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Topic # 151225 18-Aug-2014 12:52
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At home we have my big Windows 7 Pro PC that has a lot of drives and shared data, an old XP PC that's not really used, and an 8.1 consumer level (not 8.1 pro) laptop. It's a pain trying to share folders with the laptop because the users are completely separate.

Is there a way to have a centralised user management system or domain controller for a home with multiple PCs? Any alternate ideas?




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  Reply # 1110436 18-Aug-2014 12:57
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Buying a Windows server licence to manage two machines would be an unnecessary over head.  Most of your consumer grade NASes have built user control over SAMBA\CIFS shares.

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  Reply # 1110449 18-Aug-2014 13:17
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If you have access to DreamSpark, MSDN, etc then use a license from there for a home server.






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  Reply # 1110471 18-Aug-2014 13:52
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I recently went down this road and implemented SBS2011 into the network (I previously used WHS2011 as a means to store and serve files) and even though some parts are a pain (like WSUS) if you just run a server OS for the domain part, it is a lot better than creating users on every machine to share files.  All user accounts are created and managed on one machine, you just need to join each workstation to the domain, then log into it.

If you have access to Server 2012R2 Essentials, it is the easiest choice.

However, please note - if you do this you 'lose' all your user specific data (it's not lost, just stored under a different profile).  You can copy data from one profile to another by following this guide.



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  Reply # 1110475 18-Aug-2014 13:57
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I was hoping there was some open source server I could just run on my PC, I'm not keen enough to run a server just for this.

Here's an alternate way of looking at it: is there an easy way to share files from this PC that can easily be read by another PC or R.Pi running XBMC where the shares can be secured by a username and password? Right now I can only secure by usernames defined on this PC.




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  Reply # 1110561 18-Aug-2014 15:10
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timmmay: I was hoping there was some open source server I could just run on my PC, I'm not keen enough to run a server just for this.

Here's an alternate way of looking at it: is there an easy way to share files from this PC that can easily be read by another PC or R.Pi running XBMC where the shares can be secured by a username and password? Right now I can only secure by usernames defined on this PC.


I really think your best option given your requirements would be a NAS, The Synology or Lacie NAS's all have this functionality.





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  Reply # 1110575 18-Aug-2014 15:30
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Yes get a Synology NAS and Plex. Problem solved. You will love it.



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  Reply # 1110576 18-Aug-2014 15:32
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I don't want to buy anything right now but thanks for the suggestions. May look at it in future.




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  Reply # 1110591 18-Aug-2014 15:53
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Actually, thinking about this more - is the problem that you have a share on a PC, but when that PC doesn't have a user profile that matches the profile on a different PC, that you cannot access the data?

If so I am pretty sure you can change the security level of the share to open it up to all users, including guests, which means you don't need to worry about having the user accounts on every PC.



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  Reply # 1110600 18-Aug-2014 16:01
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Yep you can share with "everyone", but then you don't want to share with anything other than read only permissions just in case someone from the internet manages to get in.




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  Reply # 1112410 20-Aug-2014 21:05
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Lias: If you have access to DreamSpark, MSDN, etc then use a license from there for a home server.


probably not the best advice, seeing as you would be outside the T&C's of the licensing...




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  Reply # 1112415 20-Aug-2014 21:10
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timmmay: At home we have my big Windows 7 Pro PC that has a lot of drives and shared data, an old XP PC that's not really used, and an 8.1 consumer level (not 8.1 pro) laptop. It's a pain trying to share folders with the laptop because the users are completely separate.

Is there a way to have a centralised user management system or domain controller for a home with multiple PCs? Any alternate ideas?


I'm not sure about XP but you can use a "HomeGroup" on Windows 8 and Windows 7 to enable simple sharing between each other.  Probably the easiest option that doesn't require a domain controller.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/homegroup

You can share folders, printers, media libraries, etc.  I use it at home and it works well.  Set it up on one pc as first in group and it generates a code.  Join the homegroup on other computers using the code.  No need to sync user identities.




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  Reply # 1112448 20-Aug-2014 21:47
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^Like he said...

A specific homegroup is what I use on my PC's and my NAS's and it works really well, there's no issues with all machines seeing each other. If you go down this route I'd suggest adding the credentials for computers to access other hardware (computers/NAS's) through the credential manager. Just start typing 'credential manager' (less the quote marks) in the search box. This will ensure you get Enterprise persistence for your logins, which essentially means the machines won't forget about each other and force you to type your login each time you want to access another computer/NAS.



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  Reply # 1112630 21-Aug-2014 09:36
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Homegroups seem useful. I created one, shared folders using check boxes (videos and documents, even though I don't use the windows folders), and shared a folder that actually has content using "share with". I put sample content in each folder.

There's a problem though. On the windows 8.1 machine it can see the home group, and it can see the shared folders done by checkbox, but it can't see the extra folder I shared. I've checked file permissions and they include a "homegroup" used with read permissions. The "video" folder shared with a checkbox can be seen by the 8.1 machine, but when I double click it just blinks and won't open the folder.

Google hasn't given me any ideas how to fix it so far. I've turned on IP6 (on both computers and the router, which works), I've put the computers on the same workground, I've run diagnostics, I've turned netbios on IP4 on. I can't share folders in any direction across a homegroup, but the 8.1 PC can use existing shared folders. Any suggestions guys?




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  Reply # 1112662 21-Aug-2014 09:59
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You could always have a look at freenas http://www.freenas.org/ or nas4free http://www.nas4free.org/

If you have an old PC knocking around you could install either one of them and have a play and see if they suit you.
A very cheap solution perhaps?




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  Reply # 1112666 21-Aug-2014 10:07
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I don't keep old PCs, they take up space and power, and make noise. That's why I don't have a NAS. Most interested in just sharing files already on my PC, which has a bunch of drives in it.




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