See comments inline:
> A few corrections:
> 1. The Maxtor has not yet arrived. I had consider a 500gb LaCie NAS that
> sells for about $199.00 but then I was advised that backup would be a bit
> more difficult. So, I opted for the Maxtor. Since it hasn't arrived (and
> has still not shipped) I can change my mind.
Personally, I always prefer network-connected devices to
locally-connected devices. However, there is a kicker with using Vista
with a NAS and that is that most NAS devices use some variant of an
embedded Linux for their OS. If you go for a NAS, then you absolutely
need to check with the NAS mftr. about sharing/access issues with Vista.
As for brands, I'm not crazy about LaCie in general although I have a
LaCie external firewire drive connected directly to my MacBook. I like
Maxtor, Western Digital, and Seagate drives much better than LaCie but
again, you really really need to check compatibility with Vista first.
> 2. My inteded scenario was to have my family save all their files to thier
> user area on the main pc (MAINSYS) and then use the Maxtor to backup
> everything from MAINSYS. I would be setting up each user with identical user
> ID's on each computer so that their access to their user area on MAINSYS
> would be automatically handled by Vista in the Workgroup.
That's fine. I really like Second Copy backup program (www.centered.com
$29.95) for doing this sort of thing. You would create the user folders
on MAINSYS and share them appropriately. Then run Second Copy on MAINSYS
and have it back up all the user folders to the Maxtor. You'd still want
to burn a DVD-R regularly.
Or you could just redirect the other computers' My Documents/Desktop to
shares on MAINSYS. Either way works fine and it just depends on whether
your users are capable of understanding Save As.
> 3. ANY information you can provide on the best practices for setting up
> shares would be greatly appreciated.
It really depends on what kind of security you want and support you
have. If this is just for family members, you're not going to be as
concerned about security as you would for a business. And if you are the
tech support, then you're around to fix any glitches. ;-)
> 4. Please elaborate on "Roaming Profiles" and whether or not that is
> possible with the LaCie NAS.
Roaming Profiles are not available without a server running a server
operating system and using Active Directory. So don't worry about this
because it isn't applicable to your situation. Having a server with AD
for 3 computers is Way Overkill unless you have lots of money, time, and
want to learn how to be a sysadmin. ;-)
One of the primary rules in the tech world is to keep things as simple
as possible and only add a layer of complexity when it is really needed.
Elephant Boy Computers
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User