How to Setup a Network Connection?
This guide will help you create a connection in Windows between the clients and the server, so that you can use Image-files and custom CD-Keys. In this guide the client operating system is Windows XP Professional, and the server operating system is Windows 2003 Server. It is very important that you choose a server operating system for the server such as Windows NT/Windows 2003 Server; otherwise you will not be able to have more than 10 computers connected to the server at the same time.
Step 1: Choosing a IP Address for the Server
There are a few things that need to be done on the server before the connection between the client and server is created. First off we need to make sure that the IP address on the server will always be the same, otherwise the connection between the clients and the server will be lost when the server change its IP. Most cafés uses a DHCP server to distribute IP addresses to the computers in the local network, what we want to do is disable the use of this feature on the server, and choose our own IP.
To change this, open up the Network Connections window from the Control Panel, and choose Properties in the menu after right-clicking on your Local Area Connection.
Image 1: Open up Network Connections
This will open up the properties window for your Local Area Connection. In the item list for this connection, double-click the item Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to edit your IP settings as shown in Image 2.
Image 2: Changing IP address
Click the Use the following IP address and Use the following DNS server addresses to choose your own IP settings instead of the automatic settings received from your DHCP server. If you don’t know all of your IP settings, you can find out your current addresses your DHCP has chosen for you by using something called ipconfig.
Press your Start menu button, and choose Run…. In the textbox, write cmd and press enter as show in Image 3.
Image 3: Changing IP address
This will open up a command window; type this to display your current settings:
Image 4: Finding out your network addresses
There is a lot of information here that is irrelevant, the only things you need to pay attention to is those that you recognize from the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) settings window, such as:
DNS Servers (the first two, ignore the third row here if you have one)
Now copy these addresses to the correct textboxes in the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) settings window. If your IP address for instance is 192.168.0.27, it is recommended that you choose a simple number for the final part of the IP address. Choose something that is easy to remember (192.168.0.5 for example, as show in Image 3).
Step 2: Sharing a Folder on the Server
We will now create a folder where the image files and cd-keys (those that are not a single registry value, Warcraft III and Halo for example) will be stored. If you have more than one hard drive, or if the hard drive you have is partitioned into two or more parts, make sure to choose the one with the most hard drive space available. Remember that we use a Windows 2003 Server in this guide, so if you are using a different OS than Windows 2003 Server, then it will not look the same for you as in does in the screenshots in this guide.
Start by opening up My Computer on the server, open up the drive you have chosen for storing, and create a new folder called Store. In this folder we create two new folders, images and cdkeys. All the necessary folders are now created, and we move on to sharing these folders on the network. Go back to the root of the drive, right-click on the Store folder and choose Sharing and Security.
Image 5: Sharing a folder
This will bring up the sharing properties of the Store, to share the folder on the network simply click the Share this folder radio button. This will give all the users in the network read access to this folder, which means that they can view files and copy them to their own computer, but they can not delete, edit or create new files in this folder. Only having read access is good, because unauthorized users should not be able to delete or change your files. However, by simply clicking Share this folder, you will give access to Everyone (Everyone is a usergroup in Windows, which includes every single user account in Windows), which is maybe something that you do not want to do. If you have setup a wireless access in your café for instance, you do not want the people with laptops, which do not run Smartlaunch to be able to view your shared folders over the network. Therefore we shall create a new Windows user that will be the only one that has any kind of access to the Store folder.
To see which users that have access to your share, click the Permissions button. By default it will only list Everyone, and the only checkbox that will be checked is the Read box, under the Allow column.
Image 6: View permission
Before we create the new Windows user account, close the permissions window, and click the OK button in the Share Properties window, to share the folder. To manage your Windows user accounts, right-click My Computer and select Manage, this will open the Computer Management window. Click open the Local Users and Groups section and select the Users folder, this will bring up all the Windows user accounts on your computer, on the right side of the window.
Image 7: Manage user accounts
To create a new user, simply right-click anywhere on the right side of the window, and select New user. In the New User window that comes up, write Smartlaunch as the User name in the first textbox, this will be the name of our new Windows account. If you want you can fill in things like Full Name (if the account name is short for something, you can fill in the full name here) and a description of the account, but that’s not required to create the account. Before we are done, uncheck the User must change the password at next logon, and make sure that only the Password never expires checkbox is checked as show in Image 6. When you have done that, simple press the Create button, and you will see the new account pop up in the Computer Management window. The New User window will still be open, if you want to create another account, but simple press the Close button, and close the Computer Management window to continue.
Image 8: Create a new user
Now we want to our new Windows account to be the only one with access to our Store folder, do this by right-clicking on the Store folder and select Sharing and security again, as in the beginning of this step. First off we want to remove the access for Everyone, do this by clicking the Permissions button, select the Everyone account and click the Remove button. This will leave the Group or user name list box blank.
To add our Smartlaunch windows account, click the Add button, which opens up the Select Users or Groups window. Click the Advanced button in the lower left corner, and then click Find Now in the new window that comes up, to display all the user names and groups on the machine. From the list that comes up, scroll down until you find the Smartlaunch user account, select it and press OK. You will now have a reference to your user account in the Select Users or Groups window; finally click OK to add your select user account to the Permissions list.
Image 9: Select and add the new user account
You are now done with this step, and the Permissions window should look like it does in Image 8. Click the OK button on the Permissions window, and on the Share Properties window to save all the new settings.
Image 10: Permissions for the “Store” folder
Now instead of any user being able to view the content of your Store folder, they will now be met by a windows user login screen, where they will have to know the username and password for the account that has access to that folder, to view its content. Remember that at the moment, the Smartlaunch account only has read access, so you can not delete, edit or copy files to the Store folder. This can be changed by checking the Change or Full Control box in the Permissions window, this can be necessary to do temporarily when creating cd-keys that Smartlaunch does not yet support via its License System, just don’t forget to change it back when you are done.
Step 3: Map a Network Drive
Start by opening up My Computer on the client machine, and open up the Tools menu in the top and choose Map Network Drive, as shown in Image 1. This will open up a window that will help you create a constant connection between the computer and the server where you store your image files and cd-keys.
The first selection box named Drive: lets you choose a which drive letter you want to assign to this connection, in this guide we use the default drive letter Z. The next selection box is called Folder, and this is where you type the IP or Computer Name to the server you want to connect to. Type in the IP address you chose for the server and the name of the folder you shared, for example: \\192.168.0.5\Store\
Image 11: Choose drive letter and server address
If a dialogue appears asking for a username and password, write the administrator password for the server, or enter the logon information for the user account you created in Step 2.
Step 4: Stay Connected!
Now we need to make sure that this connection stays connected, this can be done by refreshing to connection every time a user logs in to Smartlaunch, or when the client computer starts up. Smartlaunch does this using batch files stored in the Smartlaunch folder, the default path to these files is:
In this folder you will find 3 files called:
If you want to refresh the connection every time the computer starts up, edit the startup.bat file, if you want to refresh it every time a user logs in, edit the userlogin.bat file.
Enter this line right before the end of the file, but replace the IP address, shared folder and logon information to match your configuration:
net use z: \\192.168.0.5\Store /USER:Adminstrator adminpassword
Image 12: Refreshing the connection
The connection will now be refreshed every time the user logs in or the computer starts up. Now place all of your image files in the images folder, and all of your cdkeys in the cd-key folder, and you’re done.