Let’s make your old Windows computer a media server! 📺

Some of us are still hanging onto our old PCs. Instead of having it in a corner collecting dust, why not put it into good use? In this article, I’m talking about how you can make your old PC a media server. But this will work only if you are PC is in working condition.

(Note: There are a few other projects that you can do with your old PC including making it a NAS. If you want to know more, please leave a comment and I’ll release another article on the topic)

What is PLEX?

Plex is a global streaming media service and a client-server media player platform, made by Plex, Inc. The Plex Media Server organizes video, audio, and photos from a user’s collections and from online services, and streams them to the players.

If you already read my previous article on “You NEED to have a Plex server”, then you might have a good understanding of what and how Plex works. To get the same experience with your old Windows PC, you will need to do the followings.

Download & Install Plex Media Server on your Windows PC

As I mentioned, for this approach to work, your Windows PC has to be in working condition. You can head to this website (https://www.plex.tv/media-server-downloads/) and download the version that’s suited best for your Operating System.

Once the download is done, install the package to your Windows PC. Once the installation is done, you can see the Plex icon in the system tray (taskbar bottom right) and if not, you can do a quick search and find it on your computer.

Once you click on “Plex Media Server”, or double click on the taskbar icon, it’ll take you to a webpage asking you to log in to your Plex Account. This webpage will have an address like 127.0.0.1:32400. Don’t worry, this means you are accessing your computer and a specific port (32400).

By now you have already created your free Plex account on this website (https://www.plex.tv/en-ca/sign-up/). Use that account to sign in and then you’ll get another page explaining how Plex works.

Next, it’ll show you the Plex Pass subscription page, and you will not need this for the setup. The next step is setting up your server. You can start by giving your server a name. Before clicking on Next, make sure to uncheck the remote access checkbox. What this means is that you can only access your Plex server when you are connected to the same network that this Windows PC is connected to.

Next, you’ll get a page to add your libraries, and once it’s done your server is good to go. All the content that you have in the directories that you linked will appear on your Plex dashboard and you can stream them easily.

This is an additional part of how you can remote access your PC and manage the content there. There’s no point in doing all these things if you manually have to access the PC, right?

The easiest option is to remote access your old PC from your current PC. To access Windows from Windows, you can use the remote access tool and access Windows from Mac using the “Microsoft Remote Desktop” app by Microsoft. It’s simple as that.

Alright, folks! This is a really quick article on how to get some use out of your old PC. Await for the next article.

Signing off:
Kavindu Narathota
(www.narathota.com)

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Kavindu Narathota

Kavindu Narathota

After working in the tech industry for a while, I learned a thing or two about Software & Product Engineering. www.narathota.com