PC Setup Tips

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This Wiki section is intended to provide common PC configuration procedures that are commonly used in the proper setup of the MainLobby software suite.

PC Drive Sharing

(below reprinted from [File Sharing] Link provides pictures as well)

Networking remains one of those things that Microsoft needs to simplify for the average home user. They want to connect an Xbox in every living room to a computer in the office, but don't make it very easy to figure out what's going wrong in a network setup on the other hand. There are a number of potential hazards in setting up shared network drive. I'll step through both an easy way to share files and a more secure method for file sharing. Either should get you to a solution.

If you have sharing turned on, you can find any shared drive on your network by entering the computer name and {drive letter}$ like this: \\COMPUTERNAME\C$

These are hidden in network browsing by default and are generally reserved for network administration. Best practices suggest creating a resource share specific to the drive or a folder on the drive.

Simple File Sharing If you use a network file sharing, be sure to have a router with a strong password and a firewall application protecting your network.

In Windows Explorer, choose Tools > Folder Options from the menu and click on the View tab. Scroll to the bottom and verify the checkbox next to Simple File Sharing is checked.

Workgroup Configuration You indicate that both computers are visible on the network, which should mean they are both part of the same workgroup. To verify Workgroup settings match, open the System Properties either by right-clicking on My Computer and choosing properties from the start menu or by using the Windows Key + Pause/Break on the keyboard. Click on the Computer Name tab for each computer and check the Workgroup name.

If the Workgroup name matches on both machines close system properties. If not, click on the Change button and enter the correct Workgroup name.

After making changes you will be prompted for a restart.

Sharing A Hard Drive From a security perspective, it's safer to share folders than an entire drive. In this case, since you're not sharing the drive containing the operating system files, it's not as crucial, but it's still a good practice to share folders rather than drives.

In Windows Explorer, right-click the hard drive you want to share and choose Properties from the right-click menu. Click on the Sharing tab. If your drive is not currently shared, the warning below will be visible.

Click on the warning message link to expose the sharing options. Assuming you already have your internet connection configured and firewall settings in place, you can choose the Just Enable File Sharing option (unless you already enabled file sharing previously) When you finish, your computer should be prepared to share files on the network. Depending on what's already configured on your network, you may need to disable the Guest account in the User Accounts Control panel for added security.

Check the box next to Share this folder on the network. In order to perform backups like you need, you also need to check the box next to Allow network users to change my files. From here you can also change the network name of the shared drive to make it easier to distinguish.

More Secure File Sharing The more secure method for sharing your drive is to require authentication across the network when making a connection. Rather than using simple sharing, you share your drive on a case-by-case basis and specify which users have access. This way you can disable the Guest account and only allow a user with a password to get in.

For this method of file sharing, open Tools > Folder Options from the Windows Explorer menu and click on the View tab. Scroll to the bottom and verify the checkbox next to Simple File Sharing is not checked.

Right-click the drive you want to share, click the radio button for Share this folder. Click on the New Share button and name your share.

Click on the Permissions button and check the Allow Full Control box (which automatically checks change). Click OK until you exit the sharing setup.

On the computer with the shared drive, create a user account with the same name and password as the account you login with on your other computer. By creating this user, when you login to your computer, you will also be authenticated to access the shared drive. For access settings to take effect you need to reboot the computer with the shared drive (and possibly your other computer as well).

Using this second method of security, you can create additional access control by providing read access for the drive, but only allowing changes to specific folders on the drive.

(below reprinted from [Drive Sharing])

Sharing a hard drive in Windows 2000

If you're running Windows 2000, the basic steps for sharing a hard drive are the same as those for Windows 98 and Windows Me, but your options are different. Here's how to share a drive in Windows 2000:

1. On the computer you're sharing, open My Computer.

2. Right-click the hard drive you want to share and choose Sharing from the shortcut menu that appears.

3. Select the Share This Folder option.

4. Click the New Share button to create a new share for the drive.

The New Share dialog box opens.

5. Name the share, and optionally, enter a description in the Comment field.

Sharing a hard drive in Windows XP

Sharing a hard drive using Windows XP Home Edition is slightly more complicated than it is on other versions of Windows because Windows XP doesn't like the idea of sharing a drive. Use the following steps to share a drive:

1. On the computer you're sharing, open My Computer.

2. Right-click the hard drive you want to share and choose Sharing and Security from the shortcut menu that appears.

The Sharing tab appears, displaying a message that warns you that sharing a drive isn't a good idea. Beneath the message is a link that you can click to indicate that you understand the risk but want to share the drive. Then the Sharing tab changes to reveal the options that allow you to share the drive.

3. Select the Share This Folder on the Network option.

4. Enter a name for the share.

5. Select the Allow Network Users to Change My Files option.

If you don't select this option, network users can view files but can't create new files or modify existing files. Because you're a network user when you want to work on a file on this computer from a different computer, there's not much point in restricting what network users can do. However, the security in Windows XP is rather complicated, and it gets more complicated when you share folders.

6. Click OK.

Sharing removable drives

You use the same steps that you used to share a hard drive when you want to share a peripheral (removable) drive. Peripheral drives are considered external to your computer (your hard drive is internal), such as your disk drive, a CD-ROM drive, or a Zip drive.

Trying to set access controls for peripheral drives is foolish because you'd have to spend a lot of time changing the controls, depending on the disk that's inserted at any given time. The solution is to give full access to peripheral drives and then hide any disks in a locked drawer that you don't want other users to access.

Installation of SQLServer Express

Microsoft distributes a free version of their powerful SQL Server. Just perfect for sophisticated home automation / media control uses.

[SQLExpress 2008]

Below is a basic installation description.

Download SQLServer2008 Express with either Tools or Advanced packages that is compatible with your OS.

Run the Installer. Make sure you choose to install the server management tools

for the Instance Configuration, select Named instance: and type CinemarSQL This should also be in the Instance ID field. You should install to the default directory for most installations.

You can choose whether the server will start manually or automatically on PC boot. For automation purposes, typically you would choose on PC boot.

Select NTAuthority\Network. On the Account Provisioning tab, use Mixed mode so SQLServer can have a different login / password from Windows.

Type the password you want to use and select add current user.

Install the selected components.

Once you have the server software installed, you click on Start/....Microsoft2008.../Configuration Manager. Once here you can right click on the Server name and click Start.

PC Power Supply Requirements

For a stable system, the system must have a power supply that can supply enough current. To calculate that requirement, you add up the usage of each PC component. Here is a list of common devices and approximent wattage needs.

P35 motherboard and Graphics card consumes about 150w

16 port RAID card = Factor in about 10w (for the card only)

DVD drive + O/S drive (I'm assuming you'll have one separate from the 20 1TB drives..) = about 25w

Miscellaneous things (like KB/Mouse/Serial port/etc) = about 10w

Hard drives about 20w max each. However, unless your RAID card supports staggered spin up, you need a PSU with atleast 65-70 amps on the +12v rail (20x3A = 60Amps + 5-10Amps for the CPU and motherboard startup)

Windows File Protection

It always happens, even in Windows XP... you need to move or delete some files, but Windows gives you an error that you need permission or that the file is in use. When tweaking your Vista system, you will probably need to modify some system files, but Vista has this locked down tight. You can take ownership of any file in Windows Vista, and then grant any username full control of the file. After you have made your modifications, you can then remove the permissions, setting the file back to its original state.

First you will need to access an elevated command prompt, to do this:

1. Click the Start button.

2. Click All Programs.

3. Go into Accessories.

4. Right-click on Command Prompt.

5. Select Run as administrator.

6. When the UAC Prompt appears, click Continue.

Once you have your elevated command prompt, follow these steps:

For our example, we are going to use the Bubbles screensaver file (Bubbles.scr)

1. At the command prompt, input takeown /f filepath (takeown /f c:\windows\system32\Bubbles.scr).

2. Press Enter on the keyboard.

3. A message will be displayed that this completed successfully.

4. Now input icacls filepath /grant yourusername:f (icacls c:\windows\system32\Bubbles.scr /grant johndoe:f). Note that if your user name has a space in it, enclose your entire user name in quotes ie: "John Doe"

5. A message will be displayed that this completed successfully.

You will now be able to modify or replace the file. When you are done, simply remove the permissions to keep the file secure.