Using old pc as server with new iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Live Steam, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Live Steam macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    #1
    I did a search before posting but could not find the answer. I would like to use my HP PC as a file server for my new iMac. I am running Parallels 3.0 on Leopard. Can I set up a wireless network between these two machines and then use the HD on the PC for file storing and backup? The PC has wireless LAN on board.

    I am somewhat of a layman when it come to networking so a little hand holding would be appreciated. I was going to buy and external drive for this, but then I thought I may get more options with this by using a system with an OS and additional cd.dvd roms on board.
    Thanks, Bill
     
  2. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Yes you can (you don't need Parallels to do it, by the way, OS X talks to Windows natively). The only issue that you need to be aware of is that Windows will sometimes truncate file names (only if they're longer than average and/or use non-standard characters) and if you're planning to store downloaded software on there, you need to make sure you've got it zipped or on a dmg, as bare applications bundles would be damaged by a non-mac file system.

    For what it's worth, I manage a Windows network for a charity that also owns several Macs. They all back up their data nightly to the Windows server without problems.
     
  3. evillageprowler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #3
    Live Steam,

    It sounds like you have a general purpose network to which both your old HP PC and your new iMac can be attached. And, I am supposing that this general purpose network supports WiFi (wireless)? If so, then you can simply hook up both computers to your network (wired or wireless - doesn't matter). After you get both computers running on your network (one can be wired and the other can be wireless if that is what you find most convenient), then you can share volumes from your HP and access them from your iMac.

    FYI - a "general purpose network" is something like a home network or small office network where you have a cable or DSL modem that sits between the ISP (your wall) and a router/gateway/firewall (e.g., D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, etc.). If your router supports WiFi (wireless) and is compatible with either your iMac or old HP PC, then use WiFi if that is suits you best. Personally, I always used wired connections between my home servers and my router.

    If you do not have a general purpose network at home, then you can set up an "ad hoc" wireless network between your old HP PC and your iMac. I've never done this before, but I believe that you can use the wizard that comes with XP to set up an ad hoc wireless network and then connect the iMac to it.

    EVP
     
  4. Live Steam thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    #4
    Thanks both of you for responding. I guess I have a few options here.
     
  5. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I am also looking at using a pc as a server to my mac network but am not sure which way to go on the pc, XP or Linux?

    Tersono - you mention about file issues, I wonder if this may not be a problem with a linux (sabayon) based system?
    Also I wonder what the other benefits/disadvantages are to an xp or linux server?

    any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  6. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    No, it's still an issue. You'll have a 31-character limit on any non-HFS+ partition. It's not an inherent limit of the server's native file system, but a portability issue between differing filesystems.

    As for choosing between Windoze & Linux, it's really just down to preference. I manage a mixed Mac/Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 network as part of my job, but run both Mac and Linux servers (SME server) at home. Pick whichever you're most comfortable with, or which will do what you need it to do with minimum hassle/cost. Do bear in mind, however, that if you go for the right Linux distro, you'll have a server OS at the outset. XP isn't designed for server use, so doesn't have the same range of capabilities without bolting on a lot of extras. Kinda depends on what you need, though.
     
  7. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Thanks for the info, your last comment swung it for me with Linux but just in case i think i will dual boot it with xp. I will use linux as the main serving OS and have a small xp partition on there just in case i need it at a later date.
    Now to work out how to dual boot, i am guessing that the latest Sabyon builds can take care of that after xp has been installed.
     

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