Some PC makers notably HP have gone to great lengths to make the Windows Home Server initial setup experience much easier than the Microsoft default See Pauls reviews of HPs Media Smart Servers on the Super Site for Windows

(www.winsupersite.com/server) to see what we mean.

Once you've purchased a Windows Home Server machine, you simply plug it into your home network, turn it on, and then access it remotely from other PCs on your network. (Check the server documentation for the exact setup procedure, which varies from PC maker to PC maker.)

You won't normally sit down in front of your home server with a keyboard, mouse, and screen, and access it as you would a normal PC. Indeed, many commercial home server machines don't even come with a display port of any kind, so you couldn't plug in a monitor even if you wanted to. Instead, Microsoft expects you to interact with Windows Home Server solely through a special software console.

You may not be surprised to discover that you can bypass the Windows Home Server administrative console and access the bare-bones operating system if Secret you know the trick. Here's how it works: on a Windows 7-based PC, launch the

^ Remote Desktop Connection utility (type remote in Start Menu Search), type

^^L the computer name (hostname) of your home server into the Computer field

^^ (typically something like HOME-SERVER), and supply the name administrator

^^B^^r as the user name and the password for the master account that you configured

^^^ during home server setup. Ta-da! You can now access the Windows Home Server

Desktop, shown in Figure 10-3, just as you would any other computer. Note, however, that Windows Home Server is designed to be used remotely via the console, and not interactively, so be careful about installing software or making other changes via this remote desktop interface.

Figure 10-3: If you remotely access the server, you'll find a stripped-down version of Microsoft's enterprise-oriented Windows Server products.

The initial configuration of Windows Home Server involves first installing the Windows Home Server Connector software, which comes on its own CD, on a client PC running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or 3 or any version of Windows Vista or 7. (You can also access the Connector software via your home network; it can be found at \\{computer nameJ\Software\Home Server Connector Software\ by default.) The installer will "join," or connect, your PC to the server (see Figure 10-4) for later backup purposes and then complete the setup process.

Figure 10-4: Windows Home Server connects to your PC, establishing a backup and management relationship.

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