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Creating a network share for folder redirection on an XP machine for a small office? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a few branch offices all connected via VPN. Each office has maybe 3-7 users, and all the computers run a mixture of XP and 7 Pro. We would like to setup folder redirection on the profile folders on the users' machines to move their files off their computers and setup a more centralized storage model. Since the VPN is slow, we wanted to setup a computer in each branch that will act as the file server for the redirected folders. We'd like to not buy an extra piece of equipment, and instead, just use an existing XP or 7 machine as the folder redirection share for the users. Would this work in such a small environment? We plan on reinstalling Windows on the computer and setting up RAIDed hard drives. Would 3-7 users be under the limit, or would we need to setup a Server 2008 machine in each office? Thanks!
    Thursday, July 14, 2011 2:15 AM

All replies

  • To answer your main question, yes you can do that, you don't need any extra hardware or software.

    The easiest way is:

    1. Create a shared folder with correct permissions for each user, on the file server.

    2. On XP, right-click the My Documents folder, and change the location of the shared folder to the UNC path of the shared folder in the Properties dialog.  It will ask you if you want to move existing documents to the new location.  Depending on your setup, you may choose to do this or not.

    3. On Win 7, you modify the Properties of Documents, but it's a bit different.  You need to add the UNC location to the library, using the "Include Folder" button.  Then remove the other locations, or set the UNC path as "Set save location"

     



    • Proposed as answer by Bigteddy Sunday, July 17, 2011 5:04 PM
    Thursday, July 14, 2011 5:07 AM
  • What's the maximum number of users that can connect to a standard XP/7 share? Is there a connection limit? Will this work if we setup a GPO to enable folder redirection?
    Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:10 AM
  • The maximum incoming SMB connections depends on the version of Windows.  XP is 10, Windows7 is 20.  Home editions are 5.  One user can have more that one SMB connection open, so this doesn't equate to how many users you can have connecting at the same time.

    No, you can't use a local GPO for this.  If you were in an AD Domain, then yes.

    For more detailed information on using GPO's for folder redirecton, see this article:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc782799(WS.10).aspx

     




    Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:40 PM
  • Hi,

    Assuming all of the XP machines are using XP pro.

    Set up an XP pro machine in each office as a designated file server or share machine

    Ensure that all users have the relevant permissions allocated on each box

    Next, set up a group of storage folders identically on each of the XP file servers (e.g. Finance, Billing, Documents, etc)

    Ensure that they are all identical on all of the servers including root paths (e.g. c:\fileserver\billing)

    As your VPN is slow, you may wish to consider a 3rd party asyncronous solution which will replicate all files to each file server over the VPN

    This model can get messy as there is nothing policing the shares at each location and lets say a user in office A is editing a document called c:\fileserver\billing\accounta.doc and a user in office B is editing the same doc, you may have potential dataloss issues.

    Normally I would recommend sharepoint for such a task as it is designed for this. However seeing as you dont want to lay out any costings right away, check out http://www.alfresco.com/community/ which is a sharepoint like setup and its free, using this you may be able to build a case to purchase sharepoint as it is far superior to alfresco.

    Best of luck!

    Martin

     


    If you find my information useful, please rate it. :-)
    Monday, July 18, 2011 3:22 PM
    Moderator