Brain overload - new setup - need best repro from what I have

As said, I have tried to get my head around what should be where, but before you ship me to the dunce corner, please bear in mind I have just built a new windows server 2012 essentials music server from scratch (to be headless), optimised with Audiophile Optimizer), solved issues with the server o/s drivers, knackered my knees trying to fit new equipment into my rack, and peed off my wife cos I am not around to sit watching mind-numbing soaps with her…

So, I also have a lifetime sub for Roon, have downloaded the main program, as well as roonServer, and have roon remote on an android tablet.

Hardware-wise, I want to use the new headless server (networked) complete with Jcat usb connected to my DAC. Also I have available a desktop PC running W10, as well as laptop (w10) available to me, then for music files I use a QNAP NAS which has my music library - all on same network.

OK, guys… so looking for best possible configuration of Roon components etc to take advantage of the bits I have got so new music server can provide best SQ sound to my DAC.

I have tried to follow what others have done, but ended up heading for the drinks cabinet… Think part of the problem is the terminology being bandies about, as this means sommat slightly different to different people and their context.

Roon - It’s roles can be standalone all-in-one? or as a library server and controller serving RoonServer?
RoonServer - This serves music headless to the DAC, and can directly access music library files if configured this way???
Roon Remote - to access Roon interface??
Roon Core - ummmmmm???
Roon Database - Either on same machine as Roon, or Roon Server???

Yep! Confused!

Nice set of alternative visual diags would be nice!

, .if those that know could suggest what should be installed and configured where, I would be eternally grateful given the bits I have available to me. I am MISSING my music! :smile:

Here is part of a post from @Carl from the Help rename Roon Speakers thread:

For your server you’ll want to install the RoonServer, and configure it from the Android Tablet, laptop, or desktop. The Laptop and desktop should just use the regular installations and the tablet the android app, obviously. In the current state all three will be able to control the output (and settings) on your server, or their own audio output as a private zone. In the future you should be able to control each output from any other output.



Currently I have RoonServer installed on the Music Server, and out of curiosity I tried running the android app, but this did not find the roon server. What am I missing?
i checked that Roon Server is running (in the tray), and the Android device is linked via the same network wirelessly.

Just making sure, is the tablet set to Wifi and on the same network? Are you able to see it from the PC or laptop, if you have installed there?

It might be beneficial to restart the server if you haven’t after installing Roon, provided the above are yes.

Ahhhh… just started…Bril!
Only thing I need to work out is the best SQ config for the location of the Database (PC/Laptop, or Music Server) - ie if Music Server then map direct to NAS, if better to have two computer system, then map NAS to PC or Laptop so they server only one file at a time to the Music Server, if that makes sense!

What do you recon?



Also, not the remote app sees the music server, it try to connect then fails…
Might try the laptop with Roon install as client hardwired to the network next…

Being that you are running a server installation from a central file source with your NAS the Database would be?/should be on the server, imo. When you setup your watched folder location from in Roon on any of the other installs it it should point the server directly to the NAS and the server will handle the database/processing.

SQ wise there might be a benefit on hooking up your dac to the laptop or PC versus the server as that is where the processing is going on, but that is just a guess on my end and certainly not fact, it may not even be feasible on your end depending on location of PCs/system.

See this post from @andybob about 2012 installations. He has a couple of helpful links as well as it looks like you may need to tweak a setting or two.

Hi Keith,

Once you’ve got Server 2012R2 AO making sound (I use minimal server version) then the architecture and installation procedure I’d suggest is:

Install 64 bit RoonServer on headless server. This is your Core. It will setup with default empty library, we add your real library later.

Install Roon on PC and point it at RoonServer. It will be a Remote.

Go to Settings/Storage on the Remote and add a Watched folder on your NAS, usually top level Music folder is best. This will configure your Core to see your library on the NAS. Roon will import and analyse your library.

While your library is importing you can install Roon on the laptop (or any other devices) and point it at the Core. These will be further Remotes.

That’s it ! Hopefully should all work.

In this post I set out my understanding of the underlying architecture which may be of general assistance.

If you are having troubles with Remotes seeing the Core then have a look in this post. If that doesn’t fix things then we’ll flag down a dev to investigate.

Cheers !

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Hi Guys, Thanks for all the help so far.

MusicServer (W2012R2) has RoonServer installed, both PC and laptop have Roon running as remote, and they ‘see’ the RoonServer… but, very strange…

Even though I have tried to use both PC or Laptop to point the library at the QNAP Music folders I see Roon successfully scanning the folders (counts up to 5k odd files) but then no files show up at all in Roon?

