Tips on using your Company's Server

A server's role is to share resources on the network, like databases, files & folders and printers.

Depending on your company and server, your company server most likely provides:

   • a central place to store your company's software application databases, such as QuickBooks, etc.
   • a central place where people can store and share files
   • a folder where you can store your files on the server
   • a way to easily connect and use the printers on your network

Company Application Databases

When you click on My Computer, you may notice that in addition to your C: drive (the hard drive on the PC), you may also have some drives that are actually located on the server. If you use QuickBooks, you likely have a Q drive that points to the QuickBooks database(s) on the server. And if you use MasterBuilder, you likely have a M drive that points to the MasterBuilder database(s) on the server.

Company Shared Folders

You may also have a company shared folder, which everyone has access to. This is often setup as the S drive and might also be called the Server Data folder, Shared Server Folder or the Company Folder on the Server. You may also have other drives or folders that only certain people have access to, such a departmental folders.

You also may have a drive that is a personal folder on the server that is reserved just for you. This drive is often seen as the U drive (for User).

Printing via the server

Rather than having each network printer defined on each computer, it's common to have each printer defined only once on the server. Then each PC will connect to the server and print through the server.

If your computer is connected to a printer on the server, you'll see something like:

HP LaserJet 8510 on SERVER

When you use that printer, your computer is talking to the server and the server is sending the pages to the printer for you.

It's fairly easy to connect to a printer on the server if your computer isn't already setup for that. Click here for instructions on how to do that.

Backing up up your PC's files to the server

In most cases the files and folders on your server's hard drives are being backed up on a regular basis for protection. Usually the files on your computer's hard drive are not. If you have important files that are on your computer's hard drive, you should make a copy of them on the server. You can usually just copy the files to your User folder on the server, which is often referred to as the U drive.

In most cases, the data files that you need to protect (Word files, Excel files, pictures, etc) will be stored in your My Documents folder on your computer. This makes it easy to copy to the server. Simply exit any programs that are running and then copy and paste the files/folders from My Documents to the U drive, or a similar drive on the server.
There are a few ways to help automate copying those files to the server if you have a desktop computer. We can help you with that if necessary.

Special Considerations for Outlook

If you are using Outlook, your Outlook database is likely stored on your computer's hard drive but it may not be in your My Documents. It's good to have a folder called OutlookData in your My Documents folder, where your Outlook and Archive files (known as PST files) are stored. Having this all stored in your My Documents folder makes it easy to copy them to the server. Make sure you've exited the Outlook program before attempting to copy to the server. If you don't have an OutlookData folder or can't find your Outlook PST files, let us know and we'll help you.

Important note concerning wireless connections

If you are connected to your network using a wireless (WiFi) connection, be aware that your connection speed is slower and less reliable compared to being connect with a network cable. WiFi speeds are between 10-55 Mbs and network cables speeds are between 100-1000 Mbs.
Wireless is fine for use when surfing the internet, retrieving email, printing, and accessing smaller files on the server, but it is too slow and unreliable to use when accessing larger file or databases on the server.

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