How To: Disable The Hidden Administrative Shares In Windows Vista/XP
Hidden administrative shares are special shares in Windows identified by the dollar sign ($) at the end of the share name.By default, Windows automatically creates hidden “administrative shares” for its logical drives C:, D:, and so forth which it names C$, D$ and so forth. It also creates the admin$ hidden share for to the \winnt folder.
Although these shares are designed for remote management and accessible only to administrators, it is strongly advisable to disable them if possible, as they present a possible security hole. If you try to delete these shares manually (for example, with the net share command), they will be re-created when you reboot your computer.If you want to disable them permanently, use the following Windows Registry Tweak.
- Open the Windows Vista/XP Registry editor by running the regedit command
- Navigate to the registry key:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver and choose the parameters sub-key.
- If you’re using a workstation, add the AutoShareWks DWORD key with the value set to 0.
- For servers, add the key AutoShareServer with the value set to 0.
- When you’re done editing the Windows Vista/XP registry, reboot your computer for the change to take effect.
Note: Disabled windows shares may cause some applications to stop working. If things go wrong, just delete the key from the Windows Vista/XP registry and restart your computer. This registry tweak doesn’t disable the IPC$ share (used for name-pipe communications) and this is a share that is often used by hackers to enumerate systems before attack since it can yield a wealth of information about your system names, your user names, and more.
In Windows Vista and Windows XP, you can disable the shares by the following method:
- Start —>Settings —>Control Panel
- Systems Tools panel
- Shared Folders
- Double-click the Shared Folders branch to expand it
- Click Shares
- In the Shared Folder column, right-click the share you want to disable
- Click Stop sharing
- Cick OK.