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Adding Devices to the Windows Home Server Network

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A network isn't much of a network without other devices and computers connected to your Windows Home Server. Paul McFedries gives you the details on connecting other devices, such as Windows Vista and XP PCs, Xbox consoles, Zunes, and even Linux PCs to your Windows Home Server network.
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • Installing Windows Home Server Connector on the Client Computers
  • Rediscovering the Windows Home Server
  • Adding a Windows 98 Client to the Network
  • Using a Mac on Your Windows Home Server Network
  • Using a Linux Client on Your Windows Home Server Network
  • Connecting Other Devices to the Windows Home Server Network

A network consisting of just a single Windows Home Server box isn't much of a "network" at all, it goes without saying. To make things interesting, you need to add one or more devices to the network. By "devices," I mean other computers, first and foremost. As you'll see, Windows Vista and XP machines can participate in the full extent of the Windows Home Server experience by accessing the Windows Home Server shares, streaming media, and getting backed up nightly. However, that doesn't mean these are the only computers you can insert into your network. Older Windows boxes, Macs, and Linux machines can also get in on the action by accessing the Windows Home Server shared folders. In some cases, with the right software installed, you can connect remotely to the network from these machines.

By "devices," I also mean noncomputer equipment, including Xbox consoles, Zune media players, and other media devices such as network media players and digital picture frames. This chapter gives you the details on connecting these other devices to your Windows Home Server network.

Installing Windows Home Server Connector on the Client Computers

Your key to the riches of Windows Home Server from a client computer's point of view is a program called Windows Home Server Connector, which does the following:

  • Locates the Windows Home Server on the network
  • Registers your computer with Windows Home Server
  • Configures Windows Home Server to automatically back up your computer every night
  • Installs the Backup Now component that enables you to back up your computer manually at any time
  • Installs the client version of the Restore Wizard, which enables you to restore backed up files and folders
  • Adds a desktop shortcut for the Windows Home Server shared folders
  • Installs the Home Server Tray application, a notification area icon that tells you the current network status and gives you access to Windows Home Server features
  • Installs the client version of the Windows Home Server Console

Supported Operating Systems

The good news is that it's the Connector program that lets your client machine get in on the complete Windows Home Server experience. The bad news is that the Connector software only works on clients running newer versions of Windows:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Home N (European Union only)
  • Windows Vista Business N (European Union only)
  • Windows XP Home with Service Pack 2
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Service Pack 2 and Rollup 2
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Service Pack 2
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 with Service Pack 2
  • Windows XP Tablet Edition with Service Pack 2

Note that Microsoft has posted no other system requirements for Windows Home Server Connector. In other words, if your system is capable of running any of the preceding operating systems and can make a wired or wireless connection to your network, you can install and run Windows Home Server Connector.

Preparing to Install Windows Home Server Connector

Before installing Windows Home Server connector, you should make sure that your client is ready for the installation and for joining the Windows Home Server network. Here's a checklist:

  • Set up a wired or wireless connection to your network.
  • Make sure the client's computer name is unique on the network.
  • Make sure the client's workgroup name is the same as the workgroup name used by Windows Home Server.
  • Make sure you can see the Windows Home Server on your network. (In Windows Vista, select Start, Network; in Windows XP, select Start, My Network Places, and then either click the View Workgroup Computers link or select Entire Network, Microsoft Windows Network, and then click your workgroup.)
  • On the client, set up the user account you want to use with Windows Home Server (if you don't want to use an existing account).
  • On Windows Home Server, set up a user account with the same username and password as the client user account.

Running the Windows Home Server Connector Setup Program on Windows Vista

With your Windows Vista client PC ready, here are the steps to follow to install the Windows Home Server Connector:

  1. Insert the Windows Home Server Connector CD.
  2. If you see the AutoPlay window, click the Run setup.exe link. Otherwise, use Windows Explorer to open the CD and double-click SETUP.EXE.
  3. Enter your User Account Control credentials to authorize the installation.
  4. In the initial Windows Home Server Connector dialog box, click Next.
  5. Accept the license agreement and click Next. The Windows Home Server Connector installation begins. When the install is complete, you're prompted for the Windows Home Server password, as shown in Figure 5.1.
    Figure 5.1

    Figure 5.1 When the Windows Home Server Connector software is installed, you need to log on to Windows Home Server.

  6. Type the Windows Home Server password. If you're not sure of the correct password, click Password Hint to display the hint text that was entered during the Windows Home Server install.
  7. Click Next. Windows Home Server Connector joins your computer to the network and configures Windows Home Server to back up your computer nightly.
  8. Click Next to complete the Windows Home Server Connector installation.
  9. Click Finish. Windows Home Server Connector adds a shortcut to the server shares on your desktop. Note that this shortcut appears on the desktop for all users of the computer.
  10. The Home Server Tray application icon appears in the notification area. If your client user account password doesn't match your server user account password, the icon displays a message letting you know. Synchronize the passwords as described in Chapter 4, "Setting Up and Working with User Accounts."

Running the Windows Home Server Connector Setup Program on Windows XP

Installing Windows Home Server Connector on Windows XP is similar to installing it on Vista, but the two are different enough that the XP process deserves a separate set of steps. Follow these steps to install the Windows Home Server Connector on a Windows XP client:

  1. Log on to Windows XP with an Administrator-level account. Administrator rights are required to install the Connector software. If you don't want to use this Administrator-level account with Windows Home Server, that's okay. After Windows Home Server Connector is installed, you can log off and then log back on using the account you want to use with Windows Home Server.
  2. Insert the Windows Home Server Connector CD.
  3. The Setup program should start automatically. If not, use Windows Explorer to open the CD and double-click SETUP.EXE.
  4. Depending on the configuration of your XP machine, Windows Home Server Connector may install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. If so, follow the onscreen instructions to install the framework.
  5. In the initial Windows Home Server Connector dialog box, click Next.
  6. Accept the license agreement and click Next. The Windows Home Server Connector installation begins. When the install is complete, you're prompted for the Windows Home Server password.
  7. Type the Windows Home Server password. If you're not sure of the correct password, click Password Hint to display the hint text that was entered during the Windows Home Server install.
  8. Click Next. Windows Home Server Connector joins your computer to the network and configures Windows Home Server to back up your computer nightly.
  9. Click Next to complete the Windows Home Server Connector installation.
  10. Click Finish. Windows Home Server Connector adds a shortcut to the server shares on your desktop. Note that this shortcut appears on the desktop for all users of the computer.
  11. The Home Server Tray application icon appears in the notification area. If your client user account password doesn't match your server user account password, the icon displays a message letting you know. Synchronize the passwords as described in Chapter 4.
  12. If the Administrator-level account you're using for the installation doesn't have a corresponding account in Windows Home Server, you see a dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 5.2. Click Close.
    Figure 5.2

    Figure 5.2 You see this dialog box if the current client user account doesn't have a corresponding user account on Windows Home Server.

  13. If you are using the current Administrator-level user account only for installing Windows Home Server Connector, log off the account and then log back on using the account you want to use with Windows Home Server.
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