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View Full Version : How to set up a dedicated (xp) server?



ZappaLover
2006-07-17, 10:52
Well, I've been searching around for a while & can't seem to find the info I need. Perhaps I'm sweating some details that aren't particularly important?

What I want to do is use my recently retired PC as a dedicated always-on server for SS, as well as a print server.

What I already have running is a wireless network for my current PC & my wifes laptop, with my music collection on an external hard drive. All XP, BTW.

I think I may be concerned about a couple details that would become self-evident once I began, but who knows? I'm sure somebody here does.

So my questions are...

If you set up a dedicated server just for SS & print sharing, do you need to have a monitor hooked up to it in order to manage it? Or can I somehow access it's "desktop" via one of the other computers?

Assuming the server is just for SS & print sharing, is there any reason to bother with AV &/or a two-way firewall, or would XP's built in one-way firewall be sufficient?

I'm sure I have other questions, but I also bet somebody has a link to a site that will answer all my questions & more, so I won't sweat them right now.

No doubt I'm going to say "Duh" when it's all said & done.

TIA,
Kevin

radish
2006-07-17, 11:03
If you set up a dedicated server just for SS & print sharing, do you need to have a monitor hooked up to it in order to manage it? Or can I somehow access it's "desktop" via one of the other computers?

You don't need a monitor. If it's XP Pro then remote desktop is built in. Otherwise, look at something like VNC.



Assuming the server is just for SS & print sharing, is there any reason to bother with AV &/or a two-way firewall, or would XP's built in one-way firewall be sufficient?

I have an antivirus on my server because it has files automatically backed up to it from client machines, and they could potentially be infected. It doesn't really cost anything so I basically mandate that all machines on my network run AV. If you're really sure there's no way for viruses to get in, then by all means leave it out. As for firewalls, I don't see a lot of point in software firewalls - it's much better to stop the nasties at the perimeter (router) - so I just have the XP one setup with default settings.

ddewey
2006-07-17, 11:06
Quoting ZappaLover (ZappaLover.2b3phn1153158901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com):

> If you set up a dedicated server just for SS & print sharing, do you
> need to have a monitor hooked up to it in order to manage it? Or can I
> somehow access it's "desktop" via one of the other computers?

You can use the built-in Remote Desktop tool or one of the many VNC variants
to get a remote desktop on it. No need for a monitor or a KVM. You may
have to mess around a little in the bios to get it to boot without a keyboard.

> Assuming the server is just for SS & print sharing, is there any reason
> to bother with AV &/or a two-way firewall, or would XP's built in
> one-way firewall be sufficient?

One-way is fine, espescially if you have a perimeter firewall blocking your
network. I don't run fw software at all on any machine on my internal
network, everything is blocked at the 'door.'

dave

JJZolx
2006-07-17, 11:09
If you set up a dedicated server just for SS & print sharing, do you need to have a monitor hooked up to it in order to manage it? Or can I somehow access it's "desktop" via one of the other computers?
Is it XP Pro or XP Home? XP Pro has a really nice built-in remote desktop application that's ideal for running headless. You just enable it on the XP Pro machine and install the client software on another PC. XP Home, on the other hand, does not have a remote desktop service. But you can use software such as VNC or one of its offshoots (RealVNC, UltraVNC, TightVNC).


Assuming the server is just for SS & print sharing, is there any reason to bother with AV &/or a two-way firewall, or would XP's built in one-way firewall be sufficient?
If you have a decent firewall at the edge of your network, you don't need to run one on the server. Opinions differ on the need for AV on a server. If you don't run programs like email, or use a browser on the server then there's not much chance of it becoming infected. It's possible that some of the _files_ you store there may be infected, so an AV might still be useful. Or you can scan the files from another PC on the network.

I'm running an XP Pro system, my former desktop machine, as a dedicated server, which works well. The main music library storage is on an NAS. I run it headless down in the basement and use the built in remote desktop to manage everything.

A couple other things to look at (not positive if they're included with XP Home) are the performance settings of XP. You can tune it to work a little better as a server by going to My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Advanced and set 'Processor scheduling' to 'Background services' and set Memory usage to 'System cache'.

Siduhe
2006-07-17, 12:14
If you set up a dedicated server just for SS & print sharing, do you need to have a monitor hooked up to it in order to manage it? Or can I somehow access it's "desktop" via one of the other computers?
For ease of use on a Windows setup, you might want to check out LogMeIn. It's free but you will need a monitor on the host PC just for the intitial set up. I've been using it for my dedicated Slimserver for about a year and havn't had to reconnect the monitor yet.