The following How To Guide was submitted by Gordon Jackson – a big thank you to Gordon for getting in touch.
We’ve previously covered how to stream video from Windows Home Server to the iPad using Air Video but what about shared folder access? If you’re using an iPad for work, it would be great to be able to access files stored in Windows Home Server’s shared folders, but there’s no way of achieving this without a little work. Fortunately, we have the answer which involves a long forgotten Windows Home Server add-in and an app for Apple’s iPad. Let’s get started on the next project in We Got Served’s Summer of Home Server.
1. Download and Install Web Folders for WHS
Almost three years ago, Brendan Grant released an add-in for Windows Home Server called Web Folders for WHS. The add-in’s original intent was to improve Windows Home Server’s remote access experience through better file and folder navigation – a task that Microsoft ultimately got around to sorting out themselves in a subsequent power pack. However the plumbing that the add-in performs on some of the underlying Windows sub-systems is going to be extremely valuable in helping us access our files on the iPad. As Brendan explains:
My new add-in, WebFolders4WHS gives users a new browser based way to access their files, as well as letting them do it through the Windows Explorer shell and any other WebDav client that supports HTTPS. This add-in is nothing more than a bit of glue that wires up a few Windows sub-systems such as: Windows UNC Shares, an IIS Virtual Directory, WebDav and the Windows Distributed File System. Because this add-in uses existing functionality, all existing user accounts and share permissions are maintained and remain in full effect when a user accesses files via a Web Folder.
The key phrase here is “any other WebDav client that supports HTTPS”. If we can find one of those for iPad, we’re good to go!
So, download the add-in and install it on your home server. You do this by copying the add-in file to your home server’s shared Software/Add-ins folder, the logging into the Windows Home Server Console, clicking Settings > Add-ins > Available, and installing from there.
2. Ensure Windows Home Server Remote Access is Switched On
Restart the Windows Home Server Console as instructed and head back to the Settings tab, but this time we’ll visit the Remote Access option. Ensure your remote website is switched on by hitting the Turn On button. The globe and monitor screen icon will switch to colour from monochrome.
3. Configure Web Folders Settings
The add-in installs a new option in your Settings tab called Web Folders. Click it and you’ll see the following:
Now, click on the Setup button, read the warning and click Yes to begin the setup.