DIY: Windows Home Server – Part 2

I know it’s taken forever for me to get this out, but here is the second part of the WHS article I started back in February.  In that article we stopped after the server setup was finished.  We’ll jump right in and look at the WHS console, which is the tool you will use to configure and maintain the server.

First we’ll set up a user account.  Click on the Windows Home Server Console icon on the desktop, then click on the User Accounts tab at the top.

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Click the Add button and you’ll see:

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Click on OK and you’ll see:

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Enter the name and username that you want and then select whether you want the user to have remote access for that user.  You can set up WHS to allow connections from the internet to your server, so if you were at work or traveling you can access files and even take control of your home computers.  I’ll cover that in more detail in a future post.

When you’re all done, click Next.

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Enter a password.  If you chose to enable remote access in the last step, you have to come up with a good password.  Don’t try to use your dogs name unless it looks like $oT7jkl12.  Click Next.

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This screen is asking you what access to give the user.  Full means they can add, delete, change whatever they want in that folder.  Read means they can view, play, etc but not change delete or add.  None means they won’t even see that folder.  Make your selections then click Finish.

While we’re in the Console, let’s take a look at the rest of the tabs.  Click on Shared Folders.

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Here you can see a bunch of shared folders that WHS created for you.  You can add as many more folders as you need and then you can set permissions (as described above) for that share as well.

Click on Server Storage.

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This will show you all of the hard drives that WHS is aware of.  One of the cool things about home server is that you can add internal drives, external USB drives, thumb drives, or whatever and it will add them to this screen and use them.  You can see the nice graph that tells you how much space you’re using. 

Now click on the Settings button over on the right side near the top.

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This is where you will set many of the options for WHS.  You can set up what time to run the backups of your computers, configure media sharing and also set up the remote access piece.

Now let’s go to one of your computers and get it connected to the home server.  Find the disc labeled Windows Home Server Connector software and put it into your CD/DVD device.  You’ll see:

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and then:

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Click Next.

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Of course we accept the terms which we have never read and have no intention of reading.  Click Next.

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Enter the password you created when you did the initial setup.  (You know, way back in February…I really do suck sometimes).  Click Next.

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It’s just easier to let the machine do the updates for you, but it’s up to you.  Click Next.

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Also up to you, but backups are IMPORTANT.  I would leave it on Yes.  Click Next.

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Click Next.

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Now you’re done!  Wait, what just happened? 

  • Your computer was joined to the server
  • An automatic backup was scheduled for your computer
  • You now have an icon that says Shared Folders on Server on your desktop

In part 3 of this article, we’ll go through the steps to enable and secure Remote Access to the server as well as set up media streaming and connecting your Xbox 360 to WHS.  Stay tuned….