Share Windows system folders on LAN

Posted on 2006-07-09
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I'm running XP on most of my PC's and Win 2K and 98 on a few others. I connect to our LAN on an ON/Off basis. (not always connected to switch)
On previous installations of XP on my main PC i have been able to access folders such as C:\Program Files\ and C:\Windows\ on other PC on the LAN using Explorer. I did not have to specify Program Files as a share at the time either.
I don't want to drag a shortcut of this to Shared Folders and i don't want to use Remote Desktop to access it.

Thanks for help in advance
Question by:Ryan_R
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 17069872
you can still access those folders

this is one way to access

this will allow to access the C root folder,
however it will ask you for admin password.
once you get the folder view, you can access the windows and program files folder too


Expert Comment

ID: 17070460
Did you try to map the drive in My computer.  right click on my computer and select map drive.  the location would be as advised above \\comutername\c$.  click the hyperlink that says "differnet username" and put in the password.  Is this a domain or workgroup?  if domain you will need to put the domain name before the username follower by a backslash like this:  domain\username.  If workgroup that account you use will need to be created on the remote system and be in the admin group.  The remote drive will then show up as if it were a local drive in my computer.
LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 17070792
ok. this is a workgroup. I would expect that you can't map to a drive unless you could connect to the share in the first place.
therefore if   '\\laptop\c$\program files'   works then you would get the points anyway. I'll test it later and get back to you.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 17070899
\\computername\c$\Program Files

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

bbrunning earned 75 total points
ID: 17071163
Actually  r_naren22atyahoo "\\computername\c$\Program Files" will not work.

Using \\computername\c$\whatever requests use of the guest account which most systems will block it and since he said remote desktop he's talking about 2k or xp.

You have to use \\computername\c$ then let windows request the username/password combo and enter it.

Other than that you can use \\computername and go to the shared folders without a pass depending on the OS and permissions. Either you have to map the drive or create a shortcut. Depends completely on the OS and the Share permissions.
LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 17077549
you're right, bbrunning. I did get the guest account, and no matter how many different passwords i tried (after resetting the Guest account password on my PC and laptop, could not connect. After that the guest login came up just to visit \\laptop

Both OSs are XP Pro SP2 with Windows Firewall disabled. Using Zone Alarm 6 Pro as my firewall.

Using the map drive function didn't work at the time of me trying it, however playing around with a few settings in the right order seems to have solved my problem for me.

For those wanting to know how to do it, i'll type my actions below:
Firstly, goto Control Panel, Folder Options, View Settings
The bottom option needs to be de-selected ("Using simple file sharing (recommended)")
Right/click the program files folder and click properties. Goto security tab and ensure that the "Everyone" user group has full control priveleges.
On the sharing tab, share the folder as Program Files, and ensure that "Everyone" has Full Control privleges.
    ( Whilst using the sharing folder function sort of goes against my original question, i think there is no way
     around it.)

Restart the PC's if you can't immediately access the shared folder.

I think the emphisis of this was on the first step, as without this the Sharing tab on the Program Files will have the sharing options disabled as it is a system folder.

I've only done this with one PC between crossover cable. Will try it with another one running Win 200 Pro before i close this Question.

So now that there are still 75 points up for grabs, i thought i might ask your opinion about this:


A few months ago, I connected to mainly 2 other PC's one at a time using a crossover cable. On all of the PCs i manually set IP addresses to 169.254.105.xx and had no problems connecting to other PCs on an on/off basis (not permanently connected). Recently, i purchased an 8 port switch to share our broadband access (also as an on/off basis) so i decided to change all of the network settings to Auto-get IP address. This has ultimately resulted in IP addresses changing to something like

There are a few PCs that are connecting to this switch on an on/off basis. They are:
Port 1:           Broadband Modem (always connected)
Port 2:           \\Home  (always connected)
Port 3:           \\Toshiba  (dad's laptop), off/on basis
Port 4:           \\Ryan  (my desktop, off/on basis between this network (switch) and crossover cable to brother's PC)
Port 5:           \\Laptop (mine, off on basis between the switch and my desktop and another LAN at school)
Port 6:           \\Todd  (brother's desktop, off/on basis between switch and my PC)
Port 7 & 8 not used

Problem is we only have one 25 metre cable to reach from the switch to where my PC, Laptop, and Todd's PC usually reside. This means that i can't have these 3 PC's connected to switch at the same time so thast they all get relevant IP addresses which the switch can then remember.
Every time i change which network i'm connected to my IP address changes to a new one an I have limited connectivity when connected to \\Todd but can still connect, and the opposite when connecting to my laptop (100mbps, but no access)

What can i do to fix up this network?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 17078026
Ryan, you did exactly what I was talking about in my post.

>>Other than that you can use \\computername and go to the shared folders without a pass depending on the OS and permissions."Either you have to map the drive or create a shortcut. Depends completely on the OS and the Share permissions."<<

Close this question and repost the new question with the correct title.
LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 17078666
you can be assured of getting points here. but your comment was very general and only after i started mucking around with other settings did i find the solution to the problem.
assuming i did nothing alse besides what you said i would not be able to share the program files folder to begin with. That's why i outlined step by step what i did to fix it.

>>Depends completely on the OS and the Share permissions.<< doesn't really answer the question the same as >>Firstly, blah blah blah<<

i am not asking a second question in this post rather i am seeking the opinion of you guys on my current network setup.

LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 17078677
just to clear up any OS confusions, \\Ryan, \\Todd, \\Home, and \\Toshiba all run XP Pro SP2.
\\Laptop runs Win2k (no SP's installed)
other PC runs Win98se/Win2k but is pretty much never connected to any network
LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 17126345
bbruning - so close to the 10000 point mark
just got there myself
hope this answer got you over the line
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 17126940
Almost....9950, thanks!
LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 17127658
if i checked your stats before accepting you answer i wouldve givn an A
next time

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