Windows

Administrative Shares: How to create and access a hidden share folder on Windows devices

adm

Administrative shares are also referred to as a “hidden share. The hidden shares on a Windows PC have a name that ends with a dollar sign ($). These are shares available on the network share that is not visible when viewing another PC’s shares, but still accessible when the share name (hidden share) is known. See this troubleshooting guide for more information “Error Code: 0x80070035: MDT unable to access the Log share, the Network Path was not found“. Windows includes some Administrative shares, such as PRINT$, FAX$, C$, IPC$, and ADMIN$. Here are some similar errors “You require permission from trusted installer: How to delete or rename files protected by Trusted Installer”, Error 740: Elevated permissions are required to run DISM. Also, see “Folder Access Denied: You require permission from SYSTEM: Unable to delete old windows folder“.

Administrative shares are beneficial when you wish to hide resources (directories) from users without completely denying them access will ACLs. My usecase here is, I will be created a hidden directory for windows deployment log. This is needed to store entries when devices are deployment via MDT. You may want to see the following comprehensive guide on "how to deploy Windows using ADK, MDT, and WDS"

Part 1: To create a hidden share, kindly follow the steps below. First, we will need to create a new folder. You do not need to create a new folder if you already have one. All you need to do is launch the File Explorer and navigate to the folder you want to share. Please follow the steps discussed in step 3 below after the creation of a new folder.

Part 2: I assumed here that you do not have a folder already, I will be working you through the steps to create a new folder now. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder you wish to have your share created in as shown below
– Right-click on the folder and select New

folder1

Part 2: Right-click the newly created folder, or an existing folder and
– Select the Properties option.

Permissions

This will open a Folder properties windows you just created. Click on the Sharing tab, and click on Advanced Sharing

sh1

On the advanced Sharing Window, click on “Share this Folder”
– Under the “Settings” section, type a name share name, and add the “$” character at the end to make the folder hidden.
Note: You do not need to add spaces within the share name.
– Click on Apply.

Screenshot-2021-03-11-at-13.22.47

Optional: Also Click on Permission if you wish to add more users with full administrative rights. To do this,
– Clik on the Add button below and select the right permission for the person or groups afterwards.

Permission

You will be prompted to select the users or groups as shown below. Enter the name and click on Check name.
– Click on Ok afterwards.

Now, assign the desired permissions as shown below. This should depend on your company policy for the user or group.

Screenshot-2021-03-11-at-13.37.17

On the Advanced Sharing Window, click on OK to have it closed. Now, you will be left with the window below.
– Click on close. You are done creating an administrative share 😉

Screenshot-2021-03-11-at-13.39.38

The shared folder will be invisible henceforth using File Explorer on any device. However, it’ll still be accessible using the folder path\\TECHDARCHIVEDC\winDeploymentlog$.

Optional: For Advanced (special Permission), you will have to click on the Security tab and navigate to

Screenshot-2021-03-11-at-13.49.25

This will open the Advanced Security for the folder you created. Kindly refer to the following guides for more information on WDS and MDT. How to setup and install WDS role, how to configure DHCP Server option 60, 66, and 67 for WDS, how to remove Windows Deployment Services role via the GUI and PowerShell, how to add boot and install images to WDS and configure Multicast transmission via the GUI/WDSUTIL, and how to deploy images to computers or virtual machines using WDS.

Screenshot-2021-03-11-at-13.51.07

To see all the available shares on this server, launch the Computer Management Tool as shown below and navigate to the shared folder.

Screenshot-2021-03-12-at-23.46.06-1

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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