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I've got a mostly Windows-based local network and I would like the files in particular folders of one of the computers on the network to be available to any other computer on that network. Some of the client computers are running Windows and some Mac OS X client computers might be added in the future. I still would like to have the computer that serves the files to be as operable as before, don't want it to be dedicated solely to the role of file server. In other words, I'd prefer the file server to run in background, just like my Apache web server currently does on that computer. And I'd like the shared folders and files to stay where they are now, not copy it anywhere else.

So what would be the best way to get it working? Would FreeNAS suit the requirements, or I'd better go with some other software? Or maybe I just reconfigure Apache somehow?

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What have you tried? What problems did you have? Recommendations are considered off-topic here and we prefer to stick to "how do I fix X" type problems rather than "which of the multitude of solutions might work for me" as the former is answerable while the latter is highly subjective. –  Mokubai Aug 19 '12 at 18:59
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closed as not a real question by Canadian Luke, Diogo, techie007, Mokubai, 8088 Aug 20 '12 at 3:21

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

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Assuming the "server" you are talking about is running Windows 7:

The quickest way to share something is using the new Share with menu. The options you'll see depend on the file you're sharing and the type of network your computer is connected to—homegroup , workgroup, or domain.

Assuming the "server" you are talking about is running Windows XP:

File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks

Open My Documents in Windows Explorer. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.

Click the folder you want to share.

Click Share this folder in File and Folder Tasks.

In the Properties dialog box select the radio button Share this folder to share the folder with other users on your network.

To change the name of the folder on the network, type a new name for the folder in the Share name text box. This will not change the name of the folder on your computer.

Note The Sharing option is not available for the Documents and Settings, Program Files, and Windows system folders. In addition, you cannot share folders in other users’ profiles.

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There might be a Mac on that network soon. Had to mention that, sorry. So it's a Windows server for sure but abstract-platform clients to generalize. –  Desmond Hume Aug 19 '12 at 11:37
    
And the "server" is running Windows 7 (64-bit), yes. –  Desmond Hume Aug 19 '12 at 11:44
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Great set of directions for the Mac: lifehacker.com/247148/… –  Everett Aug 19 '12 at 11:44
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What's wrong with windows file sharing? Or are you looking for a dedicated solution? Once I know what version of windows you have, I can describe how to share the folder

To access the shared folder on other computers once the share is made, go to my computer, select tools, map network drive, and type the share path in unc format

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There might be a Mac on that network soon. Had to mention that, sorry. So it's a Windows server for sure but abstract-platform clients to generalize. –  Desmond Hume Aug 19 '12 at 11:35
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