Enable Mapping to \\Hostname\C$ Share on Windows 7 or Vista

By Lowell Heddings on October 10th, 2007

Just about everybody knows about the hidden administrator C$ share that is always built into Windows file sharing, but you might have wondered why you can’t use that in Windows 7 or Vista.

The reason this doesn’t work is because of UAC (User Account Control) that Vista is (in)famous for. By default Vista doesn’t allow UAC elevation over the network with a local user account.

There’s a registry key that we can use to change this behavior to work the same as Windows XP. This will make your computer less secure, and I can’t recommend that you do this… but it’s also good to understand how Windows works.

Manual Registry Hack

Open regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then navigate down to the following key, creating a new key if it doesn’t exist.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

image

On the right-hand side, add a new 32-bit DWORD value named LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy and set the value to 1.

To remove this tweak you can set the value to 0 or just delete the key.

At this point you can map to the C$ share and also perform some other administrative tasks remotely. Note that you will need to enable file sharing in the network and sharing center, and make sure that your firewall settings will allow sharing.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/10/07
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