Network path used is correct (tried using ip address as well) - login & pwd correct, I have used my PC to go look in the directories… music files are all present in their respective folders…all OK

So, I am puzzled…

Any ideas?



Hi Keith,
Scanning but not adding, sounds odd.
What format are your music files?

Same library files I have used before … mp4a and so on…

Twas fine with my old setup & Roon/JRiver.

The only real difference is the new Music\W2012 server R2 Essentials server + Roon Server… so I can’t fathom this…

Hi Keith,

Let’s ask @vova and @mike to look into it.

Couple of things to mention here, is that I removed roon and roonserver from my old laptop (used to be the main/only unit driving my DAC), and roon from my PC, and did a fresh install.

I say this because I noticed one or two other having similar problems with latest build… might be totally unrelated but worth a mention…


Hello @Keith_Lewis, apologize for troubles here.

Basing on your description of the issue and the fact that you are using W2012 R2 - I think you need to install Windows Server Essentials Media Pack, and turn on media streaming.

Interesting you should say that!

Just for completeness, I am getting sound out from the W2012 server through USB Jcat card to DAC, I know that because on tests during setup, it will play widows-type sounds.

The issue appears to be that Roon not being able to build the local DB from the library on the NAS it is pointed at. Since the RoonServer is headless, it can’t be done locally (unless I suppose I installed Roon as well on that server, but this is counterproductive regarding being as minimalist as I can on what software is running on that server). Certainly both Roon remotes I have used will scan and count up the folders and files pointed to, but not xfer to the DB on the server.

If Media streaming software, as you suggest somehow fixes that, and it’s the only way, then I will give it a go…


Oh Great!.. It was going so well, I thought!

OK, so Roon (or I presume and music server stuff?) needs windows essentials media pack installed on WS2012 R2 Essentials… got it!

BUT - then the ‘oh, but you need this, and that, and then that’…started!

The media pack install complains that it needs a new server role for it to run i.e. - ‘Windows Server Essentials Experience’! - eh?


But then after enabling/installing this… the server says you need to configure essentials…mmmm okay…

So you run through the wizard to be faced with it seems the need for a DOMAIN (so google returns say) and then presumably AD and all the fiddly stuff that I wanted to avoid! - arrrggghhhh! Nooooooo!

…all for a frikkin music server that runs in a workgroup of 3 machines at home…

I can see now why some have ditched WS2012 in favor of W10…

…but hang-on!.. others have done this… and it is supposed to be better than W10 (apparently for our audiophile reproduction), and AO helps by turning things not needed - off!.

…so I appear to be going the other way… turning things on that AO turned off…

Can this be done without all this domain malarky?



Hi Keith,

Yes. I installed Roon on Server 2012R2 with AO optimisation without any domain malarkey.

I found this thread by Dan Shore very helpful when working through things. If your LAN drivers are ok then you can ignore all the LAN stuff.

You should also read the AO manual carefully.

The main distinctions between AO and a conventional install are:

Following the steps in the above thread and the AO manual can get you to a minimal server installation. I wasn’t able to get it to a Core installation (different use of the word from a Roon Core). I am happy with minimal server because I find it easier to RDP in than configure through a terminal window (especially with HQ Player).

I attempted to write a step through procedure for Server2012R2, AO and Roon. It was really based on Dan’s post above and the manual, but if I can find it, I’ll post it here.

I will be moving away from 2012R2 and AO once RoonServer for Linux is released. I think Linux can be more minimal than Windows Server even with AO and my Server 2012R2 free six month licence is only good for another 30 days or so. At this stage I’m betting I will be able to move to Linux before it expires !

Hi Andy,

I think what has confused me is that the Media pack would not install (I had followed AO instrcutions and NOT run the configurator, but allows AO to do its prep). The Media pack install complained about a missing dll which then led me to info on google that said I had to install the ‘Experience’ pack first to be able to …which then said I had to run the configurator (which as you said is a no-no), before I could install the server Role… jeeeeezzz how convoluted!

I did start the configurator at that point, I must admit, but then eventually backed out when I hit the Domain setup… so I hope I did not mess the AO prep???

Looks like I might have to start again…

Should I uninstall RoonServer, then (if I can) rerun the AO service tool and run Prep essentials again? The follow Dans stuff?

Yes start all over Keith.

Follow Dan’s order of events and be sure to let Server download all updates, that may be where the missing dll is. If you strike that problem again note which one it is.

I started all over several times (formatting the partition) thinking it had stuck at various points until I realised that if I just left it alone to restart itself the unreasonable number of times it wanted to then everything would be ok.


Would I need to remove the OS entirely and reinstall?
By removing RoonServer, then rerunning the AO service tool & prep essentials, would this not get me where I need to be?
Maybe this is a question for Phil?