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Considering I have admin access to a machine, how can I remotely access the default C$ share in Windows XP and Windows 7?

Edit: This is not a domain, it's a single machine that I need to access

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migrated from Aug 26 '11 at 19:13

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Are you asking if you can or how you can? – joeqwerty Aug 26 '11 at 19:06
I got ahead of myself. Are the machines on a domain? Do you have admin rights on the domain, or on the individual machines? Are you being prompted for credentials? – Christopher Aug 26 '11 at 19:11
Are you typing credentials as machinename\adminaccount and then entering password? – Christopher Aug 26 '11 at 19:15
Yes, exactly. Does the remote computer user I'm trying to access should exist on my local machine? – jyz Aug 26 '11 at 19:17

There are a few concerns to keep in mind:

  1. This must be a computer running a Professional edition of Windows. The Home editions do not have the administrative shares enabled.
  2. Many (if not most) third-party firewalls will disable the administrative shares for security reasons. Make sure that a host firewall has not disabled them.
  3. If you have file sharing turned off, this won't work. In XP, make sure Advanced sharing is turned on, rather than Simple sharing. In 7, check your network settings to ensure that File and Printer Sharing is enabled. This is not the case for networks marked as Public.
  4. Make sure that you are typing the path directly - Windows shares with names ending in $ are invisible and will not be sent in listings of shares. Instead, you must specify the path directly: \\MachineName\c$\.
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I'll check about points 1 and 2. Thanks – jyz Aug 26 '11 at 21:47

I've never had any problems doing this in the past, but there are a few things you could check:

  • The workgroup often has to be the same on both machines for them to properly communicate
  • Are you using Windows XP Professional edition, or another? (Home, Media Center, Tablet). This feature is only activated on Professional Edition (see - mainly because it's aimed at enterprise users
  • Try enabling advanced sharing mode in XP. This is via Windows Explorer -> Tools Menu > Folder Options -> Advanced (disable simple file sharing)

Hopefully some of that helps.

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I've only tried when they are in the same domain, and trying to login with a local user. This doesn't work, but I have to try with this scenario you proposed.. thanks – jyz Aug 26 '11 at 20:41

Most likely, yes... barring any firewall or security policies (user rights assignments or security options) preventing it.

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I always get "Access Denied", even with correct password. Seems that Windows doesn't allow remote access to administrative shares, not sure... – jyz Aug 26 '11 at 19:08

Yes, if you have admin rights you just have to use the UNC path to the machine - \\machinename\c$ or even \\IPAddress\c$.

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If you are not in a Domain: UAC will prevent remote access to administrative shares.


  • disable UAC
  • enable built-in Administrator
  • set registry option which allows remote UAC
    • path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
    • DWORD(32 bit): LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy = 1

Read more here

or google for "remote uac administrative share"

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You will not be able to browse to the share. Shares that end with a $ are hidden in explorer, even if you have the "Show hidden files" and "Show protected operating system files" options enabled. You have to type the name directly into the address bar to see the share.

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If your system is not a member of a domain (which you state it isn't) and the user account you are logged into your local system does not exist on the system you are attempting to connect to you may have to put in user credentials like this:

\\machinename\c$ /user:machinename\user

(where the 'user' account exists on the 'machinename').

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Yes I'm trying with that.. – jyz Aug 26 '11 at 21:48

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