In most businesses when you have more than one computer, you want to connect them together to share things like files and folders.  In a Microsoft Windows environment I know of two ways: using a file server model or a peer-peer model.  In a server model. the workstations usually log into the server with a user name and password.  The file server stores the database and files for the workstations and controls who and what has access to the centrally stored files and folders.  In a peer-peer model, all the workstations are equal and data can be stored on any of the workstations.  Some of the companies I do computer work for use the Peer model but designate one workstation as the server and share data off of it.  So the peer server does two things; share files for the company and acts as a workstation for whoever is sitting at it.  Whenever I am working on someone’s server or someone’s peer server and I need to restart it, I want to be sure no files are open from a workstation. One tool I use on Microsoft Windows servers and workstations like Windows 7 is the computer management console to check for open files from peer or workstation computers,  To open it, open the start menu and in the “Search programs and files” field, type “computer management”. then open it and look for the “Shared Folders” Applet. Under it you’ll see Shares, Sessions, and Open files.  These three utilities will tell you if someone on the network is connected to your files. Just click on one of them and it tells you the status of each of your shares.  Computer management works on the Windows servers 2011, 2008 and Windows 7. So before you shut down your file server or your peer server check if someone is has open files on it.     

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