The first question is 'Why bother ?'
Many bootable 'data recovery' CD's are based on Linux / UNIX and are able to save (& restore) 'disk images' to (& from) a FTP Server
Perhaps more vital is that almost all 'data recovery' utilities are able to save recovered files to a FTP Server - and when recovering data from a laptop this is the best place to save the data (there is no room to fit a second internal hard drive in a Laptop and support for USB drives is often 'iffy' at best).
So what is an FTP Server ?
It's a basic file read / write service that operates 'below' the web (http) and allows files to be transferred across your home network (and also out onto the Internet)
It is HIGHLY UNLIKELY you will want to 'expose' your FTP Service to the Internet - however almost all 'how to' instructions assume that this is exactly what you intend
How do I prevent my FTP Service reaching the Internet ?
A1. If you set it up on your Server, you will have already removed the 'Default Gateway' address from the Server's network settings. However to be 100% sure, you should BLOCK IP ports 21 at the Router
Do I need a 'Server' level operating system ?
No, Microsoft makes the FTP Server software available on the XP Pro system CD. See WikiHow to set it up
A better choice migt be the Open Source Filezilla (WikiHow is also decent enough to explain how to setup FileZilla).
Click 'Next >>' in the Navigation Bar (left) takes you to my Star Tracking efforts, starting with a simple 'BarnDoor' design.
Next page :- BOOTP Server - (set up)