In our last Get Started feature, we set up and configured user accounts for family and friends.

Once you have all of your family members set-up with user accounts you can go ahead and add whatever additional shared folders you need, on top of Windows Home Server’s defaults.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Windows Home Server is pre-configured with a number shared folders; Videos, Music, Software, Recorded TV, Photos and Public. HP add the additional Converted Videos and Mac folders to their home servers. You can configure an individual user’s access rights to these folders when initially setting up that user’s account. But what if you want to create a completely new shared folder? Let’s take a look at how we do this.

Let’s say you’re in the process of moving house, and there’s all sorts of emails, documents and most importantly, spreadsheets sitting on various PCs in the house. (Anyone who has moved house will know the sheer volume of documents that go between you, your estate agent and solicitor!). I’m going to set-up a new shared folder, called “House Move” in which I can store all of my important documents about the move.

Step 1: Login to the Windows Home Server Console from One of your Home Computers

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Step 2: Click on the Shared Folders Icon at the Top of the Screen

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The Shared folders screen will appear. This lists all of the shared folders you have set up on your home server with the following information:

  • Name – funnily enough, the name of your folder.
  • Description - a description of the folder contents.
  • Used Space – the space currently taken up by that folder on your home server
  • Duplication - Windows Home Server allows additional protection for your shared folders, by duplicating the contents to a second hard drive on your home server, if one is installed. This means that if one hard drive physically fails, your folders are safe on the second drive. It’s well worth investing in a second hard drive for this added protection. Duplication shows whether each folder is being duplicated or not.
  • Status – Windows Home Server keeps a check on the condition of your hard drive. This should usually be Healthy, if you get a status showing Unhealthy, it’s time to act!

Step 3: Select +Add From the Command Bar Underneath the Main Tabs

This will start the Add a Shared Folder wizard.

shared_folders

Step 4: Type in the Name and a Description for your Shared Folder.
If there’s going to be a specific role for this folder, then make sure it’s named clearly – remember, it may not just be you who has access to the folder, so a clear name and description will ensure that all of your family know what the folder is to be used for. I’ve gone for the folder name “House Move” and the description “Shared folder for house moving documents”. It’s not the most original, but it’ll do the job!

shared_folder_name

Step 5: Check the Enable Folder Duplication Checkbox
Decide whether you want Folder Duplication enabled for this folder – my personal view is that as storage is becoming cheaper all the time, there’s no reason not to duplicate your folders, as long as you have the space. You can turn folder duplication on or off at any time, so it makes good sense to use the protection that’s available. I certainly need to protect these house moving documents, so I’ve enabled folder duplication. If you want to know more about folder duplication, click “What is Folder Duplication?” and you’ll get verse and gospel. With everything in place, click Next.

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Step 6: Decide Who Can Access the Shared Folder

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Okay, you just need to tell Home Server who can access the new folder, and whether they’re allowed to just read files from it, or also save files to it (the Full option). Just click the radio button underneath one option (Full, Read or None) for each user and then click Next. I decided that both my wife and I need to read files from the folder, and save files to it, so we both get Full Access. I don’t want guests accessing these documents, so they get None.

shared_folder_access_complete

Step 7: Your Folder is Set-up

With all the information Windows Home Server needs to setup the folder, the wizard churns away and completes the folder setup, configuring access and enabling folder duplication if required. You’re given a direct link to the new folder, if you want to start adding files immediately. Click Done to end the wizard.

complete explorer

Repeat the steps above for any new folders you want to set-up.

In our next Get Started guide, we’ll take a look a configuring back-ups of your home computers.