How to remove administrative shares in Windows Server 2003


This step-by-step article describes how to remove default administrative shares, and prevent them from being automatically created 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 in My Computer, but you can use the Shared Folders tool in Computer Management to view them. 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$: A resource that shares the named pipes that you must have for communication between programs. Note that this resource cannot be deleted.
  • NETLOGON: A resource that is used on domain controllers.
  • SYSVOL: A resources that is used on domain controllers.
  • PRINT$: 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 transmission.
Note NETLOGON and SYSVOL are not hidden shares but are instead special administrative shares.

Generally, Microsoft recommends that you do not modify these special shared resources. However, if you want to remove the special shared resources and prevent them from being created automatically, you can do this by editing the registry.

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To remove administrative shares by editing the registry

To remove administrative shares and prevent them from being automatically created in Windows:

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry 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 following registry key:

    Note The registry key AutoShareServer must be set as type REG_DWORD. When this value is set to 0 (zero), Windows does not automatically create administrative shares. Note that this does not apply to the IPC$ share or shares that you create manually.
  4. On the Edit menu, click
    Modify. In the Value data box, type
    0, and then click OK.
  5. Quit Registry Editor.
  6. Stop and then start the Server service. To do so:
    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 lines. Press ENTER after each line:
      net stop server
      net start server
    4. Type exit to quit Command Prompt.
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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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