How do I connect computers to the server?

Published: May 20, 2011

Applies To: Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials

You can connect your computers in the network to the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials server using the Connect a Computer to the Server wizard. You can launch this wizard by typing http://<servername>/connect Internet address in your Internet browser, where <servername> is the name of the server. The wizard installs the Connector software on your client computer and joins it to your server. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials then automatically backs up your computer (if set up to do so), monitors its health, and enables you to configure and to remotely administer Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials from your client computer.

Before you begin

Before you begin connecting your client computers to Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, do the following:

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials does not support backing up and restoring dynamic disks on client computers. If you want the server to create backups for your computer, do not use a computer with dynamic disks.

Connecting your computers to the server

This section includes step-by-step instructions to connect a computer to a server that is running Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. To complete this procedure, you will need the following information:

  • The Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials server’s password.

  • The user name and password of the computer’s local administrator account (if you are not logged on to the computer as a local administrator).

Complete the following procedure on all of your other computers to connect them to the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials server.

To connect your computer to the server

  1. Log on to your computer that you want to connect to the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials server.

  2. Open an Internet browser, and in the address bar, type http://<servername>/Connect, where <servername> is the name of the server, and then press ENTER.

  3. The Connect your computer to the server page appears. Do one of the following:

    • To connect a computer running Windows, click Download software for Windows.

    • To connect a computer running Mac OS X or later, click Download software for Mac.

  4. If the User Account Control message appears, either click Continue or type your user name and password of an account that has administrator permissions on that computer if prompted to do so.

  5. The Connect a Computer to the Server wizard appears. Follow the instructions in the wizard to connect your computer to the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials server.

    If the computer uses a Windows display language that matches a supported Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Connector software language edition, the Connector software is installed in the same language. If a language match is not found, the Connector software is installed in English.

  6. When the computer is successfully connected to the server, shortcuts to the Launchpad and the Dashboard appear on the Start menu of the computer’s desktop which can be used as follows:

    1. From the Launchpad link, you can access shared folders shortcut, configure computer backups, address alerts, and open the Remote Web Access.

    2. From the Dashboard link, you can to administer the server.

    You can access resources that are located on your server in multiple ways. If you want to use remote access, we recommend using individual user accounts, but more options are available. These options are as follows:

    • Using individual user accounts If you want to use remote access, and/or have individual user accounts, after you connect the computer to the server, you can create new network user accounts for the users of this computer on the server using the Dashboard. After creating the user accounts, you must provide the network user name and password information to the users of this computer so that they can access resources on the server using Launchpad. For more information about user accounts see, see Managing user accounts in Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.

    • Using a HomeGroup If you have Windows 7 in your network, you may want to use an existing homegroup, or create a new one, and join this computer to the homegroup. This will enable users of this computer to access the shared folders on the server. However, the computer must be running Windows 7 to participate in the homegroup. For more information about homegroup, see What is a homegroup?

    • Using the Guest account The Guest account can be used as a convenient way to turn on access to resources that are stored on your server (such as photos and music) for someone who is not a regularly using the server. Activate the Guest account for temporary access to resources on the server and deactivate the Guest account when the guest no longer requires access to the resources on the server. By default, the Guest account, when activated has Read only access. It is recommended that you think about what level of access to the server folders should be provided to the guest account, whether Read/Write access is required, or if a Read only access is sufficient. These considerations will provide maximum protection and privacy to your data. For more information about setting access to server folders, see How do I manage access to server folders?

      If you provide read/write access to the Guest account for a server folder, then anyone who accesses the server folder using the Guest account can delete, change or add files that are located in that folder.

For troubleshooting issues with connecting computers to the server, see Troubleshooting connecting computers to the server.