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Setup Server PC for Small Office Network (PC as Server without NAS)

Dear readers,

A Network-attached storage (NAS) is a computer data storage server which is connected to a computer network and connects to several client PCs. A good NAS has several advantages such as easy to use software, configuration, cloud connection and huge storage capabilities. However, a good NAS is at least RM 1.2k (without installation and set-up charges). Therefore, if you need to set-up a server pc for small office network and you have a small budget to spend, then you can follow these steps.

 Setup Server PC for Small Office Network (PC as Server without NAS) Blog  Office and Productivity Networking Network
Step 1 (Network set-up)
Ensure your computers or laptops are connected to each other on wireless or Local Area Connection (LAN).
Step 2 (PC Server set-up)
Prepare the pc to use as a server. Install hard drive with the size of your choice, for example, 1TB or 2TB according to your office needed storage. It is recommended to install a second hard drive as a backup hard drive. You can do an automatic backup from hard drive 1 to hard drive 2 using free software such as SyncToy and Aomei Backupper.
Step 3 (Set-up homegroup)
In this step, connect all PCs and laptop into a homegroup so that file sharing is permissible.
Step 4 (Create PC server folders) 
It’s time to set-up your file management folders. For example, create 2 folders in the server PC, where one folder is for public (folder name: public) and another one folder is for pcadmins (folder name: pcadmins). Use the first hard drive for this purpose.
Step 5 (Allow files and printers to be shared)
  • Open network and sharing center
  • Change advanced sharing setting
  • Turn on network discovery, file and printer sharing,
  • For all networks > public folder sharing, turn on sharing so anyone with network can access. Then use 128-bit encryption and turn off password protected sharing.
  • Go to file explorer, check your network connected computers. Ensure all PCs and laptops are visible in the network. If not, restart any of the PCs/laptops and ensure its connected to the network using Wifi or LAN.

Step 6 (Share the public folder)

Open file explorer on the server PC. Right-click the public folder>properties>sharing>share>add everyone>share.

Now, everyone on the network can view and access the public folder.

Step 7 (Share the pcadmins folder in privacy)

Open file explorer on the server PC. Right-click the public folder>properties>sharing>advanced share (admin access required)>tick share this folder>give a share name.

If your folder name is pcadmins, use pcadmins$ to share and hide the folder. Click permission and set the permission. Now, this folder is shared but not everyone can access this folder.

Step 8 (Map network drive)

  • Go to any PCs or Laptops where you allow access to the pcadmins folder.
  • Open file explorer on the PC.
  • Click my computer, then map the network drive.
  • Set the network drive letter.
  • Set the folder URL/link for the admins folder. Use pc name followed by the folder. Example: \\PC1\pcadmins$
  • You can also set-up network drive for public folder using the same method on any PCs or Laptops. Use \\PC2\public
  • Tick reconnect at sign-up.

 

You can use this set-up for file management and preparation prior to buying a NAS. Hope this helps. Need more tips like this? visit here and here.

 Setup Server PC for Small Office Network (PC as Server without NAS) Blog  Office and Productivity Networking Network

Author: Muhamad Hariz

I am a Ph.D. candidate in IT specializing in artificial intelligence, data mining, and Cloud computing. I am the founder of Autosoft, I have the passion for covering the latest information in artificial intelligence and tech world. Contact: hariz@autosoft.my

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