Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    55
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Multiple PCs (2003)

    Forgive me if this is already known. I searched but couldn't see a similar question.

    I am adding multiple PCs to my home network. The Outlook PST files are already located on a SAN and are visible across all of the PCs.

    I am looking for the simplest way to set this up so that the family (4 users) will see the same Outlook environment no matter which PC they log onto. I guess this means that I need an easy way to replicate the account settings in Outlook across all PCs and Users. I know that I can do this incrementally and go through the setup every time and re-add all of the account details and import rules and such but I was hoping for something a little more elegant (if it exists). I will probabaly have at least 4 PCs by the time I have finished this exercise (all with XP).

    This is a home network so Outlook is IMO (no exchange server).

    What is the best way to approach the issue? I have no problems with a manual import/export tasks but if I could automate it that would be preferable. Lowest cost solutions are preferred.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    How about using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP to copy each 'profile'?

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    55
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    Hi Leif

    I've looked at that but I understand that it grabs probably a lot more than I really want.

    I have a desktop and a laptop on the network at the moment but email is only really done on the desktop. I have built a new desktop and I am about to replace the present desktop with that box so I am about to migrate everything over. Once I have done that I will be stripping the old desktop, upgrading a few components and rebuilding it completely and putting it into service as the second desktop when I will need to migrate everything again. Both of these desktops will have ongoing use then for email. The laptop also will be rebuilt then and will see occasional use for email.

    This means at least 3 regular email PC's. I also have a test box where I presently play with Linux but it has a dual boot windows environment and may also see service at some point for email. The kids are progressing through secondary school so there is the potential for them to also have laptops and want to connect for email.

    I was seeking a way to initialise the Outlook environment but also a way to keep everything in step so that regardless of which PC a person uses it has their current settings. I can live with a replication script/batch job at logon if that is how I must do it but given my network environment I was hoping there was a cleaner way. I know there are some commercial programs that facilitate the replication of settings but I'm not sure which might best suit my puroposes. If anyone can suggest one of those then that would be great too.

  4. #4
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    It seems as though what you really want is a server with roaming profiles. This is not a cheap solution though.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    55
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    And you are right.

    The way I have constructed this to date is to set the logons and passwords for all users on all boxes to be the same. I then replicate the drive mappings (once off task) to the SAN and move the locations of the My Documents and the Favourites folders for each user from the local PC to the network share location. This makes it transparent to the user and really has no on-going support requirement apart from making sure the SAN stays up (I have it on a UPS together with the Router).

    I've always considered that Roaming Profiles would be overkill but would love to approach that concept. I originally had a box performing server duties but replaced that with the SAN which was simpler and smaller and easier tio manage for the small UPS I have. It also gives me RAID straight up whereas I would have had to tinker with the server to get that. The server then became my sandpit where I could play with different operating systems and things when I had some free time.

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    Do you have access to Microsoft products at Educational prices? Windows Small Business Server might be the way to go. I've no idea what it would cost in Australia. In the US, you can get a starter system from Dell for $999 USD - PowerEdge™ Starter Network Solutions. Not sure what the SBS software by itself costs.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    55
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    On the one hand that is more than I want to spemd on it. On the other I installed the SAN as an appliance to replace a server. Simpler, effective and far easier for my small UPS to manage for a longer period of time than a server. If I went back to a server it would be Linux anyway.

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Multiple PCs (2003)

    Well, I don't know anything about Linux servers. There are others in the Lounge that may be able to help you there. For pure simplicity, check out Windows Home Server. It has some very nice features for ease of use, backups, file sharing. You don't have to buy a pre-configured machine. You can buy the software and install yourself (about $170 USD). I've read that if you install it yourself you can end up with a complete Windows 2003 server setup.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

    Joe
    Joe

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •