Whats the best way to set up logins for a network that is just sharing one computer and external harddrive?

Hi there,
I am setting up a basic network for a primary school.
They have about 30 odd machines connected to the internet via ethernet cables and are networked.

I wanted to setup a shared facility for all the kids where they could go to any machine and then go to a shared drive that they could click on and enter their user details.

There is not a 'real server' as such just a machine behaving like a server with an external drive that is shared.  On the shared drive what would be the best way.....maybe setup a folder for each student and create permissions for logins that a student could enter to access their folder on the shared drive.... for eg rdoolan and password doolan???

It's a primary school and I worried that if I dont give each student some sort of permission based login and just share the drive with no permissions at all then some kids may just go and delete everything whether it be accidental or not.

We havent got a server with Server 2003 or local machines with XP pro, just every machine has Windows 2000 on it.

The kids would login to any machine locally using the username: student and password of 'password.

When they login there is a shortcut to the desktop connecting to the shared drive.  When they click on this it would ask for their username and password.

Is there a way that I can import user settings from a document that would maybe add all the local users onto the one machine acting as a server and then allocate the user permissions to the folder relating to each student?

Would this be an efficient way of doing it or is there a better way???

Thanks for your help

Ray
JSCHSAsked:
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peter41Commented:
I think the best way is to buy W2K3 server and create AD domain. AD provides unique name+password for accessing all resources in AD.
Alternatively you can to install Linux Samba NT domain, it should be also sufficient for your purpose.

If you chose solution with importing/deleting users, you can find useful command:
"net user" and you can to create *.bat which imports users from some text file.
See help: "net user /?"

Peter
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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
With Windows client OS acting as a server, you can use a max. of 10 simultanous connection at any time. Not enough for your 30 clients. The Samba solution hasn't that restriction, and a (cheap) NAS device shouldn't, too. The NAS is file server and external harddisk in one device, running Linux in most cases.

You only need to setup user and password on that single "server", so that is not a problem. You should care about access rights and separate folders for each student. And even think about a backup system, as kids delete their own "important" contents by accident from time to time.

So I agree you need a server OS in any way, be it Linux with Samba, or integrated in a NAS, or Windows Server (2000 would be sufficient). With latter, you do not need to set up a Domain or Active Directory, it is too much work for that simple task.
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JSCHSAuthor Commented:
Hi Qlemo,

So with Windows 2000 server there is no AD?  How would you set up the user authentication then?

Ray
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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
The user administration is done local, like you do it with XP or W2k Professional. The accounts are valid only for access to this single "server".
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peter41Commented:
If you want for every user one username+password for accessing every resource in your Windows infrastructure
(not only file server you want to deploy, but for example printers, or you want to create policies and groups, for example who can manage workstations - prohibiting of some control panels, prohibiting installations, etc...)
then create AD domain or Linux Samba NT domain.
If not, you must to create separate username+pasword for accessing file server, and for logging on student's machine, and in the future if you need another file server, you must create for every user another username+pasword on it.
So consider pros/cons and decide what you want to do.

Peter
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Windows 2000

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