How to use Registry Editor to restore administrative shares in Windows Server 2003

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see
318755 .
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry



WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
This step-by-step article describes how to restore administrative shares so that they are created automatically in Windows Server 2003.

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By default, Windows automatically creates special hidden administrative shares that administrators, programs, and services can use to manage the computer environment or network. These special shared resources are not visible in Windows Explorer or My Computer, but you can view them by using the Shared Folders tool in Computer Management. Depending on the configuration of your computer, you may see some or all the following special shared resources listed in the Shares folder in Shared Folders:
  • DriveLetter$
    Root partitions and volumes are shared as the drive letter name appended with the $ character. For example, drive letters C and D are shared as C$ and D$.
  • ADMIN$
    A resource that is used during remote administration of a computer.
  • IPC$
    A resource that shares the named pipes that are necessary for communication between programs. Note that this resource cannot be deleted.
    A resource that is used on domain controllers.
    A resource that is used on domain controllers.
  • PRINT$
    A resource that is used during the remote administration of printers.
  • FAX$
    A shared folder on a server that is used by fax clients during fax transmissions.
Microsoft recommends that you not delete or modify these special shared resources. If the default administrative shares were removed or if the automatic creation of these shares is turned off, you can edit the registry to restore the shares so that they are automatically created in Windows.

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Restore Administrative Shares

To restore administrative shares so that they are automatically created in Windows:
  1. Click Start, and then click
  2. In the Open box, type
    regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the AutoShareServer value in the following registry subkey:
    Note The AutoShareServer value must be set as a REG_DWORD type. When this value is set to 0 (zero), Windows does not automatically create administrative shares. This setting does not apply to the IPC$ share or to shares that you create manually.
  4. Either delete the AutoShareServer value or set the value to 1. To do so, use one of the following methods:
    • To delete the AutoShareServer value, click Delete on the Edit
      menu. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click
    • To set the AutoShareServer value to 1, click Modify on the Edit menu. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  5. Quit Registry Editor.
  6. Stop and then start the Server service:
    1. Click Start, and then click
    2. In the Open box, type
      cmd, and then click OK.
    3. At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
      net stop server
      net start server
    4. Type exit, and then press ENTER.
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For more information about how to manage shared resources by using Shared Folders in Windows Server 2003, see Shared Folders Help. To view the Share Folders help files, click Start, point to
Administrative Tools, and then click Computer Management. In the console tree, right-click Shared Folders, and then click Help.

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