How To Use DCOM Config (DCOMCNFG.EXE) with Windows 95/98/Me

This article was previously published under Q182248
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DCOMCNFG.EXE (known as DCOM Config) is a utility that can be used to securedistributed COM (DCOM) objects that have been created.

Because security is much more advanced on Windows NT and Windows 2000, the options differ on Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems. This article, written for those running DCOM Config on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me systems, describes the options and settings in DCOM Config.
The DCOM Config's main window is divided into three tabs:
  1. Applications Tab.
  2. Default Properties Tab.
  3. Default Security Tab.
The following explains each tab in DCOM Config, beginning with theApplications tab.

Applications Tab

The Applications tab shows each of the items registered under the followingregistry key:
Beneath this key are all of the objects that can be launched on a remotemachine. DCOM Config displays just the ProgIDs (friendly names) of eachobject, such as "Microsoft Word Document" or "Microsoft Access Database."Some objects may register without registering a ProgID; in these cases, theGUID of the object will be displayed, such as "{4E6B942A-01B0-11D1-A9CB-00AA00B7B36F}."

Properties for each application listed in the Applications tab can beviewed either by selecting an item and choosing the "Properties" button, orby double-clicking the application name.

Default Properties Tab

Each of the values displayed under the Default Properties tab may be foundunder the following key in the registry:
The first item in the Default Properties tab is a check box:
"Enable Distributed COM on this computer"
This is a global setting for the entire machine. When this option ischecked, the machine allows the creation of DCOM objects. If it is notchecked, no objects may be created via DCOM.

NOTE: You must reboot the system in order for a change in this setting totake effect.

The second part of the Default Properties tab is the Default DistributedCOM Communication properties, which consists of two parts:
  1. Default Authentication Level
  2. Default Impersonation Level
These two options can only be modified if DCOM is enabled on this system.
  1. Default Authentication LevelAuthentication Levels are as follows:
    Name                         Description---------------------------------------------------None                         No authentication.Connect                      Authentication occurs when a connection                             is made to the server. Connectionless                             protocols do not use this.					
    Unlike Windows NT and Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me machines can only accept calls on the 'None' or 'Connect' levels.

  2. Default Impersonation Level

    If no security is set at the object level, the server uses the securitysetting specified here as the default. The possible values are:
    Name                         Description-----------------------------------------------------Identify                     The server can impersonate the client to                             check permissions in the ACL (Access Control                             List) but cannot access system objects.Impersonate                  The server can impersonate the client and                             access system objects on the client's behalf.					
The last item on the Default Properties tab is a check box:
"Provide additional security for reference tracking"
This tells the server to track connected client applications by keeping anadditional reference count. Checking this box uses more memory and may slowdown COM, but it ensures that a client application cannot kill a serverprocess by artificially forcing a reference count to zero.

Default Security Tab

On Windows 95 machines, there is an option under the Default Security tabfor Default Access Permission. The value displayed here may be found in theWindows registry at the following location:
Default Access Permission - This value determines the users who can accessan object when no other access permissions are provided. For information onhow to give individual access permissions to specific DCOM objects, see the"Application Properties" section later in this document.

An additional option under the Default Security tab is "Enable remoteconnection." This option must be selected in order to enable remoteconnections to DCOM Servers running on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me. The valueis stored as a Yes or No value in the Windows registry at the followinglocation:

Application Properties

You may specify custom settings for individual DCOM applications bychoosing the Properties button on the "Applications" tab in DCOM Config.This section describes each tab (General, Location, and Security) andsetting found within Application Properties.


The General tab provides general information about the application. Thistab displays the Application name, type (local server or remote server),and location (local path or remote computer). These settings are notmodifiable through the DCOM Config interface.

The General Tab retrieves all of its information from subkeys of thefollowing registry key:
where {...CLSID...} is the unique CLSID for the Object Server currentlybeing viewed.


This tab is used to determine where DCOM will execute the application.There are three possible choices:
  1. Run application on the computer where the data is located - If selected, DCOM will execute the application where the data is located. This is useful only if the application provides a data file for the server application.
  2. Run application on this computer - Indicates that the DCOM application should run on the local machine.
  3. Run application on the following computer - Allows you to specify a computer to execute on. This option should only be selected on DCOM Client machines to specify where the DCOM server is located. For DCOM Servers this option will not work as expected; Windows 95 and Windows 98 machines cannot delegate an application to execute on a different machine.


On this tab, you may customize settings for individual applicationpermissions. This tab is only available for objects capable of performingas DCOM Servers. You may customize the settings for the followingpermissions:
  • Use default access permissions.
  • Use custom access permissions.
With custom access permissions, you may specify individual users who mayaccess the application. If you do not choose to use custom accesspermissions, the default security settings are used. For more informationabout the Security tab see the "Default Security" section earlier in thisarticle.
165101 : How To Use Win95 as a DCOM Server

176799 : INFO: Use DCOM Config (DCOMCNFG.EXE) on Windows NT

Article ID: 182248 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 08:27:46 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition, Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition

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