Creating the Server
To make our own media server we build a computer as normal using whatever hardware meets the needs. Old stuff for a file server under the stairs, or newer, passively cooled components for a living room media server, or a combination of both, whatever you decide. Then arrange the networking, either wire it or use wireless. We will also need to borrow a keyboard, mouse, monitor and DVD drive.
Assemble everything in a case and boot up to load Windows Home Server software. I covered installing the Home Server Software in another article. Once the install is complete, configure the server on your network and make sure it’s accessible from another machine, preferably also giving it a static IP address. Follow the configuration options in the Home Server software and complete the installation.
If you can connect to the server from another machine, you can remove the mouse, keyboard, monitor and DVD drive.
Use the Windows Home Server DVD in a machine you’re going to use to control the server. Install the Connector software on the PC and follow the instructions to configure it on the machine. The software is designed for people without much computer knowledge and is very easy to follow.
Connect to the server using the connector software and set up users and file shares according to the instructions. This will create the shared folders on the server within which the media will be available to the network through the server.
Once the server is configured, click the Settings option to add functionality to it, such as media streaming if you’re going to use it for streaming video. Once finished, your server is ready for use.