HomeServer Tomfoolery – Tips and Tricks


So, finally got homeserver running on my ghetto setup.  At the minute it consists of a VIA EPIA M10000 mainboard, 512MB RAM, two 500GB Seagate Baracuda's and a random power supply I had lying around.  The case is notable by its absense, this is currently living on my dining room table.


Asides aside, it is running superbly.  The borderline-obselete mainboard, it is only 1GHz afterall, is more than comforable with WHS running on it and the backup and remote access features are simply astounding.


 


Tips and Tricks 


First things first, a few assumptions.  Most home users have a single username and password combo that they use amongst thier home machines.  ie "User" and "password" are the same across laptop and desktop.  If you add a user to WHS with the same username/password combp  you get to use something called passthrough authentication.  This means that you will not have to supply credentials to WHS when connection from a machine on the same network.


Another useful tip is to set the location of your "special" folders to a share on your homeserver.  For example, right click on your "My Pictures" folder in XP ("Pictures" in Vista) and select properties.  One of the tabs should read "Location", set this to the following location replacing the placeholders as needed;


\\homeserver\Users\username\Pictures


If this folder doens't already exist it will ask you if you want to create it, it will then ask if you want to move the existing files to the new location.  This will move all your pitcures to your personal folder within WHS under the "Pictures" folder.  If you perform the same task on your other machines all of them will work against the same folder.  It also automatically sets up Offline Files for this folder (Professional OS dependant, not available on Home Editions) and you will also be able to access these files by remote access.


This same principle can be used for your Music, Videos, Documents and Favourites folders.  Probably a few others too but I haven't use for them.


Update:  As the redirection above would result in frequent direct access to a share by programs on a client machine I have struck the text out as this is not recommended due to the data coruption bug;


http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/946676


Once the bug is fixed then this method can be used once more though until then I would not recommend (nor use myself) the above.


Hope this helps, comments welcome!


Jason

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