Friday, January 13, 2012

All about administrative share - Windows

The administrative shares are the default network shares created by most Windows NT-based operating systems like NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Windows 7. Administrative shares by-default automatically shared file system resources. It shares every hard drive partition in the system. These shares will allow anyone who can authenticate as any member of the local Administrators group access to the root directory of every hard drive on the system. They are not generally used or useful outside an enterprise environment, and are not accessible by default on home editions of XP, Vista or Windows 7.

All about administrative share Windows PC

Any drive letter + $ only the local disk volumes, not any removable devices such as CD/DVD or USB flash drives, such as admin$ which shares access to %SYSTEMROOT%, which is usually C:\WINDOWS or C:\WINNT. The "$" affixed to the end of the share name means that it's a hidden share. Windows will not list such shares while you normally access the share resource of a system like \\computername. This means that one needs to know the name of an administrative share in order to access it.

Only those by-default shares created by Windows containing the '$' suffix are considered administrative shares not all the shares includes the ‘$' character at the end. While any share (even non-administrative shares) can include a '$' character at the end of its name.

How to access these share \\network computer name\(Drive Letter)$ for example \\Mypc\c$ This represents the administrative share for the "C" drive on the computer "Mypc" and it is same for all other local drives not any removable drive. 

How to enable in Windows XP Service Pack 1, 2, and 3

By default, Windows XP Service Pack 3 prevents access to the administrative shares through the network.

To enable administrative shares
  • Open Explorer and select Tools -> Folder Options 
  • Select the View tab and scroll all the way down to the bottom of Advanced Settings 
  • Make sure that "Use simple file sharing (Recommended)" is not selected

This should work instantly without the need for reboot. Note: Windows XP Home editions do not have this option, so cannot show administrative shares. 

Note: You should have an administrative user account and password to login.

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