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Help Setting Up Home Media Server

Last response: in Networking
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June 5, 2010 3:35:02 AM

Hey everyone,

I was hoping that I could come to this board and get some help with setting up a home media server. I am fairly experienced with computers and networks, but I can't seem to figure out to accomplish my goals. Currently, the way I am set up is that my computer stores the media (TV Shows, Movies, Music, etc) and shares these over the network to the other (4) PCs in the house. However, when my computer is sleeping or off, they cannot access these folders for obvious reasons. To this end, I'd like to set up an extra computer that I have in the house to act as the media server.

I have a wireless router which is currently full up (4 ports). I also have an 8-port switch that is not currently being used. All the machines are running 7 except for one which runs Vista. I'd like to configure the home network so that all the computers that are wired in can access the same network (EX: I also have Vonage in the house, and the one computer that is connected through the extra port on the vonage box can not see the other computers) and I'd like to have full Read/write control from my machine, while not allowing anyone else on the network to add, modify, or delete the files. My family is not the most computer literate, and I do not want them being able to accidentally re-name or delete the media files that I have organized and stored on this machine.

Is there an easy way to accomplish this? I was thinking that if I set up the switch (not really sure how these work, if I plug it into the router and then plug computers into this, will they see each other?) I'd be able to create two accounts, however it seems that if I share it, I have to give everyone read/write or nobody. I don't want to have to go to the machine each time I need to add or change something.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, or even provide me a how-to, I would be eternally grateful.

Thanks,
June 5, 2010 6:56:28 AM

110985,1,551505 said:
Hey everyone,

I was hoping that I could come to this board and get some help with setting up a home media server. I am fairly experienced with computers and networks, but I can't seem to figure out to accomplish my goals. Currently, the way I am set up is that my computer stores the media (TV Shows, Movies, Music, etc) and shares these over the network to the other (4) PCs in the house. However, when my computer is sleeping or off, they cannot access these folders for obvious reasons. To this end, I'd like to set up an extra computer that I have in the house to act as the media server.

I have a wireless router which is currently full up (4 ports). I also have an 8-port switch that is not currently being used. All the machines are running 7 except for one which runs Vista. I'd like to configure the home network so that all the computers that are wired in can access the same network (EX: I also have Vonage in the house, and the one computer that is connected through the extra port on the vonage box can not see the other computers) and I'd like to have full Read/write control from my machine, while not allowing anyone else on the network to add, modify, or delete the files. My family is not the most computer literate, and I do not want them being able to accidentally re-name or delete the media files that I have organized and stored on this machine.

Is there an easy way to accomplish this?
Yes.

I was thinking that if I set up the switch (not really sure how these work, if I plug it into the router and then plug computers into this, will they see each other?)
Yes, if they are all in the same-named workgroup

I'd be able to create two accounts, however it seems that if I share it, I have to give everyone read/write or nobody. I don't want to have to go to the machine each time I need to add or change something. Here's a problem, but read on...

When setting up sharing on the server machine, click "Permissions" and only have the "read-Only" box checked. The server machine can do as it pleases with the files/folders, but the networked machines can only read files and folders. So you will need to visit the server machine to make changes, but at least your files and folders are safe from everyone else on your network. This inconvenience comes with the territory of being the administrator/server, unless someone else has a better idea?.
June 5, 2010 12:41:41 PM

Thank you for the reply. I don't have an extra monitor (or the space really to set it up) for the server machine. Would there be a way to possibly set it up so that I can log into the server machine remotely and perform the duties there? So it would be like I was in front of the machine without having to go down there?

Is there something such as software or hardware that I can purchase that would make this task easier?

Thanks.
June 5, 2010 5:37:42 PM

Since you said the magic words "that I can purchase" yes, the most ideal solution does exist...

http://www.netopia.com/software/products/tb2/

They have a 14 day trial version here: http://www.netopia.com/software/products/tb2/buy/index....

If this turns out to be too pricey, try windows remote desktop sharing or try to establish 'remote assistance' that can be invoked with the target machine being unattended. The target machine needs a monitor just long enough to set these things up and then can be disconnected.
!