The good old administrative share for Windows system drives (the dollar sign such as C$) is not accessible anymore in Windows 7 or Vista. These administrative shares provided a means of connecting remotely to user computers and allowed admins to perform file management tasks. Almost every system administrator used to find this feature very useful and there were many third-party applications that used the administrative share to retrieve system information. However, such feature projected a high security risk as malicious code could take advantage of the share to propagate itself or manipulate remote systems.
In the process of securing their operating systems Microsoft decided to block access to the administrative share by default in its later versions of Windows systems. Although, it is highly recommended to keep this share inaccessible, still with a slight registry modification you can get things the way they were in Windows XP. Follow these steps to enable the administrative share:
- To start the registry editor, type regedit in the Start menu search text box and press enter.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
- Select the DWORD Name: LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
- Set the value to 1
Note: Value: 0 = prevents access, 1 = enables access
A word of caution – incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. The above modifications are intended for Windows advanced users who are familiar with the registry editor. Users are also reminded to take a backup of the registry before making any critical changes.