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Easiest way to share files in a small office with 10+ computers using XP Vista and Windows 7? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Small non-profit currently peer-to-peer. Users access one shared folder on an XP (Pro) machine. There are getting to be too many concurrent connections. Not a pro, just the guy in the office who became the default "IT person". Don't really want to try the hacks for exceeding the 10-connection limit. Something LIKE that would be the ideal solution - more concurrent connections possible, with no new interfaces, configurations, user experiences to frustrate my boss and colleagues. That doesn't seem like an option, so I will have to convince my boss we need a server. I don't need anything more than extra sharing - remote administration could be useful, but huge storage and fancy backup options and all the rest aren't needed. I don't want to learn Linux and that would probably cause even more consternation in the workplace anyway.

    I'm not sure if Home Server 2011 would work, or if Small Business Server 2011 Essentials is too complicated (and expensive). I am considering Server 2012 Essentials, but can't find out if it will work with XP and Vista clients. I can get Server 2012 Essentials through Techsoup (for non-profits) at a very low price, but don't know if it would be the best solution, or even work at all.

    Sorry for the rambling. Any advice greatly appreciated.



    • Edited by golyz Thursday, November 8, 2012 1:59 AM typos!
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 1:53 AM

Answers

  • WHS 2011 would do it, but you can not install the Connector (thus enabling auto backups, which you say you don't need) on more than 10 Clients. You can access shares (without the Connector installed) with more than 10 clients but I don't think you can do that simultaneously.

    WS2012 Essentials will also do what you want and can support 25 Users / 50 Devices. Unfortunately you can't install the connector on XP or Vista (to join a domain and have auto backups) but you can still access shares with those systems. The big downside is cost - circa $500 versus $50 for WHS2011 and it sets up a domain which is much more complicated to manage.

    I would try WHS2011 at $50 and see how it works for you - not too much wasted if it doesn't work.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    • Marked as answer by James Xiong Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:57 AM
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:33 AM
  • Yeah that was kind of dumb. It has W7 on it now (came donated with it installed) and has a pretty modern processor, 8 GB RAM, 160 GB HD so I thought it would be a good candidate for a file server. Tired. If I get to bed soon I may wake up slightly less dumb in the morning. Thanks again. 
    • Marked as answer by James Xiong Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:58 AM
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 4:02 AM

All replies

  • WHS 2011 would do it, but you can not install the Connector (thus enabling auto backups, which you say you don't need) on more than 10 Clients. You can access shares (without the Connector installed) with more than 10 clients but I don't think you can do that simultaneously.

    WS2012 Essentials will also do what you want and can support 25 Users / 50 Devices. Unfortunately you can't install the connector on XP or Vista (to join a domain and have auto backups) but you can still access shares with those systems. The big downside is cost - circa $500 versus $50 for WHS2011 and it sets up a domain which is much more complicated to manage.

    I would try WHS2011 at $50 and see how it works for you - not too much wasted if it doesn't work.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    • Marked as answer by James Xiong Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:57 AM
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:33 AM
  • Thanks so much for the response. If I can use a WS2012 Essentials on a laptop running W7 to host the files, and access the files from W7, Vista, and XP machines, that would work. Through TechSoup there is a very steep discount for qualified non-profits.
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:48 AM
  • If I can use a WS2012 Essentials on a laptop running W7 to host the files
    ??

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012 2:58 AM
  • Yeah that was kind of dumb. It has W7 on it now (came donated with it installed) and has a pretty modern processor, 8 GB RAM, 160 GB HD so I thought it would be a good candidate for a file server. Tired. If I get to bed soon I may wake up slightly less dumb in the morning. Thanks again. 
    • Marked as answer by James Xiong Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:58 AM
    Thursday, November 8, 2012 4:02 AM