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I'm trying to get my head around how to do this with the equipment I have. Here's how it is..

I have an old laptop that has server 2003 installed on it. This has no wireless NIC, but I have a spare wireless router that I can wire to it.

We have a virgin wireless router which provides the home with internet access.

What I would like to do it make resources on the server 2003 machine available to the rest of the devices in the home - specifically a couple of laptops running windows 7. Ideally I'd like to be able to use the laptop as a fileserver but maybe also offer application virtualization.

In the first instance however, I'd like to create a file server with the laptop and allow connections to it by the other machines. Virtualisation is just a 'nice to have'...

Given the hardware I have is this possible? Can you point me in the right direction how to do what I want if this is the case?

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The first thing you need to ascertain/create is the domain that the server is set up as. You will need logins for the clients to be able to login to the server. So, you will probably need to configure Active Directory. The PCs will need to be set up to connect to the domain. –  Lee Taylor Dec 15 '12 at 22:11

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It sounds like you just need a simple file server. This is as simple as sharing a folder (accessible by \computer-name\folder). This Microsoft article is a good jumping off point: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324267

You didn't make it very clear, but I assume you can hard wire the laptop to your network. You do not want to serve files over WiFi. The performance sucks.

For application visualization, what do you mean? You can run VMWare Workstation (or other) and access the vm by Remote Desktop Protocol. Windows Server 2003 should allow for RDP out of the box.

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