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I think I got in over my head. All I wanted was the ability of Access Anywhere


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I've been running Server 2008 R2 for a couple years.  My server serves as a file storage device and has hosted a webpage at several points in time and as a Subsonic Server.


Because I am a Student got Windows Home Server 2012 R2 Standard for free so I upgraded.  After watching some podcasts I decided to enable access anywhere to try it out.


For Server 2012 r2 standard, as I'm sure you all know, you need to install the Essentials plugin.  I did, and when you do so It asks you to setup a domain.  I didn't necessarily want a domain but I went along with it.  


I have 4 computers in the house as well as a Ruku, AppleTV that access the server for several reasons.  


3 computers are not able to join the domain ( not pro/business versions ) 

1 computer that is a pro/business version.


After setting up the domain I ran the http://myservername/access on all the computers thinking it would allow the computers to access the shared drives but that didn't work.  Also, if the server goes down it appears that my computers cannot access the internet. 


What can I do to remove the computers from the domain and be able to see the shared drives on the server.  I'd like to be able to use access anywhere but I'd much rather be able to access the shared drives.



I really like the podcasts btw.  Wish I had found them earlier.



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  • Drashna Jaelre


  • ikon


  • Poppapete


  • Mycophiles


I started to write a response but the realized it was getting too complex.


Let's start with some simple stuff.


Do you use accounts on your client PCs? What I mean is, do you have to log into them whenever they're rebooted?

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Ohh.. yes.  All the computers have client accounts.  Yes, one computer also does log into the domain.  Sorry

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Can the computer that has a Domain account see shares? It should be able to, as long as you've given that user account permissions to see the shares. You can use the DashBoard to grant that user access to the various Essentials-created shares. Try that, see if it works.


For the non-Domain computers, you need to create accounts on the server that match the ones use on the non-Domain computers, including both the Username and Password. It's vital that they match. Again, you should be able to use the DashBoard to create the accounts.

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The Domain account cannot see shares.  Network discovery is turned off and File and Print sharing is turned off  :  (for the Domain profile) .  And I cannot change this.  Well... that's not exactly true.  I can change the option but when I click on save and exit and return to the network settings the changes are not saved.


As far as giving the user permission to access the shares I am not exactly sure where this needs to be done.  The user is an Administrator so the Dashboard settings say the computer should have access to all shares.  In the Server Manager the user is allowed to see the shared folders. 


It sounds like if the problem might be with the Network discovery and file and print sharing I mentioned earlier from what I know.  


I created an account that had the exact same username/password as the Windows 8.1 computer.  It did not work, but I am not sure if the username on a windows 8.1 system is the name or the email address of the start screen but I reconnected the computer using the http://servername/connect.  I would have uninstalled the Server Essentials connector before I re-ran it, but I did not see where I could uninstall it from.  It was not in the list in add/remove programs (programs and features).  


Thanks for all the help so far.  :-)  I'm excited again about having this server setup.   :huh:

Edited by Mycophiles
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The Connector won't give you access to the shares. It's for backup and accessing the DashBoard and so on.


Yes, you need to have Network Discovery and File And Print Sharing enabled. Try this. Open Windows Explorer on a client PC. Then, in the address bar, type "\\ServerName\TheNameOfAShare" (without the quotes of course). IOW, try to force the client to see the share by actually typing the full path to it. Try to pick one that has some files in it and is one of the common ones, like Pictures or Music. An example to enter would be "\\server1\pictures".

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Agreed. You should be able to map a server drive from any client and yes the skipdomainjoin makes essentials 2012 run just like home server.

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