newbie here: best way to access shared folders on Windows based computer

  • Hi everyone!


    Newbie here. I run Kodi on Windows HTPC for years but finally decided to dive into LibreELEC on Raspberry Pi 3. Put latest system on microSD card, booted. Connected to my WiFi. Works! :)


    Now I need to add folders with movies from my server.


    Question: what is the best way in terms of speed? NFS - UPnP - SMB - Network location (direct)...


    And how to connect? I tried each way in Kodi - only UPnP can see the server but can't see the folders and files... With Windows based HTPC I used SMB and it was easy to setup. With LibreELEC it's different :) I need to create/edit some config files in the system, right? Where can I find latest and newbie friendly guide? I read one but it's hard to follow (Mounting network shares [LibreELEC.wiki]) in terms of the path name - what if the folder's name is "\\SERVER\F - Movies Hitachi"? As I understand, I need to change SERVER with IP address, right? But what about the folder name - is it ok to have spaces in the name or I need to rename it?


    When I followed that guide and rebooted the Pi, I tried to add SMB share in Kodi. Got message ERROR 2: SHARE NOT AVAILABLE. And now UPnP doesn't see my server...


    Sorry for all these newbie questions... From reading this forum I realize you all guys are pros and use this system for a long time...


    Hope someone would guide me :)


    Thanks!


    EDIT: Problem SOLVED! Thanks everyone for the help and support!

    In case someone stumbles on the same pothole:


    the problem was with Windows share name... There are three names: drive letter, drive name and SHARE NAME. Yeah - for smart guys it's obvious which one to use but not for dummy :)

    You need to use SHARE NAME! Not the drive letter, not the drive name, I repeat - SHARE NAME. And mine was totally different from drive letter and drive name. So I changed it to be the same as drive letter and... ta-da! Problem solved.

    Thanks everyone once more!

  • Question: what is the best way in terms of speed? NFS - UPnP - SMB - Network location (direct)...

    I'm kind of glad I abandoned ship on Windows and switched to Ubuntu Linux years ago. I think some things work easier than everything "clickity-click" in Windows.


    Also the fact that Windows in the last year(s) has changed its ways on how to set up a SMB server on Windows 10 is not encouraging to me. Add to that the updated versions that each have their quirks (SMBv1 was basically a total security mess that lead to the worldwide WannaCy virus outbreak, and started new user requirements on SMBv2 and up).


    In theory, NFS is faster because that network protocol has less overhead (it works 'simpler'), but some people claim that SMB works better for them. All is fine, you can ultimately test which works best for you. However, NFS is predominantly a Linux network protocol. There are howevera couple of Windows NFS solutions which are explained on the Kodi forum here and here.


    UPnP is a limping file protocol in my view, it still doesn't support external subtitle files as far as I know.


    When I followed that guide and rebooted the Pi, I tried to add SMB share in Kodi. Got message ERROR 2: SHARE NOT AVAILABLE.

    That is because LibreELEC defaults to SMBv2, and SMBv2 itself doesn't support network browsing anymore. You will need to use the "Add a network location..." option when adding a new source, and enter full credentials (username and password) of the Windows user.


    There is another option in LibreELEC to support SMBv1 again, but it is not recommended for obvious reasons.


    But what about the folder name - is it ok to have spaces in the name or I need to rename it?

    I choose to use spaces as little as as possible. Once you have subfolders with movies, music and/or tvshows, it doesn't matter so much for Kodi, but without spaces things works faster when you are working on the command line in Linux. Most of the time I use dashes or underscores instead.

  • Thanks Klojum!


    So from continuous reading I start figuring out the way to connect to my Win 7 shared folders :)


    As I understand, I need user_name+password on Windows.


    One thing that need more clarification with:


    Do I still need to configure access to shares in LibreELEC as per Mounting network shares [LibreELEC.wiki] ?


    Or I should be able to brows to Win share in Kodi with user_name+password?


    Thanks!

  • Klojum, I ran into exactly what you are saying a few days ago, Windows is horrible for sharing the network. I have always used a NAS for my storage and LibreELEC NEVER had an issue finding my files. However, I purchased a separate powered external HDD, to store some media files, and attached it to one of my Windows 10 microPCs, then the fun began. I ended up attaching my HDD to my Asus router, which has a gigabit connection.


    But, as you stated, Linux does NOT have those issues........... Linux SEES everything on the network.

  • I hope this helps. I had the same problem with Windows SMB Shares and got help in this forum.


    Accessing Windows Shares using SMB


    1. Your Windows shares must have a login and password assigned.


    2. The new Windows samba (SMB) DOES NOT allow browsing to the shares, so you must type the actual path.


    Example: smb://192.168.x.x/movies (use your own IP and folder name)


    You can also add the path to your shares by clicking BROWSE and selecting "add network path" and filling out the form shown:


    Protocol: Windows Network (SMB)

    Server Name: 192.168.x.x (use your own IP address)

    Shared Folder: use your folder's name here (ex: movies)

    Username: your Windows username

    Password: your Windows password

    Edited once, last by blueribb ().

  • Thanks blueribb!


    You are talking about configuring SMB in Kodi, right?


    Do I need to do all that magic in Linux itself through the PuTTy that they talk about in the guide?


    Thanks!

  • thanks blueribb!


    I still banging my head off the wall here :)


    What settings do you have on Windows end for sharing?


    Thanks!

    I just followed the directions I posted above. No magic silly PuTTy needed. (lol)

  • Make sure your Windows shared folders are shared with "everyone" and also with your windows login name. I'm not sure if both are required but it doesn't hurt.


    Also, go to Control Panel / Network and Internet / Network and Sharing Center / Change Advanced Sharing Settings

    Click on "All Networks"

    Turn on Public Folder sharing

    Enable "Media Streaming"

    Use 128 bit encryption

    Turn ON or OFF password sharing (I have mine turned OFF)(try both if needed)


    If needed, I can share photos of kodi and windows settings

  • I gave up on trying to get my Windows 10 computer to be recognized by Kodi running under LibreELEC or CoreELEC, so I connected my HDD to my Asus router that has a native USB3 port. Now everything JUST works. Of course Linux does not suffer from any of the Windows issues, IT JUST work.


    Got tired of jumping through hoops just to get an external HDD connected a Windows computer, to be recognized by Kodi.

  • I'm at work now but will try it once I get home.


    Did you create separate local user account on Windows machine?


    This is one step I didn't try - I was trying to login with my common Windows name and password.


    Thanks again!

  • If you Windows account already has a login name and password, you shouldn't have to add another account.

  • Thank you so much for all help and support, blueribb! Thanks for not giving up on me :)

    I solved the problem and updated my OP!

    Basically my problem was with Windows share name...There are three names: drive letter, drive name and SHARE NAME. Yeah - for smart guys it's obvious which one to use but not for dummy :)

    I needed to use SHARE NAME! And mine was totally different from drive letter and drive name. So I changed it to be the same as drive letter and... ta-da! Problem solved.

    Thanks again!

    If you Windows account already has a login name and password, you shouldn't have to add another account.