I've been asked by a local school to help out with a network setup.
The school has an office and a computer room. The office has a switch which connects to the modem. (it has about 40 ports. Dell 2422, I think.) For each port, there is a matching ethernet jack in the office which is routed throughout the building. There is another hub/switch in the computer room with about 10 ports on it. The computers run XP Gold ("gold", meaning "no service packs") with no antivirus.
They have servers available, but they are not connected to the network. The person I'm dealing with claims that he's been advised against using the servers because he is inexperienced and that the servers will introduce more trouble than they're worth.
Since the school has young children, they want to keep kids off of the Internet and do so by setting manual IP addresses with a bad gateway IP. A cute solution, but easily bypassable. Besides, this breaks connectivity with the local network and hence the network drive. (see below)
I was asked two things.
One: How do I hook up an external hard drive so that every user account on every computer in the building can access a per user protected folder? (sounds like a question of network placement and software to me)
Two: What other recommendations do I have? (upgrade to sp3)
I'd like help answering these two questions.