How to create a home network: sharing files and drives across computers

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I would guess with a little time I could figure this all out on
    my own.

    The situation is, I just ordered a HP MediaSmart Server that I
    will use to share files and back up all computers (wired and
    wireless) throughout my home.

    Now before I ask my question, I have to point out that my
    computers are already wired for or receiving Internet wirelessly.
    I don't need to network my computers for Internet access.

    What I do need to do is set up a network that all computers
    can log into to see files and even the MediaSmart server I am
    about to install.

    How do I set it up on the main computer so others can see
    and how do I set up the remote computers to be able to access?

    Finally....

    Am I better off plugging the MediaServer (think of it as a shared
    hard drive) right into the router through ethernet or using the USB
    input on the Airport Extreme? Which would provide faster data
    access?

    Thanks
     
  2. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Quick and not-so-dirty solution:

    1. Plug the HP server in to your Extreme via ethernet.

    2. Enable File Sharing on all computers whose hard drives you will want to access over the network (Preferences>Sharing and select File Sharing).

    3. Now mount all 'network' drives that you need (HP server, other computers etc) via Finder under Shared Devices and/or Network (simply clicking on a particular folder on any of the remote drives will mount it as a network drive and put it's icon on your desktop).

    You can now tell each machine to auto-mount each network drive during startup by going to Preferences>Accounts>Login Items, and dragging the mounted volumes over to the item list (if the HP server or another computer is off/asleep, they will not automount).
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Joe,

    This looks easy. I will try it tomorrow.

    One last question that is related to this.

    I have a wireless printer that is communicating with my desktop
    via the airport express plug-in module.

    How can I share that printer across all my computers without
    having to plug it into the USB port on the router?

    Still trying to figure out how I should set up this Windows
    Media Center. If I do it through Windows I fear that the Mac will
    not be able to see it. If I set it up through Mac I may lose some of
    the upgrading and remote access capabilities that I need to configure
    through windows. I just spent a lot of money on this MediaCenter
    not knowing how compatible it will be with MAC.
     
  4. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you mean the printer is not plugged in to the AEx? If it is, the AEx acts as a wireless print server which can be accessed from any computer once the appropriate printer drivers have been loaded.

    As far as the HP Mediasmart server is concerned, I'm not familiar with it (I use plain NAS).
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Joe,

    No, the printer is in another room so hooking it via usb to the
    AEx is impossible. I use the airport express module for a wireless
    communication.

    However, since my main Mac Pro desktop can access it wirelessly,
    can something be done so that the other two Macs in my home can
    see it as well?
     
  6. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    If your Pro can see the printer via the AEx, then all other machines on your network should be able to see it as well (the AEx does not provide a closed connection). Try duplicating the printer settings from your Pro (Preferences>Print & Fax) on another machine after loading the appropriate printer driver.
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Ron, possibly you need to install the printer driver on the other machines? That should be all it takes.

    Alternatively, maybe that printer hasn't been added to the printer lists of the other machines...
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Yeah, That basically did it. I can now print from all computers
    in my household. Thanks so much!!!!
     
  9. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Ron,

    I'm considering the MediaSmart Server as a solution for managing multiple macs and hoping to centralize iTunes library, iphoto library and time machine backups. Could you give me your thoughts about the MediaSmart and how it has been working for you?

    -EJ
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I've thought about doing this but since I use iTunes to manage all of my media this doesn't seem like the way to go for me. Definitely interested in hearing what you do and don't like about this!
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    The HP Media Smart Server is still not entirely MAC friendly, though
    from reading their press releases you would think it would be since
    they were supposed to implement an update so that it would work with
    Time Machine.

    If they have, and I just did an update, it still does not work.

    I am happy with the Media Server as a storage device, but it still
    does not do nearly all the cool things that it does under Windows.
     

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