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Topic Title: Guide to Setting Up Servers/Small LANs
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Created On: 04/13/2004 03:24 PM
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 04/13/2004 03:24 PM
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Joined: 11/16/2003

Hello there;

I am a system administrator for a 400 machine network and would like to think i know quite a bit about setting up network servers (if you may be thinking of it); which believe me is very easy, and a small LAN to go with it; perhaps for the home (lan parties) or the office.

Anway, i am only going to do a short guide. If anyone has any additions, queries etc please email.


First lets think about system specs; i am going to base this setup around a server using windows 2000 (standard ship) with 5 licenses, which is the default shrink wrap. For this sort of setup i would recommend a specification around here: -

K6-2 500 or Celeron 450, 256Mb (at least, the more memory the better under 2K server), 10Gb Hard drive, 10/100Mb PCI network card or 802.11b, fast cd-rom, backup device.

>I would recommend putting in as much memory as possible for this situation as windows 2000 server loves the stuff, the more you give the more it wants.
>On the HD side i would recommend something like my setup, say a fast 10Gb SCSI boot drive, and then a slow storage drive (80Gb perhaps)
>For backup anything above a Zip 250 will be fine for backing up work, but i use a 4Gb DDS 2 tape drive)

I normally run a setup in the following manner:

Build server setup and Burn in using DOS based tools.

Install Windows 2000 Server using the boot cd supplied ...

> turn on your machine and just as it does open the cd drive and pop in the windows 2000 server CD. (make sure boot from cd is specified)
> the machine should then find the MBR on the CD and load the windows executive (dos based setup). When asked to format any new disks or old always use NTFS, never use FAT32 with server 2k as you are asking for trouble. Executive will copy all of the files from the CD to the hd needed for windows setup.
> The machine will restart once copy operation has completed, during the reboot go back into the BIOS and reset the boot from to hard drive 0 (ide) or SCSI (scsi), but leave the cd in as windows may need it.
> Machine will boot into a demi-windows GUI and then detect hardware automatically, it will also ask for the CD key which you should have and near the end of an automated process ask about optional components.

I would install these optional components for a typical LAN:-

>DNS and DHCP server (except if using a router in the lan that supports DHCP server when i would leave it to do the work).
>IIS (internet information service) Common files, FTP, web service.
>Basic IP commands, UpNp, TCP/IP.

I would not install the following: -

>Accessories like hyperterminal, you dont normally need them

Once all of the optional stuff is copied the server will restart into the windows GUI and then ask you for a username and password that you would have created in the setup process.

As a rule of thumb only use Administrator to access the machine for the first time and in emergencies, create a copy of the profile with a name like Bob and a difficilt password just in case, then use it after we have finished setting up.

Post setup tasks: -

1. Install service packs, at least SP2, but 4 is recommended and any other recent hotfixes.
2. Install 2K certified drivers in the following order, Motherboard, Graphics, network card, Sound (isnt really needed here).
3. Using the connections control panel applet setup the network card as follows: -

>IP, Subnet Gateway: Routers IP if used, DNS server or which will loopback after DNS is setup.

If you are using DHCP from a router/AP set all to auto. You need to go into the system properties applet and specify a machine name. I would use something simple like Server-1 or i prefer the periodic table ie, ruthenium, plutonium, mercury.

4. Run DCPromo.exe. This will install Active directory, DNS servers and DHCP if required. Much of this is wizard driven and you will be guided through it however a few things: -

>server is the first in the domain
>give you domain a main.local extension if you dont own one or home.internal
>your server is the global catalogue server
>your server is the primary domain controller for the hive, forest and root.

Once the wizard has guided you through the setup make sure you go to control panel, admin tools, DHCP (if used) and activate the scope, if not you'll be in for trouble later if need IP allocation from the server.

5. Create the following directories/shares on your data drive or on the primary if not used: -

>Public -For shared apps
>Users -For user data and profiles
>Data -For general rubbish
>Backup -What it says on the tin
>Build -For disk images

(To share a folder on the network right click on it and go to the sharing tab, click share and then share the folder, give the folder a suitable name which must be one word or linked with underscores to meet UNC standards ie Public or user_data ) Share the folder to the required people using the permissions tab, because some users may not need to be allowed to access some shares)

6. Create users using the admin tools snap in, i normally have a user area for each member of my family. If you want them to be able to access their work from any machine from one location enter a location on the server on the home path, under 2k/xp this will be automatically mapped in my computer on log on. Ie \\server-1\users\user1

7. Insert any member stations into domain, right click my computer, properties; then computer name, network id, business network with domain and enter the domain name you set earlier. Make sure you set the stations to DHCP / auto ip, and give them a unique name.

Thats about it in brief, but will get expanded as time goes on.


Update rev 1.0.01 20:30 13/4/04


13/4/04 23:35

More post setup tasks: As soon as you have finished setting up the server and got the workstations in take a backup, you first want to take a system state backup and make the recovery floppy in case of any problems. This can be done using ntbackup built into 2000 server. I would also use something like disk image or ghost to make an image of the boot drive. At this point should only be about 2Gb so could be burned to CD's for disaster recovery.

LAN Hardware setup:

On my home network, which is very different to my structured work network the setup is like this: -

Netgear DM602 ADSL router
Kingston Etherx 100Mb Repeater - HP Jetdirectx Print server- Epson 680
-Avaya Orinioco 802.11b AP

| | |
Uranium (Server 2K) Plutonium (XP station) Ruthenium (XP)

This setup works very well for me, and puts ever part of the network is heirachly structured by importance and access. ie the router which access the global internet is top dog, stations lowest.

I would recommend purchasing a print server like my HP, i got mine free but is still new on for £250. This is very useful to have as it means none of the stations have to be on for another to print and also relieves CPU usage.

They are also incredibly easy to set up, most using a web interface for IP setup etc. All is then needed is to connect the printer up, and install the driver for the printer manually, by using the add printer wizard in windows. Remember you must specify an IP for the print server as the stations need to know it when you add an IP port for printing.


TCP/IP notes:

Some clarification:

The server needs to be the DHCP server only if you havent got another piece of network hardware that can perform the function; otherwise the server will need to be on all of the time for ip allocation. If you have a router get it to be dhcp server using the webadmin and get all other hardware to look to it using DHCP IP address.

Also all network hardware, ie infrastructure should have static ip's and not DHCP addresses, that is, switches, print servers, APs should have specified IP's to avoid trouble. I use this format, specify IPs for dhcp allocation in the range to, then use static IPs working down from; AP =, PS =, managed switch

NB I set the router IP as as it is top of the logical chain.

AMD Athlon 2600+ 333Mhz Thoroughbred | 512Mb in 2x 256Mb DaneElec DDR PC2700 | XFX NF2S-ALH with nForce 2 400Pro | Asus GeForce FX5200 128Mb Magic! | Creative 5.1! Live! | Maxtor DM+9 80Gb and Maxtor DM+8 20Gb | LiteON 832S DVD+-R/RW Dual Layer 8x | LiteOn 48x12x48x CD-RW | Full Black server case with 500W PSU | Relisys 17" Monitor | Wireless Optical Mouse | Logitech Surfer | XP Professional SP1

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