As a recent purchaser of a netbook I sought out to make it the most functional system possible. Ultimately I wanted to make sure that all of my files I can access from the PC in the Den I can access from my netbook. I have well over 200 gigabytes of music, photos, videos, and other personal files. My netbook, a HP Mini, has only a 60 gigabyte drive. Fortunately there are many options to easily share these files without needing space on your netbook. I took an approach leveraging Windows 7 and Windows Home Server.
First, I have all of my personal files located on my Windows Home Server. Each is well organized into folders for Photos, Music, Video, and personal files. Second, I have installed Windows 7 on my HP Mini. (I’ll post on how to do this in the future.)
Windows 7 has a new capability called Libraries which is a way of easily accessing a collection of folders and files. You have libraries configured for your Document, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads, etc. Each of these libraries can be configured to reference any folder located on your local PC or Network. With this capability, I modified each library to reference the corresponding folder on my Windows Home Server. I’ll provide an example using the Music library:
Now you can easily access all of your Music located on your Windows Home Server from your Windows 7 PC. These steps can be duplicated for each of your personal libraries.
Another option that will work if you are running Windows 7 on all PCs across your home network would be to create a Homegroup on your primary PC and then join the netbook to that Homegroup. This will also allow you easy access to your personal files.
I’m quite pleased with the overall results. Windows Home Server, combined with the capabilities of Windows 7 have allowed for easy sharing and easy access to all of my personal files in just a few clicks.