- slide 1 of 4
There are a few reasons why you might want to set up a file server including:
- Centralized area to store files on a network
- Centralized permissions to shared files
- Centralized means for backing up data
For the purposes of this article, I’m assuming you’ve already got a Windows network set up including a server running Windows 2003 server. For more information on how to set up a network, see this article at Bright Hub: How to Setup a Network Using Windows 2003 Server.
- slide 2 of 4
Adding the File Server Role
Luckily, Microsoft Windows Server includes an easy to use Wizard to help you set up your server as a file server.
- Go to Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Manage Your Server.
- Click the “Add or Remove a Role" link.
- On the Preliminary Steps screen, click Next.
- Under the Server Role heading, Click File Server and then click Next (Figure 1).
- On the summary screen, review the information and then click Next.
- The Add File Server Role Wizard will start. Click Next.
- Click next when prompted to install additional options. The Wizard will start configuring your server.
- After the configuration is complete, you will be prompted to reboot. Proceed and reboot the server to continue.
- slide 3 of 4
Configuring the Server
After the server restarts, you’ll want to set up some file shares and set permissions.
- Log back into Windows.
- Go to Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, File Server Management (Figure 2).
- Expand Share Folder Management, Shared Folders, Shares.
- You should notice a few Shares already exist – these are on all default installations of Windows. Under the Action Menu, select New Share.
- Once the Share a Folder Wizard starts, click Next.
- Select a location for the folder share and click Next.
- Enter the name for your share and a description if you’d like. Click Next.
- On the Permissions page, select the option you’d like – by default, you may choose to leave all readers with Read access.
- Click Finish and then Close.
You’ve now shared your first user folder. End users can access this share by going to \\<computername>\<sharename> where <computername> is the name of your computer and <sharename> is the name you gave the share in step 7 above.