Step 3. A really old PC will have a meagre hard-drive capacity. If you’ve got a large digital video library, an upgrade may be in order. Check whether your PC uses an IDE (ATA) or SATA interface before proceeding. You’ll find step-by-step instructions on performing the upgrade here.
Step 4. Since Windows 7 creates one automatically, you should have a HomeGroup set up for your current network. You’ll need to add your server to the network. Link it to your router using a wired connection. Configure the PC so it can be accessed by other PCs on the network.
Step 5. Any portable devices that you connect to the home network and use to access music, photos and video will be protected against potential damage caused by a power cut; your media server will not. Consider purchasing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to safeguard the server. Prices start at around £40.
Step 6. We explain later on how to copy over files; for now, though, you need only check that the server is working properly. Select the folders in which you’ll store your media and ensure they’re configured for sharing. Place a sample file in each folder, then check you can access them from each networked PC.