Building a Windows File Server

server2003Windows Server 2003 can be used as a file serving platform.  It can be integrated with your Active Directory (AD) domain.  This article covers the set up process.  Note that I used Server 2003 for this article, but the procedure is very similar for Server 2008.

Windows Server

Start with a clean build of Windows Server 2003 with the following considerations:

  • Hostname:  students-01
  • Static IP address:
  • Join this server to your AD domain.


Adding a role

We can now add the file server role.

  1. Go to Start > Manage Your Server.
  2. Click Add or remove a role.
  3. Check the Preliminary Steps and click Next.
  4. Click Unblock to stop the Windows Firewall from blocking the program.
  5. Select File Server and click Next.
  6. Check the Summary of Selections and click Next.
  7. Click Next in the Add File Server Role Wizard dialog box.
  8. File Server Environment:
    1. Replicate data:  Select this if you'd like to replicate between file servers.
    2. Manage a SAN:  If you have SAN, this will allow you to use it with your file server.
    3. Share files with UNIX systems:  This allows UNIX/LINUX systems to access your file server
    4. Share files with Apple:  This similarly allows Mac OSX to access the file server.
    5. Select all options for now.
  9. The File Server components will now be installed (this takes a few minutes).
  10. Click Yes to restart the computer.


Assigning disk space

We now need to set aside some space for files.  You can use partitions on your existing hard drive, or you can install fresh drives.  You can also attach to iSCSI targets on an Openfiler SAN .


Install a new drive.

Shutdown the server and add a new drive.


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