Build It Yourself: Windows Home Server System (Part 2)

In Part 1 we showed how to repurpose an unused PC as an alternative to buying a $500-or-more Windows Home Server storage appliance. Now we’ll show you how to put your homemade WHS system to use by joining your Windows PCs to it, setting up user accounts and shared folders, and adding and configuring storage.

After you’ve verified your WHS is up and running properly you can log off, as any further server configuration or monitoring can be done over the network. If space is tight, you don't have to keep the monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected to the system. (After all, store-bought WHS devices don’t even include these peripherals.) You'll probably still want to keep I/O devices handy in case your WHS loses network connectivity and you need to troubleshoot, and a few systems may not boot without I/O devices connected. (Some may require BIOS adjustments to allow it.)

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