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Steps to Installing FamilySearch

on a Windows 98 Network

Link to Updated Instructions

Contributed by: Bob & Debi Rebo on 18 Oct 1999 (Updated 3/26/2000)

We recently built a simple peer-to-peer network with the 5 machines in our FHC. Only a minimal purchase of equipment was required and by utilyzing the Network installation of Family Search, we were able to set it up relatively quickly and easily.

We loaded all the CD's from FamilySearch onto 2 large hard drives. We then shared these drives over the network and allowed all machines to run Family Search without having to use the CD's which makes searching for information and processing TempleReady incredibly fast.

Choose your fastest machine to use as the server. You can use almost any machine as a client on the network, but the server, or machine with the large disks should be as fast as possible. The following is step by step instructions on how we set up FamilySearch in our Family History Center on a network. It is not the only way, maybe not even the best way, but it is easy, and the speed improvement is nothing short of miraculous. You can use this same procedure for only one machine and rid yourself of the constant CD exchanging required when using TempleReady, IGI, Ordinance Index, and Ancestral File.

1. At a minimum you will need a fast machine as a "server" with a drive for the operating system and application program and at least two large hard drives of 20 GB each or larger. I recommend the two large drives be connected to a Promise Ultra66 Controller Card in order to take advantage of the increased speed. I also recommend using Windows 95 or Windows 98. They both are easy to use, inexpensive, and lend themselves to peer to peer networking very nicely. You may also use DOS or other operating systems, but the procedures outlined here are designed for Windows 95/98. After installing an operating system on this system, create directories for the FamilySearch CDs and load the data as follows (Assuming D: and E: are the 20 GB Hard Drives):

Create the following directories:

MD C:\PASNET (Directory for the Network version of FamilySearch)
Using Windows Explorer or XCOPY in DOS

Copy all the IGI CDs into D:\IGI directory (17.5 GB)

Total = 17.5 GB

Copy the IGI Addendum CDs into the E:\AD directory (8.4 GB)

Copy Ancestral File CDs into E:\AF directory (5.6 GB)

Copy the U.S. Social Security Death Index CDs into the E:\SS directory (1.5 GB)

Copy the Scottish Church Records CD into the E:\SCR directory (630 MB)

Copy the Military Index CD into the E:\MI directory (500 MB)

Copy Family History Library Catalog CD into E:\LC directory (450 MB)

Total = 17.08 GB

2. In the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file add the following lines to the end, but before any menu commands:


NOTE: This method is less restrictive than using multiple partitions and future changes can be made easily.

3. Restart the machine so these changes take effect. Next you will need to share these data drives so other machines can "see" them. To do this, open Windows Explorer, highlight each directory, right click the mouse and select share. Share the drives with the same names as above, or in other words, share "D:\IGI" as "J:" and "E:\AD" as H:", etc. This will make the data drives available from each machine on the network.

4. Once you have built a simple "peer to peer" network (procedure not discussed here, see note at end), you should "Map a Network Drive" to the same letter on each computer in the network. For example, on another system in the network, map the J: drive to \\ServerName\J. Each additional machine added to the network should also share the drive as "J". This will serve to standardize the network, configuration files, and ease troubleshooting in the future.

5. On each new machine in the network, in addition to mapping the shared drives, create a directory for the networked FamilySearch (MD C:\PASNET) and add the one line to the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file for the PASNET directory (SUBST P: C:\PASNET) (again, before any menu command) then restart that system also.

6. Next you should load FamilySearch. I recommend you load it twice. Once for normal operation using the CD-ROMs and once using the network. First install FamilySearch normally on the C: drive. This will be used as a backup and works with CD-ROMs if the network is down.

7. Install FamilySearch again, but this time click on "Start", then "Run" and (if F: is your CD-ROM drive) type "F:\Setup network". Answer that you wish to install it on the P: drive.

8. The program will ask the drive letters where you loaded the data CD-ROMs.

The window looks like this. ®

If you installed to this point exactly as recommended, then the settings should match your drive settings and no changes are necessary here.

9. After checking the information and making any needed changes, click Continue.

10. When you are prompted to

Select type of Install:

You should select option

B. Data on multiple drives.
11. Do not make any changes to the drive assignments during installation, simply press F12 to accept the drive settings.

12. Complete the installation normally.

13. If you have not previously installed PAF on each system, do so now.

14. After the installation is complete, you can make changes to the setup files as desired. However, for the system to work over a network, no changes to the setup files are necessary if you installed FamilySearch as per these instructions. You may change the PAF directories or the number of generations in Ancestral File. You can exceed the artificial 13 generation limit imposed in the FamilySearch installation. To make changes, open the file you wish to change with an editor such as the DOS Edit or Windows Notepad.


- Verify the proper directories are listed for installed PAF versions
- increase generations changing the following lines:


15. Set up each additional machine on the network with Windows 98. Each computer should have an network card and be connected through an Ethernet Hub or via coax (thin wire Ethernet) to the peer to peer network. Make sure the line is added as before to the AUTOEXEC.BAT (SUBST P: C:\PASNET). Finally map the H: through N: drives from the server as described previously.

16. If you would rather copy instead of reinstalling FamilySearch, you can copy the C:\PAS and C:\PASNET directory over the network to each new machine (using Windows Explorer or XCOPY).


This is meant as a guide to setting up FamilySearch under a network. It is not meant to outline procedures for establishing a network nor does it advocate the use of any version of commercial software. I mentioned Windows 98 because that is what we used and it is easy to use. Other network products may be as easy to use as Windows 98.

Questions or corrections can be sent to Bob Rebo at or