Network File Sharing

  windy miller 14:54 15 Sep 03

I have 3 PCs connected via an Ethernet switch hub for file sharing purposes. What are the options if the user isn't around and the PC is off. Should I ask them to leave the PC switched on and lock it or is there another way around this? We need to share files regularly so I need to explain to the users how they should leave their PC when they leave their desk.

Thanks in advance for your help.

  Taff36 15:11 15 Sep 03

By far the best way is to have all the company data on a "file server" on one machine. You can then back it up daily. You would need to ascertain that one of the machines is suitably powerful enough for this or have a fourth dedicated machine.

If you are stuck with the three machines you will need the "owners" to leave them on for access from other machines but not necessarily logged onto the network. This could raise security and privacy issues and much depends on your Operating System. XP being more versatile and user friendly when setting up sharing options.

  windy miller 15:16 15 Sep 03

Taff36, "By far the best way is to have all the company data on a "file server" on one machine. You can then back it up daily."

How is this done?

  AndySD 15:19 15 Sep 03

I had to consider this option last year and ened up building a cheap pc....1.3 duron 80mb hard drive and 128mb ram old 4 mb graphics card and cd writer. Partitioned the drive into 4 with one for each user and one shared for all. It makes backing up saves simple.

  windy miller 15:33 15 Sep 03

What happens if the user locks their PC such as Ctrl/Alt/Del, will I still be able to view their files if they have given me full shared access?

  Taff36 15:51 15 Sep 03

Basically just as you share your files and documents at the moment. I presume like us some years ago, each user has company data on their individual machines. (Sales kept their own, the factory had theirs and accounts had theirs)

One machine becomes the file server and everyone must be disciplined to save their files to appropriately named folders on that one machine - Sales Shared Data for example. Individual programs like the office suite can have default folders for a save changed to the "File Server" instead of on the local machine under MY Documents.

Much depends on the data you are trying to share. We found that because our drawings and in particular the database use was predominant that the "File Server" (which was also acting as a workstation) was grinding slowly to a halt particularly when we had increased our workstations to 7 machines and then a dedicated fileserver was a must.

I stress that the biggest problem was the discipline of having all the data on one machine. The concept doesn`t work if other users continue to save new company data on their local machine and then switch it off - as presumably they can now.

  Taff36 15:53 15 Sep 03

I may stand to be corrected but as long as the machine is switched on (At the Log On Screen) other computers can access the date as long as those users have permission to view the folders concerned.

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