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How to setup a small business file server

Hi All,

Does anyone know of a website that will give two step-by-step guides on how to setup a very basic file server for between 5-15 computers.

The First Guide:  Essentially, I would like a  'work around' so that I can setup a Windows XP Pro PC to act as a server.  Is there any easy way to setup a script or something similar to map each users 'My Documents' to the server on logon?

The Second Guide:  I would like eventually like to setup a domain with Windows 2003 Small Business Server, whereby each user logs on to the domain and is allocated storage space on the server etc.


1 Solution
Best bet is to pick up an MCSE book.

Try http://www.practicallynetworked.com
ihch_saAuthor Commented:
Hi Pseudocyber...

I've been around practicallynetworked a bit tonight, but I'm really after a 'Beginners Guide' with no theory or filling... just step-by-step.
I've bought a Windows Server 2003 Bible and even thought I've been working as an onsite computer tech for 6 years full time, this server business stops me dead in my tracks.

Is there any Microsoft Press (they are usually excellent) books that anyone would recommend??
Windows XP is limited to 10 concurrent connections.  Period.  If you're going to have more than 10 computers connecting to your file server at a time, then you NEED Windows Server.

You'll need to set up an Active Directory Domain to do all you want to do.  You say you want to map My Documents to the users network share.  Using AD, you'll set up an account for each user on the server and users will log in to the server.  Upon doing this, you can right-click the user's My Documents folder and click Properties, it'll have an option for target, here you'd put \\serverName\%username%  The %username% is what's called a global variable and Windows will replace that with their username.

As for creating users, creating shares, assigning permission, those are relatively simple things to accomplish, and as has already been mentioned, a book is the easiest reference for that kind of thing.  The Microsoft Press book "MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-290): Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 Environment" is what you're looking for as regards to this.  I'd also highly recommend the MS Press book "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant"

As for How-To information, http://www.petri.co.il is an excellent web site for simple step-by-step instructions for accomplishing many tasks in a MS Server environment.  The following two topics will help get you started with your MS domain and the books above will provide the icing on the cake.

How to install Windows Server 2003

How to install Active Directory on Windows 2003

In a smallish setup like you describe, you could get away with using a NAS unit as file server and by setting proper paths and automated network drive reconnection at startup you could get the functionality you want at a fraction of the cost and hassle that comes with a windows server and domain. You'd have to cope with individual worstation setup, but I'd say that is much less work for 15 users than you'd have with, say, an MS Small Business Server anyway.

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